Varese (värāˈzā) [key], city (1991 pop. 85,687), capital of Varese prov., Lombardy, N Italy, near the Swiss border. Situated in the Alpine foothills, near several Italian lakes, it is a popular tourist center. Manufactures include silk, machinery, plastics, and leather goods. The Este palace in Varese (1768–80) has lovely gardens. On a nearby hill is a church originally founded (late 4th cent.) by St. Ambrose.