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Saronno

Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Lombardy  /  Province of Varese  /  Saronno
(3.1/5 based on 1,500+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: spas, nightlife, historic sites
Saronno is a comune of Lombardy, Italy, in the province of Varese. It received the honorary title of city with a presidential decree in 1960.The place is well known for its almond kernel biscuits (amaretti) and is also a manufacturing town.Main sightsMadonna dei MiracoliThe pilgrimage church of the Madonna dei Miracoli, begun in 1498 by Vincenzo Dell'Orto, has a dome with very fine architecture on the outside. The bell tower dates from 1516, the rest of the church is of a later date. Internally it is decorated with fine frescoes by Gaudenzio Ferrari, representing The Concert of Angels, while those in the choir are by Bernardino Luini and are among his finest works. These include the Adoration of the Magi, The Presentation, The Marriage of the Virgin and Jesus Discussing with the Doctors in the Temple. Most likely Luini started these frescoes in the spring of 1524.Church of St. Francis of AssisiThe Church of St. Francis is the oldest church in Saronno, with medieval origins. It was a small church outside the walls. In 1154 it was taken over by the friars of the Franciscan order, and in 1297 the Archbishop of Milan, Francesco Fontana da Siena, invited the parishioners to contribute to the building of a bigger church as the existing one was not sufficient for the needs of the friars. There are no traces of this church today because in the 15th century radical changes and restoration were carried out. It was during these changes that the lavish decorations that we see today were added. The church has a central nave with side aisles. The chancel and high altar is at one end of the nave, facing the main doors that are at the other end. The side aisles are lined with richly decorated chapels. The facade is baroque but the sloping roof is a sign of its medieval origins. There are two niches on the facade containing statues, one of St. Anthony and the other of St. Francis. These statues are copies but the originals can be seen in one of the chapels inside the church.
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