We began our journey simply looking for a place to live in harmony and at peace with nature.
We soon fell in love with this beautiful corner of Varese and this ancient home dating back to the 18th century.
This gave us the inspiration to restore the building, creating a small bed and breakfast to share this wonderful place with the world, welcoming it into our home.
We tried to keep the simple and original charm of the era, with a contemporary character, based on a concept of hospitality which we have appreciated during all our travels.
The result is a warm and welcoming informal atmosphere, the spirit is of sharing, simplicity and respect; it is our home-refuge but it is open to the world, to the cultures and histories that you will bring us.
Welcome to “Al Nifontano”!
Nifontano has its origins in the distant past and it gets its curious name from the nine water fountains which once fed the local mill, giving rise to this historical area of Varese.
In the beginning the village was composed of small isolated farmhouses and in the XII century it was the main center of assistance to the poor and many travelling pilgrims.
In 1173 it became the first town hospital of Varese, purposely named "The Nifontano" and run by lay people.
Gradually the Nifontano was used as a kind of hospice and, finally during the plague in 1636, it was used as a leper hospital.
It was located at the entrance to the city, along the Via Franchigena, with plenty of water for fish farming which was used widely to support the troops of the Knights Templar with food along their journey during the Crusades. There have been reports claiming that the Nifontano was a Templar stronghold.
Today these mysterious legends, as well as the nine water fountains, remain dormant and have given way to Viale Europa and its commercial buildings.
Nevertheless, one pure water fountain is still available on our grounds and our bed and breakfast offers a magnficent view of Mt Rosa, a relaxing corner away from it all.
In the yard next door the old 22-meter deep well is still visible. It was used by the community as the oven for baking bread and, in the next valley, the mill "Molin di Ratt" ground the grain for the local community.
Our Bed and Breakfast is therefore a tribute to its locations, history and tradition, and is named after the hospital which centuries back offered rest and care to weary travellers.
I’m the operative brain of Nifontano!
After many years travelling around the world as a flight attendant, I felt a strong desire to stop and to find a place to set down some kind of roots.
I chose, together with my husband, this amazing corner of Varese which fascinated me more than any other, and I have well enclosed inside these walls many aspects of my life: my love for travelling and photography, my passion for flying and aviation and an interest for the recovery and restoration of old furniture.
I will be happy to assist you for enjoyable nature hikes, tailored tours between Piedmont and Lombardy, local food and wine tastings, or personal shopping services. I am a certified Tour Leader.
I’m the tireless brawn of Nifontano!
I love and respect animals and nature. I like the outdoors and the simplicity of small things. In recent years I have been approaching more and more a green lifestyle. Here at Nifontano I started planting fruit trees and growing vegetables organically, using non-intensive soil, based on the production of healthier foods that are pesticide-free and rich in nutrients. A healthy hobby that helps me live better being surrounded by nature.