Arona was originally built between the precipitous rock massifs of the Vergante mountain range foothills and today it has every right to be named the “Gate to Lake Maggiore“.
Its lakeside promenade is shaped by medieval and baroque architecture. Among the jewls of the town centre are the churches of the Santi Martiri and Santa Maria di Loreto. And there’s always something going on Corso Cavour, the pedestrian precinct and main shopping street in the historic centre. You can also find villas with beautiful gardens, such as the Villa Ponti, noted for its art exhibitions, Villa Cantoni – one of the most elegant and resplendent villas of Verbano – and the Villa Zuccoli with a terraced park, always a great attraction for a multitude of visitors. The medieval trading centre of the Piazza del Popolo is particularly impressive; it is situated directly on the lakeside promenade and opens up to the lake.
At 20,68 feet it is one of the largest statues in the world and thus an outstanding religious monument in the region around Lago Maggiore. It’s possible to climb all the way up to the top of the statue and to admire the fantastic view onto the surrounding landscape and the lake.
The Rocca di Angera proudly stands on a spur of rock that dominates the southern shores of Lago Maggiore. Located in a strategic position to monitor the trade routes, it was house of the Visconti family from Verbano. During 1449 the Borromeo family acquired it. Inside the Rocca a delightful itinerary will make you discover the great historical halls, recently enriched with the addition of the Sala delle Maioliche, an extraordinary collection counting 300 pieces. The Museum of Dolls and Toys, the greatest in Europe, will amaze you with the incredible collection of dolls and toys from a long-time-gone era. The history of dolls and playtime explains itself through the evolution of crafting materials, behavioral and educational boundaries, court connections and coeval fashion. To create a perfect frame for the Museum, the exquisite Medieval Garden full of symbolic meaning, realized after accurate studies on ancient codices, old documents and pictures.