Castello di Masnago
A country overflowing with culture and known for its stunning castles, architecture, and art, Italy boasts a host of sights that demand attention. Among these is the Castello di Masnago, which combines all three as a castle-cum-art-museum featuring architecture from several different centuries on Via Cola di Rienzo in Varese.
Each part of the Castello di Masnago corresponds to a different century, ranging from the 12th to the 15th. Visitors will at first be struck by the Masnago's impressive 12th century era tower, fortified during the Middle Ages. A large park showcasing an exquisite Baroque staircase adds to the panorama. Further exploration inside the castle reveals a 15th century wing and two sets of frescoes, some of which date back to the mid-1400s, depicting Lake Varese and female figures, respectively.
Along with featuring castle architecture dating from centuries past, in and of itself worth a visit, the Castello di Masnago offers art both old and new. The Masnago also houses a Contemporary Art Gallery, featuring donated paintings from some of the most well-known Italian families, ranging from the 1990s to the present. The Muel Museum, another Masnago offering, allows visitors to examine its electronic art archives.
The castle was owned by the Castiglione family from the 15th to the 18th century, members of whom at one point used it as a vacation home. It was the Castigliones who were responsible for the Masnago's magnificent collection of frescoes.
The Castello di Masnago has a rich history indeed, but it still serves as a venue for contemporary art and events. The museum features a series of lectures, visiting artists, and exhibits that showcase some of the most fascinating Italian art currently being created.
Featuring ancient architecture and frescoes, as well as contemporary art, the Castello di Masnago is an essential Varese visit.