While touring Liguria, I visited some seriously beautiful Italian towns like Porto Venere and Chiavari. And then I visited Varese Ligure and found myself wowed yet again.

Situated in the region’s gentle rolling hills, Varese Ligure has one of the best preserved Medieval communities in all of Italy. Filled with stone houses and various ancient sites like a castle and an old stone bridge, it’s a quiet place that doesn’t attract many tourists and where residents enjoy a slow paced life.

As I walked the streets of the town, I found myself wanting to stay longer. I imagined staying there for a month and falling into the rhythm of the place, perhaps using the time to focus on writing, going for long walks, and feasting on the local fare.

I ended up being there for just one day and that’s also enough if you’re exploring the region one town at a time. Find out just why you should visit Varese Ligure.

Why You Should Visit Varese Ligure, Italy

My group was led on a tour through Varese Ligure by local guide, Karen Nilson. I was happy to hear from Karen, that the town was becoming more popular with tourists, especially artists seeking to break from big city life. My dream of coming to spend a month in Varese Ligure didn’t seem so far fetched after all.

Grexino Bridge

We began our explorations and encountered the beautiful 16th century Grexino bridge.


We were then introduced to some other locals. While we came upon an adorable dog in Porto Venere, we came upon Puss N Boots himself in Varese Ligure.

And yes, I feel that cats are a reason to visit a destination, as it’s even one of the reasons I mention for visiting Brindisi.

Varese Ligure Castle

Humming the tune “I Love Cats” (ok, it was only me humming), we continued along to the center of town to view some other notable sites like this castle complete with a tower dating from 1435.

Unfortunately, the castle isn’t currently open to the public but it’s still worth checking out from the outside. After all, who doesn’t love castles?

The City Center

As the town is small, it can be explored within 2-3 hours on foot and you’ll soon realize that the layout of Varese Ligure is round for former defence purposes. Also rather fortunately, most of the major points of interest are located close to the center so it’s easy to walk around and get a feel for the place.

Pietro Picetti Workshop

We also made a stop at Pietro Picetti’s workshop. Pietro is an artisan who makes wooden stamps used to mark pasta. Continuing an age old tradition to personally stamp pasta with family crests or other symbols, he now sells them to people from all around the world. 

You can visit the workshop yourself to purchase one or even place a custom order. You can find the workshop at Via Pieve, 19028 or call +39 0187 842195 them for more details.

Albergo Amici

Then it time for our cooking lessons to begin! Led by Chef Marco Marcone from the Michelin starred Albergo Amici Ristorante, we made pasta from scratch using different stamps.

This was the “fruit of our labors” – two kinds of pasta with cheese and pesto. And not surprisingly this was only one of many courses! The food was of course, delicious (not just because we had a hand in making it) and as such, I’d recommend stopping by Albergo Amici for a tasty lunch of dinner.

Find them at Via Garibaldi 80 or call ahead at, +39 0187 842139.

Would you visit Varese Ligure? Have you been? Tell us your best local tips in the comments below.

Good To Know

1) Book a place to stay in Varese Ligure.


2) Go on a tour while you’re in the area.

3) Need even more Italian travel inspiration? Then check out some of our other popular content:

*DisclosureMy time in Varese Ligure was complimentary, courtesy of Liguria Tourism. Any opinions expressed are entirely my own. This post also contains some affiliate links. If you book a tour or hotel, I’ll earn a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!