An important industrial area of Lower Varese area, Saronno is already mentioned in a deed of 796 with the appellation of "Solomno. It was part of in the Contado of Seprio and was fortified by Matteo Visconti. From 1525 to 1805 it was a feud assigned to the Biglia Family. In the XIV century Saronno already played a prominent role in agriculture and commerce, receiving the privilege of holding a market 3 times a week. It became a fervent place of spreading of the religious faith in the Lombard area, with already 28 local fraternities in 1458. With the development of the rail network in the beginning of the XX century it became an important textile, mechanical and food industrial center.
Its favorable location near the main roads, and especially to the Malpensa airport of Milan, allowed to Saronno a smooth transition towards a post-industrial economy based heavily on the service sector.
Famous typical products are the amaretti biscuits and the famous liqueur Disaronno, one of the best selling Italian liqueurs in the World.
Not to miss:
- the Shrine of Our Lady of Miracles, whose construction began in 1498, in the place, where many faithful reported of the miraculous healings attributed to the Madonna; inside it preserves masterpieces of the famous artists: Bernardino Luini, Gaudenzio Ferrari, Cesare Magno, Bernardino Lanino, Giulio Cesare and Camillo Procaccini, Stefano Maria Legnani and other distinguished painters.
- the Church of San Francesco, rebuilt in 1290 and whose foundation goes back to the times of the visit of St. Anthony of Padua, during his trip to Varese. It features a XVII century façade, built in bricks of terra cotta and flanked by a Bell tower. In the twelve chapels, apse and sacristy are kept extremely valuable paintings, for which it has been declared a National Monument.
- the small Church of Sant'Antonio Abate, built back in 1385;
- the Provostal Church of Saints Peter and Paul, built in 1783. The church preserves a painting of Gaudenzio Ferrari and two paintings by Legnanino. Significant frescoes on the vault of the nave which represent the triumph of the Gospel, the Triumph of the Cross, the Triumph of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Triumph of the Ascension of Jesus. At the centre are frescoed episodes of the lives of Saints Peter and Paul. Most of the decorations were made on the designs of the artists Marinetti and Tettamanzi;
- the Church of St. James, completed in 1612 by the will of Ambrogio Legnani, a patrician of Saronno;
- the XVI century Palazzo Visconti, embellished with columns of granite of Baveno and frescoes by Giovanni Antonio Cucchi;
- Villa Gianetti, in Lombard Renaissance style, sold by the Gianetti Family to the town of Saronno, in 1923 it became seat of the Town Hall;
- Villa Koelliker, a wonderful residence that takes its name from the XVII century Swiss family, that owned the land and today it is a hospice for the elderly.