The territory

The Cascina Diodona is situated in the Province of Varese, also called "the province of the seven lakes" due to the presence of seven wonderful lakes. This region is not only rich in natural wonders but also in places with an outstanding artistic value.

We recommend four itineraries that start in Malnate and will touch upon the most meaningful and enchanting artistic places of the Varese province. In the center of Malnate it is possible to visit: The San Rocco Chapel, build in the first half of the 16th century with several frescos by Galdino de'Campanigo and the church of San Matteo with a beautiful 11th century romanic apsis.

Itinerary A: follow the "statale briantea", cross Varese and in Masnago take the road for Velate. Here you can find the ruins of the medieval watch tower build around the 11th century now propriety of the F.A.I.. From here continue for S.Ambrogio and continue to the Sacro Monte di Varese.Here you can walk the cultural itinerary now part of the UNESCO world heritage list.

Itinerary B: Recommends the visit to the town of Viggiù. From malnate enter the "statale Briantea" towards Varese. At the junction "folla di malnate" take right towards Switzerland. Further on take the road to Viggiù also called "the town of Picasass". Viggiù developed after the year 1000 thanks to the extraction and manufacturing of the local stone which favoured the creation of a tradition of stone cutters and sculptors. In Viggiù it is possibile to find several houses and palaces from the 17th and 18th century. These houses are characterized by beautiful doorways with stone cut decorations and coats of arms. Highly recommended is the "Villa Borromeo (1840)" with the circular stable , decorated with terracotta horse heads and the location of the "Picasass" museum. Not far from Viggiù is Besano. This little town is world famous for the exceptional findings of fossils dating back to the Mesozoic era. These fossils are visible in the town's museum.

Itinerary C: drive towards Milan on the Varesina 223 state-highway. Here you cross the small town of Castiglione Olona (island of Tuscany in Lombardy). At the beginning of the the 5th century the cardinal Branda Castiglioni (1350-1443) transformed and enriched this hamlet by building several churches and palaces using decorative and sculptural elements based on the Molera stone found in the quarry of Malnate. Recommended is the Branda Palace, the Villa Church, the court of Doro, the "Collegiata" and the baptistery with the frescos of Masolino da Panicale (1383-1440). In July it is possible to assist to the Palio of Castles which is a historic re-enactment with traditional costumes. During the palio the eight wards of Castiglione participate in the famouse "Corsa delle Botti" or " keg-run"

Itinerary D: Continuing on the Statale Varesina and taking the road for Gornate Olona, one can find the Torba Monastery which is owned by the Italian National Trust F.A.I. Initially this building had a military function, the fortified tower of the 5th-6th century was the outpost in the valley of the Castelseprio Fortress. In the 8th century it was used by Benedictine nuns that extended the monastery and the church. Hence it was abandoned and became used for farming purposes until the recent recovery and opening to the public. Not far away it is possible to visit the Archeological center of Castelseprio. Born as a military base (4th century A.D.) in the first decades of the 5th century it became a fortified town (Castrum). The trail of the archeological park leads to the ruins of the S. Giovanni Evangelista church and the baptistery (5th -6th A.D.). Outside of the wall it is possible to visit the S. Maria Forla Porta church (dating back to the end 5th century-beginning of the 7th century).


Il territorio


Address:Via Hermada, 20
Country:21046 Malnate (Va)


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