Arona, Statue and Castle of Carlo Borromeo - Lago (Lake) Maggiore -

2010 Sep 12
We were greeted with sunshine on the day and drove towards Lago Maggiore. Years ago we took boat cruising along the lake and stopped by many beautiful touristic towns.  This time, opt for different towns and new sights.  The first stop was Arona.  From its sea side, we could have a first impression of the Arona Castle, where Carol Borromeo, a saint and cardinal of  the Catholic Church in 16th century.
All shops, except ice cream shops, were closed. But the town was not empty. Tons of families were enjoying the day along the coast. There was also a mini food fair where people were selling hot fresh hamburger. Smell good!

Shops' windows were nicely decorated. Antique, bags of Audrey Hepburn were on sold. A nice atmosphere. There are restaurants around the square at the end of the old town. People were sitting under the sun, enjoying mouth-watering food, fabulous weather and wonderful moments with friends and relatives. Arona gave me a very good impression. But we needed to move on to see other highlights of the day.

We drove to the hill on the opposite shore to visit an immense statue of Carlo Borromea. It was built with bronze in 1697, much earlier than the Statue of Liberty.  At time it was the highest, 36 metres.   One can climb a series of steep and scary stairs to reach the windows at the eyes and ears.  Hey, a superb panoramic view awaiting! 

Then we drove back to the other side of the lake to visit the castle where Borromeo was borne.  It is Romanesque style, with impressive stone construct, mighty and powerful.  A hall inside can still be appreciated with amazing fresco.  The colours are a bit washed out but one can imagine how vivid and beautiful in centuries ago.  Rise up to the roof, you will be rewarded with excellent views of the surroundings.  Gorgeous!  The castle houses a doll museum.  Collections of different periods and countries are exhibited, a good lesson of history.

Last but not the least, you may also witness love stories in the castle.