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Azzate, the name of which probably derives from "Attiat" and from "Attius", has for many centuries been the property of the Bossi, a powerful family which, in 1717, even gave its name to the Val Bodia, which became the Val Bossa. The ancient parish church of Santa Maria is mentioned in some documents dated 1224, but the present day building, in Neo-Gothic style, dates back to the 19th century (the facade is from 1851). Inside, it preserves some works in marble and engraved wood as well as, in particular, an oil painting by Callisto Piazza which portrays the Virgin enthroned with Child beside Saint Catherine, Saint Jerome and an alms giver.
Azzate, however, is mainly well known for the abundance of eighteenth century villas and residences which are present in its territory, being popular, perhaps for its favourable geographical location and perhaps for its fame of being a cultural and artistic centre. These villas are principally situated to the north of the town, along the edge facing towards the Lake of Varese. At Azzate, there is no shortage of agricultural and woodland areas which are excellent for a relaxing stroll. On the opposite side of the town, there is the village of Vegonno, with its ancient little church of Saint George, the ancient part of the village, the farmhouses and the cycling track through the woodlands.
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