Historical and architectural context 

In the heart of Gavirate, Lombardy, the Cloister of Voltorre is a historic monument owned by the Province of Varese since the seventies. This text will explore its history, architectural context, the significant role it has played over the centuries, and how to visit this unique place.

Medieval Roots and Benedictine Links

The Cloister, dating back to the Middle Ages, was part of a monastic complex founded following the Benedictine reform of Guglielmo da Volpiano, known founder of the Abbey of Fruttuaria in the 12th century. The original church, dedicated to Saint Michael, dates back to the 5th or 6th century, with a subsequent Romanesque construction at the end of the 11th century. A massive bell tower rose around the 12th century, adding to the architectural panorama of the place.

The Cloister and the Opera of Lanfranco da Ligurno

The heart of the complex is represented by the cloister, mentioned for the first time in 1202. Lanfranco da Ligurno, a local sculptor, was the mastermind behind this architectural masterpiece, as evidenced by his signature on a capital on the eastern side of the cloister. The variety of shapes and decorations of the capitals reflects styles ranging from late Lombard Romanesque to the influences of the Comacini Masters.

From Decline to Recovery

In 1798, during the expropriation of monastic property, the French government took away the ecclesiastical benefit, selling the cloister and much of the surrounding buildings. In the nineteenth century, cultural figures such as Luca Beltrami and Luigi Conconi were interested in the recovery of Voltorre. The restoration efforts began in the early twentieth century and resumed after the war, culminating in the complete restoration of the cloister that, in 1954, the Province of Varese purchased and completed in 1978 with the remaining portion.

How to get to the Cloister of Voltorre

The Cloister of Voltorre is easily accessible by car or by public transport. For those arriving by car, you can take advantage of the nearby parking. For visitors who prefer public transport, several bus lines provide regular connections from Gavirate and the surrounding resorts.

The Cloister Today: Cultural and Exhibition Centre

Today, the Cloister of Voltorre has been restored. In addition to preserving its history, it serves as a venue for cultural and exhibition activities, emphasizing the key role that this monument has played in the history of Gavirate and Lombardy. The Province of Varese continues to preserve this cultural treasure for future generations.



Appartamento a Besozzo

Appartamento a Monvalle