See Edgard Varèse for the composer.
Comune di Varese
Coat of arms of Comune di Varese
Municipal coat of arms
Country Flag of Italy Italy
Region Lombardy
Province Varese (VA)
Mayor Attilio Fontana (from May 29, 2006)
Elevation 382 m (1,253 ft)
Area 54 km² (20.8 sq mi)
Population (as of December 31,2004)
 - Total 96,917
 - Density 1,795/km² (4,649/sq mi)
Time zone CET, UTC+1
Gentilic Varesini
Dialing code 0332
Postal code 21100
Frazioni Avigno, Bizzozero, Biumo Inferiore, Biumo Superiore, Bobbiate, Bregazzana, Bustecche, Calcinate del Pesce, Calcinate degli Orrigoni, Campo dei Fiori, Capolago, Cartabbia, Casbeno, Lissago, Masnago, Prima Cappella, Rasa di Varese, San Fermo, Sangallo, Santa Maria del Monte, Sant'Ambrogio Olona, Schiranna, Velate
Patron San Vittore
 - Day May 8

Varese (pronounced [vaˈreze] in Italian; Varès [vaˈrɛːs] in the local Lombard dialect; Baretium in Latin) is a city in north-western Lombardy, northern Italy, 55 km north of Milan. It is the capital of the Province of Varese. The hinterland or urban part of the city is called Varesotto.



The city is both served by both the state run Ferrovie dello Stato (FS)and Ferrovie Nord Milano (Le Nord), both of which run high frequency train services to Milan. Currently there is a project to connect Varese with train line from Milan's Malpensa Airport-Varese-Mendrisio (Switzerland)-Lugano (Switzerland) The Varese-Mendrisio sections needs to be built and construction is expected to begin in 2009. The city has both an extensive city bus network and provincial bus services. The motorway, A8, known as the Autostrada dei Laghi, connects Varese with Milan, was the first toll road in the world. The recently elected Italian government gave permission to start works on the long awaited Varese-Como-Bergamo motorway, which would also include a bypass of the city of Varese.


The city of Varese lies at the feet of Sacro Monte di Varese, which is part of the Campo dei Fiori mountain range. The city also looks over Lake Varese. While the province of Varese lies below the Alps, so mountains and hills constitute 32% and 46% of its territory respectively; other common features are rivers (including the Ticino and Olona) and seven lakes: three are big, (Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano and Lake of Varese and four other smaller ones Lake of Comabbio, Lake of Monate, Lake of Ghirla and Lake of Ganna. The southern part of the province is in the Pianura Padana (the flat bottomland of the River Po).


Varese, like the province, has a very high immigrant population owing to both its' economy (many Multi National Companies and the nearby EU institution JRC) and location (proximity to Milan makes it an ideal place for the latter city's workers).


In 1859, Giuseppe Garibaldi confronted Austrian forces led by Field Marshal-Lieutenant Carl Baron Urban next to Varese. Also, it was here were Alessandro Marchetti's Savoia-Marchetti SM.93 flew his first test rounds.

Main sights

It is most famous for the Sacro Monte di Varese (literally: Sacred mountain of Varese), a place of pilgrimage and worship. It is one of the Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy, included in UNESCO World Heritage list.


The economy of Varese is mainly based on industry and, to a lesser extent, specialized agriculture; some famous Varese-based firms are:

Varese is home to Malpensa International Airport, which serves the international traffic of Milan, Italy.


Varese is the home of the European School, Varese, a European School established in 1960 for the children of European Union staff.

The Palazzo Estense in Varese.

Notable People

Music Festivals


Varese is known for the European famous basketball giants Pallacanestro Varese which played, in the decade of 70ies, 10 European Champions Cup finals in a row and won 5 of them. A great achievement that has never been repeated.

External links