Isole Borromee Isole Borromee
Entrances
  • Rocca di Angera
  • If the tourist wants to continue along the road,
    he will be able to enjoy a beautiful view of the castle

     
    Samuel Butler
  • ROCCA DI ANGERA
  • The Historic Rooms
  • The wonderful colours of 14th-century frescos
  • ROCCA DI ANGERA
  • The Museum of Dolls and Toys
  • Special lighting and sound create a visiting experience
    suspended in a magical reality
  • ROCCA DI ANGERA
  • The medieval garden
  • A garden suspended in time

History

History

Rocca di Angera

In a strategic position to control traffic through the area, the historiographical tradition associates the events of Angera with the Visconti family and its consolidation after the victory in the Battle of Desio in 1277, celebrated in the frescos of the Sala di Giustizia.

Rocca di Angera

With the Visconti, the Rocca was at the centre of important reconstruction and enlargement works that were to be protracted for more than a century.

In the period of the Ambrosian Republic, the Council of Nine Hundred of the city of Milan ratified the acquisition of Angera, of the fortress and its parish from Vitaliano I Borromeo for the sum of 12,800 imperial lire on 18th January 1449.

The Rocca di Angera thus became the dwelling and the symbol of the political structure of the family, to which it still belongs today.
In 1623, when Cardinal Federico Borromeo was honoured by Phillip IV of Spain with the title of Marquisate of Angera, the fortress was in a state of considerable abandonment. The expert that the cardinal had sent to the site suggested proceeding with the essential repairs, but a short time later, at the initiative first of Giulio Cesare III (1593-1672) and then of Antonio Renato Borromeo (1632-1686), the Rocca was extensively restored. In the second half of the 17th century, leading Milanese painters were used to carry out the decoration (among others, the Santagostino brothers, Antonio Busca and Filippo Abbiati). In a climate of stubborn opposition to the Spanish Governorship, the Borromeos, with the creation of the cycle of canvases devoted to the Fasti Borromeo [Splendours of the Borromeo Family] and the portraits of historical personalities of the dynasty (1673-1685), made the Rocca one of the symbolic monuments of the family’s history, intended to illustrate the antiquity and power of the family.

In recent years the Rocca di Angera has been the object of meticulous restoration work at the wishes of Princess Bona Borromeo, who has wanted to return the Castle to its former splendour and give visitors access to its sophisticated collections, creating the largest Museum of Dolls and Toys in Europe.

The latest restoration campaign of the Ala Scaligera took place in 2017, and it here that contemporary art projects take shape today.

What to see

The Historic Rooms

What to see

The Historic Rooms

The wonderful colours of 14th-century frescos

The spectacular Rocca di Angera is the perfectly harmonious accumulation of five different constructions, built starting from the 11th century and until the 17th: the Torre Castellana, the Ala Scaligera, the Ala Viscontea, the Torre di Giovanni Visconti and the Ala dei Borromeo.

It is impossible not to be astounded by the dimensions and grandeur of this building and by the solemnity of the Sala del Buon Romano, the Sala delle Mitologia, the Sala delle Ceremonie, the Sala di San Carlo and the Sala dei Fasti Borromeo, where large canvases, portraits and furnishings take you back to ancient times.

Sala della Giustizia
Rocca di Angera, Sala della Giustizia
Rocca-Angera-Sale-Storiche
Sala dei Fasti

The Sala della Giustizia [Justice Room] is worth the visit alone; it was entirely frescoed soon after the Battle of Desio in 1277 by an anonymous master, who takes his conventional name, the “Master of Angera”, from this endeavour. The cycle of paintings is structured into three overlapping registers and the main historical narration of the exploits of Ottone Visconti against Napoleone della Torre is developed in the main one.

In the Sala delle Ceremonie [Ceremonies Room] it is possible to admire a series of fragments of frescos from the first half of the 15th century coming from Palazzo Borromeo in Milan, which were brought to the Rocca di Angera in 1946 after bombing destroyed the palazzo in the city. Created by the school of Michelino da Besozzo, they are one of the most important examples of Lombard Late Gothic painting with non-religious subjects.

