Open sky museums Varese’s Painted Towns
Outdoor trip, Villages in Lombardy
Some towns do not need to museums to thell their history. Their inhabitants paint it directly on buildings' walls. Murales and frescoes illustrate popular traditions, legends, customs and local crafts. Thus turning them into open sky art galleries that embellish and imbue new life and into small, quiet villages. Such paintings attract tourists who search a different kind of attraction, where they can experience authentic, more hospitable human contact.
You can find plenty of these painted towns in the outskirts of Varese. Among them Marchirolo, Arcumeggia, Boarezzo, Olona, Peveranza, San Fermo and Runo - mostly known for being the birthplace of Vincenzo Peruggia, who made history by stealing the Mona Lisa. It is also the hometown of Pope Pious V who wrote an important cooking treaty during the Renaissance.
Paintings in Peveranza are quite peculiar: they showcase bakers, shoe and umbrella makers in the actual buildings where these crafts took place. Those in Arcumeggia on the other hand focus on the subject of emigration, although they don't leave out its beautiful landscapes, saints and religious scenes.