Places of the province

Horse lovers cannot help but start their Varese tour from the Hippodrome, called “le Bettole”, property of the Comune and managed by SVICC Society ( Varese Company Increase Horseracing), place dedicated to English throughbred races that in summer trasform the structure in the parlour of the city and of its social and elegant life. From spring to autumn you can’t help but visit Varese parks and gardens, discovering colours, flowers and trees of big charm.

Now we accompany you in the artistic hearth of Varese, with a tour into Liberty style, the most beautiful sites  where art and culture mixed happily themselves with the sacred and the profane.There are many places to visit in the Varese province : if you ride, the most beautiful sites are around the lakes, field and the Prealpi, moving from eating and trekking experience, on vacation in the land of lakes.


The hippodrome and races

The Hippodrome was founded in 1878 when count Gian Pietro Cicogna constitute the Varese Racing Society. The first Hippodrome was built in area Casbeno for trot an gallop races. But San Siro Hippodrome building caused competition and unfortunately the renunciation to the Criterium, the race reserved to 2 years old foals; we must wait until the lawyer Andrea Baragiola De Busnelli decide to build a new hippodrome in Masnago, with races on the left side as all the rest of Europe, and Criterium is back In Varese.

The Hippodrome becomes a meeting place not only for Nobility but even for people, had a great success beyond the expectations. In 1908 it is necessary to enlarge, so they decided to build a new one in another place, Bettole Hippodrome in 1911. In the 40’s born “Olona Stables s.r.l.” with new boxes for thoroughbred horses ready for races and workout.  At the end of 60’s it proceeds to upgrade the structure enlarging the track, changing the round pen for saddling. Today the Hippodrome is still place for gallop meetings during the whole year, especially in summer time.


Varese gardens

In the Estense hearth

Varese is called “garden City” from timing of the holidays of the noble milanese families between ‘700 and ‘800. The Palace, that today is Town Hall, and its wonderfull Estensi gardens, due their name to a visit of Francesco III of Este, duch of Modena and administrator of the Duchy of Milan.
He was so impressed by the site beauties that asked to Maria Teresa of Austria to have the city and had also the villa from Tommaso Arrigoni, villa that was then restored by the architect Giuseppe Antonio Bianchi, with the intention to trasform it in court palace. So was realized the romantic garden, one of the best of Lombardia, with avenues, flower beds, boxwood bushes, and water plays and big trees of great value. At the top of the garden there is Belvedere tower once propriety of Marquis Litta Lodigiani, and villa Mirabello built by count Gaetano Stampa Of Soncino, lately left  to Litta Lodigiani and today house of the Archeological Museum, with its beautiful park that contains centenarians trees, among them the cedar of Lebanon, some magnolias, camellias and oaks.

Parks and villas not to loose

Varese tour , after you left saddles and horses in the stable, can’t be finished if you don’t visit these places quite elegant and rich of history, with precious botanical and unforgettable impressions.

  • Villa and Park Toepliz: is situated in Sant’Ambrogio, at Sacro Monte feet, with water plays, exotic botanical species, pools and fountains.
  • Mantegazza Park and Masnago Castle: english style park, with beech and chestnut trees, oaks and cedars hornbeams; you reach the castle passing through a large lawn with a playground,once fortified , place for expositions that has at its inside lombard frescoes, expression of the gothic international style.
  • Villa Baragiola Park: Villa Baragiola was built in early 800 by Baragiola family.Its park is special, partially in english style with rare botanical species. Here in 1895 lawyer Baragiola inaugurated one of the first italian hippodrome, which reached even the area where today is Varese Stadium and its large parking. In the 30’s they also built a dacha in hungarian style.
  • Villa Augusta Park: the park dates back to early 900, vegetation is composed by several majestic trees, among them some big cedars, surrounded by a neo-classic style gazebo, beeches and a cork oak.
  • Villa Torelli Mylius Park: characterized by different style, in ‘800 was full of pots of citrus and mythological statues. Early 900 a restoration transformed it into an authentic garden of 2000 square meters.

Liberty Tour

The best examples of Liberty style in Varese are up to Sacro Monte and Campo dei Fiori, and are signed by Giuseppe Sommaruga, italian master of Modernism, that planned spectacular hotel complexes..Liberty style is expression of a unique style tha develops during the great industrial and touristic revolution; its called Modernism, Floreal Art, Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, has been one of the last artistic international moviments,that changed the choices of the past and designed new enviroments using local materials: style is characterized by ornamental values, curve and sinuous lines, natural elements ( flowers and animals) and elements coming from japanese art.

This style influenced picture, sculpture urban style, decorative style and architecture. In Italy it spreads from 1902 with the modern decorative art in Turin and in Varese and its province in the last ‘900 and the first Mondial War. When Varese becomes gradually an important destination, arise hotels, restaurants and villas.

  • Villa Mercurio
  • Villa Edera
  • Villa de Grandi
  • Grand Hotel “ Campo dei Fiori” ( 1908 – 1912)
  • Funicular Station of Campo dei Fiori
  • Casa Bianchi (1905. Giulio Macchi)
  • Villa Campiotti Vargani (1911)
  • Villa Magnani (1905; arch. Ulisse Stacchini, designed even Central Station of Milan)
  • Villa Bonomi
  • Casa Rovera (1910, Carlo Piana)
  • Villa Caravati
  • Villa Barani
  • Poretti Brasserie (Induno Olona- industrial complex in liberty style of 1901, designed by Bihl Brothers and Wolz of Stutgard)
  • Kursaal Theatre at Colle Campigli (1906 – 1910, Gaetano Moretti)
  • Palace Grand Hotel at Colle Campigli (1912-1913, Varese Hotels Group designed by Giuseppe Sommaruga, opened on 5 July 1913)

For informations:
Agenzia Morandi Tour -