What to see

The Museum of Dolls and Toys

What to see

The Museum of Dolls and Toys

Special lighting and sound create a visiting experience suspended in a magical reality

Founded in 1988 by Princess Bona Borromeo Arese, it is distinguished for the quality, variety and rarity of the collection, making it the largest in Europe in the sector.

Museo della Bambola e del Giocattolo

The Museum is structured along 12 rooms located in the Ala Viscontea and Borromea, alongside two single-themed sections: one devoted to dolls coming from non-European cultures and the other to the automatons of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Over one thousand dolls made between the 18th century and today, clothed and accompanied by precious outfits. On display there are also toys and models of furniture items coming from the collection of Roberta della Seta Sommi Picenardi: masterpieces by skilled craftsmen, who executed these prototypes with the same expertise that they used for the actual furniture items.

The automaton section, inaugurated in 2002, brings together specimens created above all between 1880 and 1920, produced mostly in France and Germany: true animated wonders, the movement of which was accompanied by musical airs, often taken from well known operas.

Museo della Bambola e del Giocattolo
Museo della Bambola e del Giocattolo

What to see

Ala Scaligera

What to see

Ala Scaligera

“Passion for the beautiful and for cultural innovation is a commitment to future generations.”
Vitaliano Borromeo

It is the oldest construction of the Rocca and dates back to the first half of the 13th century, lodged between the walls and the remains of the oldest tower along the northern side of the Castle.
The Ala Scaligera takes its name from the heraldic motifs on the large walls, created at the wishes of its then owner Bernabò Visconti in honour of his consort Regina della Scala. The decorative plan is repeated in the same way in all the rooms.

After a lower band of around 60 cm, faux boiserie painted, there emerge black and white rhombuses alternating between floral motifs with the Biscione [serpent] of the Visconti family and the Scala [ladder], symbol of the family of the same name. The decorative apparatus is concluded in the upper edge, with illusionistic decorated beams that probably matched the ancient wooden ceiling.

Ala Scaligera

Between 2015 and 2017 the entire wing underwent a meticulous conservative restoration. Today it is a space devoted to exhibitions of contemporary art: projects of artistic creativity that take shape inside six rooms, in a stimulating dialogue between past and present.

2018 – 1st edition, “Continuum”, in collaboration with Galleria Massimo Minini, curated by Antonio Grulli.
2019 – 2nd edition, “Quaestio de aqua et terra. (Another) Question of the water and the land”, in collaboration with Galleria Lia Rumma, curated by Andrea Viliani.
2020 – 3rd edition Fantastic Utopias, in collaboration with Galleria Continua, curated by Ilaria Bonacossa.

What to see

The Medieval Garden

What to see

The Medieval Garden

A garden suspended in an atmosphere of peace

Created in 2008 after a carefully prepared study based on miniated codices and period documents, the garden harkens back to what could have been the original green space of the Rocca.
A timeless place, where beauty means simplicity and spontaneity, and where flowers and medicinal herbs follow the life cycles of nature and the seasons.

Giardino Medievale
Giardino Medievale

The medieval garden is organised into various zones.
A grove of hazels, cypresses and holm oaks runs alongside a small brook, which it accompanies to the pond, where irises bloom with goldfish swimming around them. The area comes alive in the Garden of small herbs, which gathers together medicinal herbs, tinctorial plants and useful grasses and flowers in twelve beds, grouped on the basis of their function. In all it has around 100 species.

The rose garden is the heart of the Giardino dei Principi [Garden of Princes] and its shady pergolas constructed around a fountain. Listening to the sound of the water admiring the lake is an experience of relaxation and disconnection from a frenetic world. Perennial plants and flowers colour the garden throughout the year, also in the part of the Verziere where vegetables and aromatic herbs cultivated in raised beds are surrounded by azeruoli [Crataegus azarolus], quince, apple and pomegranate trees.

Giardino  medievale

Useful Info

Useful Info

Season 2022

The opening of the 2022 season is scheduled from 18 March to 1 November 2022.

Rocca di Angera is open:

From 18 March to 14 April: Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 17.30 (last admission), museum closes at 18;
From 15 April to 25 September: every day from 10 to 17.30 (last admission), museum closes at 18;
From 26 September to 29 October: every day from 10 to 17 (last admission), museum closes at 17.30;
From 30 October to 1 November: every day from 10 to 16.30 (last admission), museum closes at 17.

