Varese and Canada: an Olympic bridge to Milan Cortina 2026

Varese e Canada - Canadian Chamber in Italy


Air connections and economic opportunities, these were the focuses discussed during the event held at the Varese Chamber of Commerce.

The now consolidated air link between Malpensa and Montreal, operating all year round with five weekly flights, is a strong symbol of the growing collaboration between Varese and Canada. This alliance, focused on the upcoming 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympics, promises to be a turning point for both regions, especially in the sporting and economic spheres.

Canada, known for its excellence in ice sports, is set to be a key player in the next Winter Olympics. Varese, seizing this opportunity, is working to strengthen ties with the North American country, aiming to create strategic synergies and mutual benefits. The importance of this collaboration was highlighted at a recent business meeting at the ‘Ville Ponti’ Congress Centre, where several significant representatives spoke.

Mauro Vitiello, President of the Varese Chamber of Commerce, emphasised the importance of exploiting emerging opportunities for the local economic system, particularly in relation to Canada.

Varese and the future of relations with Canada

This meeting also presented a programme of initiatives for 2024, aimed at enhancing the Varese region in view of the Olympics. This programme is part of a protocol signed with the Municipality and the Province of Varese, a significant step towards promoting and enhancing the region internationally.

During the meeting, various topics were discussed, including recent free trade agreements, presented by Simone Grassi of the Canadian Embassy in Italy, and business opportunities with Canada, addressed by Ruggiera Sarcina of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada. These topics ranged from the aerospace industry to tourism, highlighting the wide range of sectors involved in the collaboration.

Karim Rachi, senior director network planning at Air Canada, emphasised the opportunities provided by the air link between Malpensa and Montreal. Matteo Cesarini, in his role as project manager, discussed the Varese project for the Milan Cortina 2026 Olympics, with the participation of Paolo Tesini, president of the Lombardy Regional Committee of the Italian Ice Sports Federation.

In addition to the meeting, Varese took an active part in the Montreal Business Forum, promoting the destination Varese and its economy. A special focus was placed on the tourism sector and on manufacturing excellence, such as the Lombardy Aerospace Cluster. Varese’s presence at the forum provided a unique opportunity to explore and develop new collaborations and tourism packages.

The scouting activity conducted was aimed at identifying relevant local stakeholders interested in further developing the Varese destination. This process is crucial for creating innovative and attractive tourist itineraries in line with the needs and expectations of international visitors.

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