1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Varese
VARESE, a town of Lombardy, Italy, in the province of Como, 18 m. by rail W. of that town, and 37 m. N.W. of Milan, 1253 ft. above sea-level. Pop. (1901) 7692 (town); 17,666 (commune). It is a well-to-do place, beautifully situated near the Lake of Varese, and for this reason a favourite summer and autumn resort of the Milanese, who have numerous country houses in the vicinity. Among them the Villa Litta and the Villa Ponte may be specially mentioned. The principal church is that of S. Victor (rebuilt 1580-1615 and 1795), to which is attached an ancient baptistery (dating from the 9th century but rebuilt in the 13th century). The fine campanile of the church is 246 ft. high. There is an archaeological museum with pre-historic antiquities from the lake-dwellings on an island in the Lake of Varese. To the N.W. (a journey of 21⁄2 hours) is the pilgrimage church of the Madonna del Monte (2885 ft.), approached by a path which passes fourteen chapels adorned with 17th-century frescoes and groups in stucco illustrating the mysteries of the rosary. Varese is the seat of active silk-spinning, tanning, paper-making and the manufacture of organs and vehicles. Excellent wine is made. Varese is a junction for Porto Ceresio and Laveno.