La Rocca Borromeo (the Castle Borromeo) in Angera is one of the best preserved castles in Lombardy. Since Roman times Angera was an important lake port and trategic road station. The fortified gateway of the castle is probably a watchtower of Roman origin. The castle, as it is today, was built in the 14th century and largely rebuilt under the Viscontis. Since 1449 it has been property of the famous Milanese family Borromeo, who made it to be their residence.
The castle is famous for its Ceremony room which has frescoes taken from the Borromeo home in Milan. It is also famous for La Sala di Giustizia (The Hall of Justice) which preserving a marvellous frescoes from the 13th century, representing Ottore Visconti and his military exploits.
In 1988 La Rocca Borromeo became home to the "Il Museo della Bambola e del Giocattolo", The Doll Museum.
Sacro Monte is an imposing group of religuois buildings dedicated to the memory of the saint Carlo Borromeo. The plans were made to build a church and fifteenth chapels with statues and paintings, inspired by Sacri Monti of Varallo Sesia and Orta. Sacro Monte of Arona is known, however, as the Unfinished for lack of money. Instead of the fifteen estimated chapels, there are only three of them.
The Church of San Carlo still stands on the hill, containing some nice works of art. "Camera dei tre laghi" (room of the three lakes) is of particular interest. It is faithful reproduction of the room in the fortress where the Saint was born.
Since 1439 the town of Arona was feud of the Borromeo Family, who built many civil and military buildings.
Carlo Borromeo (1538-1584) was born in Arona and became Archibishop of Milano and a great reformer of Catholicism famous all over Europe.
The huge statue of Carlo Borromeo, one of the highest in the world, was ordered by Cardinal Federico Borromeo, Archbishop in Milano. The work of enormous statue, designed by Cerano, started in 1614 and finished in 1697. The entire statue is 35 m high (the statue itself 23,4 m).