1861-1866. Varese, a small town in the Kingdom of Italy The essay is about the situation of Varese, a town in the Kingdom of Italy, from the economical, social and political-institutional point of view, after the first unitary fiveyear period (1861-1866). A lively entrepreneurial small town, rich in economical, tourist and financial initiatives, which were a prelude to the ensuing end-of-thecentury industrialization, Varese knew its first modernization (railway, road system, barracks) in the course of the renewal of the middle-class town. This was possible thanks to the profitable meeting between public and private intervention, to a sort of "moderate decentralization", which left some freedom of action to the liberalmoderate ruling class, and to the agreement between moderate forces and democratic forces which merged into it. Parole chiave Varese, società, economia, modernizzazione.
Keywords: Varese, economy, society, modernization.