Maghella Mansion in Varese Ligure
piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, 57 - 19028 Varese Ligure (SP)
Telefono: 0187 84 21 81
Fax: 0187 84 21 81
Dimora Maghella Dimora Maghella Dimora Maghella Dimora Maghella Dimora Maghella Dimora Maghella

The antique village of Varese Ligure, a nerve point between the coast and the hinterland of the Po, can be found in one of the largest, greenest and most visited valleys of Eastern Liguria.

First a Byzantine and then a Lombard settlement, it became a very important centre under the Fieschi family, a powerful dominion and a powerful enemy of the Republic of Genoa: the “borgo rotondo” (round hamlet), a complex that was urban and defensive at the same time, was built in Varese in the 12th century.  It is made of homes positioned one against the other and closed by an ellipse, flanked by the majestic Fieschi Castle.

The historical centre is one of its kind, with its markets (no longer held), its portico (still present) and the two main squares of the town. In the past it was all closed by doors that turned it into an impregnable fort when danger arose.

One of the historical villas in Borgo rotondo was the home of the Maghella family. Thanks to the Development of the natural and cultural resources of Liguria project (Level 4 of the ROP ERDF 2007-2013), the building, the current structure and furnishings of which date back to the 16th century, will be restored and developed.

A little bit of history

The building is the last element on the south side of the borgo rotondo, an original Varese Ligure Medieval nucleus that is connected to the great tower of the Castle by the fortified walls of the North Door.

The original structure dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries, and belonged to the noble Maghella lineage from the start of the 16th century until 1850. Important dignitaries from the Republic of Genoa stayed there, including Baron Antonio Maghella, born on 10 September 1766, Senator of the Republic, President of the Military Court under the Napoleonic regime, deputy of the Legal corps, Counsellor of State and Minister of Police in Naples and Turin.

Utilized in the past as a nursery school, the building is no longer being used because reinforcement work has to be carried out on some attics.

The intervention

Given Val di Vara’s request and need for a permanent centre in which to hold conference tourism activities, artistic and display activities, but also the need for permanent museum spaces, the Maghella home will be recovered, renovated and developed.

In this manner a space will be created for conventions, meetings and exhibitions that will help promote the historical and cultural resources, the archaeological sites and the forts and castles in the territory.

The main structure of this historical building also needs to be renovated and reinforced, interventions required mainly because of its age. Considering the age and value of the building, special care will be taken with the materials that are used.

The intervention, tied to the Development of the natural and cultural resources of Liguria project (Level 4 of the ROP ERDF 2007-2013), involves the first floor, where rooms in which to organize conferences will be restored and decorated; the structure where the archive spaces, exhibition and meeting spaces, multi-purpose rooms and laboratories are to be located will be completed later with a second intervention.

On the first floor, the internal areas need to be renovated, the electric and heating/bathroom systems need to be upgraded, the plasterwork and floors need to be restored together with the internal stairway, the internal door and window fittings need to be replaced, a stairlift needs to be installed and started, and toilets that can also be used by the disabled need to be installed. Special attention will be taken when reinforcing some portions of the attic.


Varese Ligure is behind the most beautiful resorts on the Spezia coast, in particular the Cinque Terre.
They are, from west to east, Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore: five villages of incomparable beauty, suspended between the steep hills on which grapes are grown and the blue sea, immersed in the only national park of Liguria, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.

Monterosso is where the Nobel Prize winner Eugenio Montale spent his holidays when young, and the trail that leads to Riomaggiore, and which also passes through the other three villages, offers inestimable mountain and sea scenarios that alternate with the urban scenery of the small towns, with their high, narrow, colourful houses that are built in extremely small spaces in the typical Ligurian style.

The flavours of this corner of Liguria cannot be missed. Above all the wine, which comes from the grapes grown on the strips that are cut with great difficulty into the steep hills that seem to sink into the sea: Sciacchetrà, an extremely prestigious dessert wine, and Vermentino.
But there are also the exquisite anchovies of Monterosso, excellent both fresh and preserved with salt.


The Medieval centre of Varese has kept its fascination intact, thanks to which the village became an important Ligurian tourist destination. In addition to this, however, Varese has another winning card.

Agriculture, rearing, zootechnics and typical products play a fundamental role in the economy of the area; the valley has been producing biological and natural goods that have become its distinctive trait, for many years.

Great attention is paid to the quality and authenticity of the agriculture and rearing, characteristics that have turned Val di Vara into a true Biological Valley.
All this is added to healthy air, a vast network of trails and a naturally welcoming attitude.

Waste segregation and using clean energy have made Varese Ligure the first European Community to obtain the title of Comune Ecologico (Ecological Municipality) with ISO 14001 certification, to which European EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) Certification was added in May 2002.

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