Villa e Collezione Panza
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Villa e Collezione Panza
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Villa e Collezione Panza

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About this activity
Visit: Villa e Collezione Panza, Piazza Litta 1, 21100, Varese Italy

Surrounded by splendid gardens measuring 33,000 square metres, Villa Menafoglio Litta Panza overlooks the city of Varese from the hill of Biumo Superiore. The residence was built around the mid-18th century over an existing “noble home”, on the orders of the Marquis Paolo Antonio Menafoglio, a lively man of the world and an able banker who had interests in Milan and Modena.

The Art Collection

Giuseppe Panza, the last owner, showed a profound interest in art history from a young age.

In the early 1950s, when he moved to the USA after completing his studies, he came into contact with the budding abstract expressionism movement, which made a deep impression on him. He began to purchase his first paintings, focusing his attention from the beginning on artists who were unknown to the wider public.

The Panza collection hosts environmental art installations of the Californian artists James Turrell, Maria Nordman and Robert Irwin, works of Dan Flavin, Phil Sims, David Simpson, Ruth Ann Fredenthal, Stuart Arends, Max Cole and others: artists less well known than the preceding names, but whom Panza identified as potential custodians of art for future generations.

In the splendid rooms of the master wing, their works are offset beautifully by early period furnitureand African and Pre-Colombian artworks, other passionate interests of the Milanese collector.

The Panza family donated the villa and the art collection to the Italian Heritage Trust, FAI Fondo Ambiente Italiano, who guaranteed to maintain and develop Panza's legacy. Today the Villa offers not only the permant exhibition created by Giuseppe Panza, but - thanks to FAI - it hosts temporary exhibitions from great contemporary artist, acuires new art pieces - many of them site-specific works, dedicated to this wonderful place. 

The Villa is accessible for all and welcomes not only art-lovers but even curious families. Kids will love the light installations!

Audio-headphones lead the visitors through the permanent exhibition. Land-art installations are to be found in the huge park. A restaurant, a coffee shop and a very well equipped museum-shop are available. Kids are welcome and can ask for the FAIr Play Family set. Wheelchair accessible. Parking available.

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  • Entry/Admission - Villa e Collezione Panza
Not included
  • The listed price does not include a 2 € parking fee, payable at the time of tour check-in.
  • Food and drinks
  • Lunch
  • Entrance surcharge to the Ganzfeld from James Turrell
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
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