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The village of Castelseprio is divided into Vico Seprio, the capital, and Castel Seprio, the place where the ruins of the town destroyed in the thirteenth century are located, now protected by an archaeological area declared in 2011 a World Heritage Site by Unesco which part of the Longobardi serial site in Italy: the places of power.
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A look at Castelseprio
A look at Castelseprio

About the village

The village of Castelseprio (Sìbrion or Sever in dialect varesotto) subdivides into Vico Seprio Visévar (in dialect varesotto), the capital, and Castel Seprio, where you will find the ruins of the town was destroyed in the XIII century, from 2011 Unesco World Natural Heritage Site.

Castelseprio arose at the beginning of the IV sec. d.C., following the invasion of the Barbarian populations (in the III century they had begun to cross heavily boundaries European center of the Roman Empire so that, in 269, the Alamanni had come up to Milan) as military place located along the via Como-Novaria to defense of the borders (Iimes) on this side of the Alps. Date back to this period the three towers still visible at the level of the foundations on the plateau of the castrum.

During the reign of the Ostrogothic Theodoric were constructed the defensive walls, that they threw all the high plain and allungarono toward the bottom of the valley, constituting the bulwark said today peat, and also the house-tower, the basilica of S. John the Evangelist and the Baptistery of St. John the Baptist.

At the time of the Lombards (VI-VIII sec. d.C.), the castrum became the center of a vast territory. Date back to this period some enlargements of the church of S. John and many houses in the castrum. The fall of the Longobard kingdom, at the end of the VIII century, passed under the domination of the Franks of Carlo Magno becoming the center of the County of Seprio, chartered precisely in Carolingian age.

The history of the ancient settlement, then, I know plays from the world of the late-ancient to Fina of the Communal Age (XIII century) passing through the domination of the Goths and the wars goto-Byzantine, the longobard dominion (VI-VIII century) and the Carolingian Age (late VIII century).

The fortification was destroyed after years of attempts in the night of 28 March 1287, a few days after the Fiera dell'Annunziata, at the conclusion of the fight for the conquest of the Lordship of Milan between the families of the tower (Defeat) and the Visconti family (winner): were razed to the ground the buildings military and civilians. The Archbishop Ottone Visconti decreed that ever more you ricostruisse and inhabited in ancient stronghold.
The prohibition, which in the form of the oath was pronounced by the captain and then by the vicar of the Seprio until 1786, when it was abolished by the Austrian Emperor Joseph II, was widely respected.

From destruction were spared only churches with their buildings of service (canonicali houses, etc.) whose remains are visible within the current archaeological area. Since then the place was no longer inhabited if not by religious. It was also abandoned by the latter at the end of '500.

For five centuries the vegetation he overlaid the remains of the castrum. Frescoes in the church of Santa Maria Foris Portas, the ruins of the Basilica of San Giovanni and those of Saint Paul. The same archaeological unicum is part the Monastery of Torba.

Village of Castelseprio
Municipality of Castelseprio

Province of Varese
Lombardy Region

Population: 1.300 
Altitude centre: 310 m s.l.m.

Unesco Site: I Longobardi in Italia, i luoghi del potere (568-774 d.C.) 
Castrum of Castelseprio-Torba

the Municipality is part of:
Unesco Wolrd Heritage Sites

Municipality of Castelseprio
Via S. Giuseppe 14 - Castelseprio (VA)
Tel. +39 0331 820501


  • Traveling on the highway, the closest exits to the center of Castelseprio are:
    - Solbiate Arno exit (A8 Milan-Varese)
    - Cavaria exit (A8 Milan-Varese)
    - Solbiate Olona exit (A36 Cassano Magnago-Lentate sul Seveso)
    - Exit Mozzate (A36 Cassano Magnago-Lentate sul Seveso)


  • Albizzate Solbiate Arno station
  • Cavaria Oggiona Jerago station


  • Milan-Malpensa airport
  • Milan Linate Airport
  • Bergamo Orio al Serio airport

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B&B Stella del Borgo
Via Tenente Mario Nicora, 8 - 21043, Castiglione Olona (Varese)
3.65 Kilometers from Castelseprio
Sailing Center - Sailing School
Via dei Pescatori, 6 - 21014, Laveno-Mombello (Varese)
28.22 Kilometers from Castelseprio


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From the blog

Castelseprio, in the province of Varese, in the most verdant Lombardy, the italian land of Milano, was built in the early fourth century AD as a military camp, defined in Latin castrum in order to defend the boundaries on the Prealps. During Theodoric's Kingdom of Ostrogoths, the defensive walls of the bulwark of Torba, the tower house, Saint Giovanni Evangelista's Basilique, and the Saint Giovanni Baptistery were built. In the Longobard peri...
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