Funicular railways and trams
In the period of the Belle Époque Varese was considered a “city by rail”; the tracks of the tramlines which run across the centre could reach also villages as Luino and Angera.
In 1895 was opened the tramline which, starting from Stazione Nord, could easily reach the First Chapel, Piazza XX Settembre, Piazza Montegrappa (the old Piazza Porcari), Corso Matteotti, Piazza Beccaria, Sant’Ambrogio, Robarello, Fogliaro and Velate.
What remains today of the old tramlines are only the middle stations, built by the architect Sommaruga.
The funicular railways which climbed up to Santa Maria del Monte and to the Grand Hotel Campo dei Fiori was built by the Società Varesina Imprese Elettriche and was opened respectively in 1909 and 1911.
The line which climbed up to Sacro Monte was equipped with two carriages characterized by a strange sloping structure of wood and glass. Every carriage, realized by the Ceretti and Tanfani shops in Milan, was about 8 metres long.
The closure of Grand Hotel Campo dei Fiori (1965) caused the immediate end of the funicular railway service.
Today the reopening of the funicular railway First Chapel/Santa Maria del Monte is a concrete and fantastic reality; Azienda Trasporti Varesina has already opened up the link.