Civic Archaeological Museum of Villa Mirabello
The villa is located in the city center of Varese , inside the Estensi Gardens , on a hill from which you can admire the splendid panorama of Lake Varese , the Pre-Alps and the Alps, hence the name Mirabello . Built during the eighteenth century, in 1949 it became the property of the municipal administration and was used as a museum. The collection of the archaeological section arises from the collection of the Museo Patrio and has been enriched thanks to the numerous finds from the excavation and research campaigns conducted in the Varese UNESCO sites of Isolino Virginia and Bodio Lomnago.
The tour follows a chronological criterion and starts from the exhibition of prehistoric finds deriving from local pile-dwelling sites, which are the oldest in the Alps. We continue towards the Bronze and Iron Age , thanks to the finds from the pre-Roman period linked to the Celtic culture of Golasecca. The heritage of the Roman era traces the progressive cultural assimilation of local populations to the customs and administrative organization of the Roman world.
Furthermore, the Museum houses a Renaissance section, which evokes the patriotic ideals and the Garibaldian fury of the city of Varese through the grandiose painting by Eleuterio Pagliano entitled The Landing of the Hunters of the Alps in Sesto Calende on 23 May 1859.
Due to the richness and importance of the materials, the Museum, since its foundation, has been an essential point of reference for Italian and foreign prehistoric scholars, but also for the general public and for the scholastic one. Finally, inside the villa, it is possible to admire the collection of Tamagno and Simondetti moths, recovered thanks to a recent conservation maintenance.