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Arona is a town near on Lake Maggiore, near its southern end, in the Piedmont region of Italy.


Get in[edit]

Map of Arona

Arona is 25 km north of Milan's Malpensa International Airport, closer than Milan itself. It is also connected to the railway network, being one of the main stops in the important link between Milan and Switzerland that passes Domodossola (another parallel link travels through Como). Arona is also the last station for two minor rail lines, connecting Arona to Novara and Santhià; the latter uses single-car diesel trains.

Arona is near a confluence of motorways, and from there one can head for Milan, Genoa, and Gravellona Toce (where the motorway becomes a simple highway to Domodossola and continues into Switzerland). Whereas there is a motorway exit named after Arona, the exit at Castelletto Ticino is usually more convenient for the traveller coming from the direction of Milan.

Arona is the southernmost port on Lake Maggiore, and transportation by boat or hydrofoil is available to both sides of the lake up to the Swiss city of Locarno.

Get around[edit]

Due to the town's size there is no public transport, but some bus companies connect the town to its frazioni of Dagnente, Campagna, Mercurago and Montrigiasco, and to neighbouring municipalities.


  • 1 Sancarlone. This giant statue of Saint Charles Borromeo was commissioned by Cardinal Federico Borromeo, and construction began in 1614, completed in 1698. At 35.10 m it was the largest bronze standing statue in the world, second only to the Statue of Liberty. It is said that the architects behind the Statue of Liberty consulted the blueprints of the Sancarlone when laying out their own. The statue was intended as part of a complex of buildings and chapels celebrating the life of St. Charles, of which only three chapels were completed. Next to the statue are the 17th Century basilica and the former Archbishop's Palace. A smaller version of the statue, the Sancarlino, can be seen in Corso Cavour in the town.
  • 2 La Rocca. A park owned by the Borromeo family. The park used to contain the castle of Arona, destroyed by the Napoleonic armies, and was the birthplace of St. Charles Borromeo himself. The park is freely open to the public and is a favourite of many locals; many animals are kept in semi-captivity in various areas of the park.
  • Lungolago (Lakeside). It offers a fine view of the castle of Angera and the Alps. Swimming in Lake Maggiore is now possible, after years of pollution. A beach has been refurbished by this group close to Piazza del Popolo in the town center, called Le rocchette ("The little rocks").
  • Collegiata della Natività di Maria Vergine. This 1482 church has paintings of the life of San Carlo Borromeo by Cesare Nebbia.





Go next[edit]

  • Stresa – take a ferry or drive north to this town and the Borromean Islands

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