Located in the ancient Piazza della Motta, on top of the Mirabello hill, the Church of Sant’Antonio is one of the most important in Varese.
Building work began under Giuseppe Bernascone in 1593. The church still shows traces of its oldest part, a double line of light-coloured tiles on the Lombard terracotta floor dating from the 16th century; it is thought that this is where an oratory once stood.
The external façade is plain and unadorned, while the interior has decorative features typical of the Rococò period.
The major works of art in the church are three frescoes recently restored to their original splendour: “The glory of St Anthony” and “The exaltation of the Cross”, by Giovan Battista Ronchelli, and the architectural painting made by Giuseppe Baroffio in 1756. The original terracotta tiling of the floor was restored using tiles recovered from the same floor.
The Church of Sant’Antonio is the scene every year of the traditional Varese festival of “St Anthony’s bonfire”, when a bonfire is lit in the square outside the church.
Open from Monday to Saturday from 9.30 to 11.30.