The old part of the city of Varese is quite distinctive with ancient porticoes and galleries where the city’s traders have plied their wares since time immemorial. When strolling around the streets if you raise your gaze you can see the architectural features of the old city centre around which the life of Varese once revolved. Houses were usually built with the shop on the ground floor under a portico for protection from the rain, the home on the first floor and behind would have been gardens and a small vegetable patch to feed the household. Other stunning historical locations include Piazzetta del Podestà with the monument to Garibaldi’s troops during the Battle of Varese, Palazzo del Pretorio and Palazzo Biumi (“Broletto”), the Basilica of San Vittore with its bell tower. At the end of the footpath is the Cloister of Sant’Antonino on which construction began in 1599. A little further along is a row of bars that keep the Varese night life buzzing late into the night.