Campo dei Fiori Park in Varese and the sunset from Forte di Orino
Let’s go to the fort! Okay, I’m in.
This is one of the classic phrases of two people from Varese on any given weekend of the year. For a man from Varese, a walk to Campo dei Fiori, at about 1200 metres above sea level, is a bit like saying: let’s go to the mountains, but here, just a stone’s throw from home. It is very fortunate to have this park so close and so convenient to reach and visit throughout the year. In winter you can admire a clear panorama, with majestic sunsets and clearly visible mountains, such as Monte Rosa or Monviso. In the distance, on a clear day, you can see the skyscrapers of Milan. Not to mention the lakes, from Lake Varese to Lake Maggiore. In summer it is a refuge from high temperatures, a breath of fresh air.
There are many paths in the park. They are CAI (Italian Alpine Club) paths and are all more or less easy, for those used to walking. One of the most popular is the one leading to Forte di Orino, from the Campo dei Fiori observatory. It was along this path that we took the sunset photos. It is a gentle walk, about 8 km in total, round trip. When you get to the Fort, you can enjoy a view of Varese, the lakes and the mountains, which will make you say: it was worth it this time too!
There are 130 caves in the park, with around 30km of tunnels. The slopes are generally dominated by deciduous forests, with chestnut, lime and maple trees prevailing up to 600 metres above sea level. Higher up we find beech and Scots pine. There are also many animals, including: bats, whose spread is being slowed down, wild boar, deer and roe deer, badgers, squirrels and hares.
If you are from Varese, you will already be perfectly familiar with this place, but we recommend that you go and discover paths you have never taken, and always look for new ones. For those who don’t know it, instead, we suggest to reach the Irma boarding house by car, park and take one of the CAI paths (white and red signs), maybe the one leading to the Fort of Orino, because reading this article you feel like enjoying a wonderful sunset.