Masnago Castle

Varese, Italy

The oldest part of the Masnago castle is an 11th-century crenellated tower. The current appearance is result of a series of modifications and extensions from the Middle Ages (11th – 13th centuries) to the 18th century, is one of the most important historical buildings in Varese. The main body of the castle dates from the 15th century and gave the castle the appearance of a mansion house, as may be seen from the façade overlooking the Mantegazza Park. Finally, the wing that was built into the pre-existing medieval fortress in the late 17th – early 18th centuries resulted in its present appearance as a country residence.

The Castiglioni family, who owned the Castle from the 15th to the beginning of the 20th century, were responsible for the exquisite frescoes. On the death of Marquis Paolo Castiglioni Stampa the castle was inherited by a female branch of the family, and was later sold to Angelo Mantegazza of Varese.

The frescoes, painted in the style known as International Gothic, date to around the mid-15th century, but were discovered only in 1938. Two of the interior rooms are frescoed: the Sala degli Svaghi (the “Pastime Room”) where the pastimes of the court are depicted, and the Sala dei Vizi e Virtù (“Room of Vices and Virtues”) illustrating the morals of the time.

The Castle’s magnificent rooms also host the Museum of modern and contemporary art.

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Details

Founded: 11th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Angela Giglio (2 years ago)
Residenza signorile con torre merlata immersa in un bel parco. All'interno splendide sale affrescate. Particolarmente notevoli due a tema: virtù c'è vizi, divertimenti e svaghi. Molto bello anche il cortiletto di ingresso. Ospita un bel museo di arte moderna e contemporanea. Visitabile il tutto per soli 4 euro (diverse possibilità per pagarne solo 2)
Giovanni Leuci (2 years ago)
Più del castello, dove si svolge annualmente il Palio di Masnago, sono rimasto colpito positivamente dal parco per come sia ben tenuto e pulito. Probabilmente non adatto per fare jogging, è ideale pee passeggiaee o per sedersi a leggere un libro. Ottimo e fresco d'estate quando gode dei venticelli ceh calano dal Campo dei fiori
Lamberto (2 years ago)
Incredibile quanto poco sia pubblicizzato, e l'assoluta mancanza di insegne, per cui, fino a che non me lo sono trovato davanti, avevo dubbi sulla posizione segnata sulle mappe. Credo che meriti tra l'ora e l'ora e mezza, più che altro per i quadri esposti. Ho apprezzato la "plasticità" con cui si sviluppano le stanze, disposte su due piani, e in alcune ci sono antichi affreschi in parte restaurati. Il castello è per lo più adibito a piccola pinacoteca, e tra gli altri, c'è un Guttuso, un Balla, un Pellizza da Volpedo.
Mauro Morelli (3 years ago)
Nice contemporary art museum in the heart of Varese. A gem.
Richard Green (4 years ago)
Fascinating, from the prehistoric to the contemporary.
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