The city of Varese and the small towns on the east shore of Lake Maggiore belong to the region of Lombardy.
Varese is built on seven hills, Biumo Superiore, Giubiano, San Pedrino, Sant’Albino, Montalbano, Campigli and Miogni, and is surrounded by the historic “castellanze”, which were fortified districts set outside the historic centre, once self-governing and today an integral part of the city.
A lively, busy town, Varese abounds in historical and cultural attractions, such as the ancient Castle of Masnago and the 17th century Villa Mirabello. It is also famous for its many gardens and green spaces, winning it the appellation of “garden city”. Set in the Regional Nature Park “Il Parco dei Fiori”, Varese offers a wealth of walks and trails for jogging, cycling and walking for all tastes.
The Lombard shore of Lake Maggiore is fringed with the little towns of Sesto Calende, Angera, Santa Caterina del Sasso, Laveno, Luino and Maccagno, each with attractive natural or architectural features typical of lakeside communities.
Outstanding among the historical treasures of the Lombard shore of Lake Maggiore are the Rocca di Angera, a superbly conserved medieval castle in a dominating position, and the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, a fine monastery complex dating from the 14th century, perched on a cliff above the lake.