We therefore recommend that you consult the homepage or contact the call centre + 39 0323.933478 to receive up-to-date information.

Tickets

Adults Single Youngs Single Adults Group Youngs Group Baby
Rocca di Angera € 13 € 8,5 € 11 € 7 -
Rocca di Angera + Isola Bella + Isola Madre € 33 € 15 € 24 € 12 -
Download the pdf table with all prices
Adults Single
Youngs Single
Adults Group
Youngs Group
Baby
Rocca di Angera
€ 13
€ 8,5
€ 11
€ 7
-
Rocca di Angera + Isola Bella + Isola Madre
€ 33
€ 15
€ 24
€ 12
-

How to get there

By car
Autostrada dei Laghi motorway in the direction of Gravellona Toce, Sesto Calende exit, continuing along A-road SS 629 in the direction of Angera, where access to the Rocca is facilitated by the road signs for tourists.
A free car park is available opposite the entrance to the Rocca.

By train
Ferrovie dello Stato railway, Milan-Sempione line, Arona stop. The boat for Angera leaves from here. The Rocca can be reached on foot along a panoramic route uphill that takes around 15 minutes.
For further information: Navigazione Lago Maggiore – scheduled passenger service. Also available is a non-scheduled passenger service by motorboat.

By plane
Distance from the principal airports: Turin Caselle 135 km – Milan Malpensa 25 km – Milan Linate 85 km – Bergamo Orio Al Serio 110 km.

Vademecum Covid

Vademecum Covid

MUSEUMS
From 1 April 2022, for access to museums and other places of culture, it is no longer necessary to be in possession of the enhanced or the basic green pass. The obligation to use face masks, including surgical ones, remains.

RESTAURANTS, BARS, CAFETERIAS
The green pass will no longer be required to eat and drink sitting at the outdoor tables of a bar or restaurant. If, on the other hand, you would like to have a coffee, lunch or dinner indoors, the green certificate remains obligatory until 30 April. The basic one that is also obtained with a negative lateral flow test will be sufficient.

SHOPS
Possession of the enhanced green pass is not required to enter shops, nor is the basic one. The obligation to use face masks, including surgical ones, remains.

ACCOMODATION
From April 1 2022, any obligation to have a Green Pass lapses.

PARTIES, EVENTS
For any type of party organised in an indoor location, guests must possess the enhanced green pass.

From 1 May all the main restrictions cease
Facemasks will no longer have to be worn indoors and the Green Pass will lapse, in both the basic and the enhanced form.

The offer of Terre Borromeo

Tour operator & agencies

All useful information for operators: location rental, exclusive experiences, download useful materials and documents.

Events & Weddings

Its multi-faceted spirit and aristocrat allure make this fortress the perfect setting for a special day.

Education

The educational proposal for kindergartens, primary and secondary schools extended to all locations in the Terre Borromeo.

Terre Borromeo

A story of love, protection and respect that has lasted for six centuries.

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Helpful Tips

Hours

  • Isola Bella

  • Isola Madre

  • ROCCA DI ANGERA

  • PARCO PALLAVICINO

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How to get

  • Terre Borromeo is easily accessible! They are only an hour and a half from Milan and easily reachable from the main airports. Find out how to reach them by car, train and how to book the ferry that will take you to the islands.
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🖼 #Berthier130
Vi auguriamo una buona festa dell’Immacolata con questo quadro di Antonio Cavallucci, appartenuto al cardinale Vitaliano Borromeo.
🌙🐍
La Vergine in piedi su una mezza luna, simbolo della sua purezza, ascende al cielo in una cornice di angeli e putti in volo mentre con il piede schiaccia il demonio in forma di serpente.
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Antonio Cavallucci
Immacolata concezione
1790 circa
Galleria Berthier, Palazzo Borromeo
Isola Bella
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🖼 #Berthier130
We wish you a happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception with this painting by Antonio Cavallucci, which belonged to Cardinal Vitaliano Borromeo.
🌙🐍
The Virgin standing on a half moon, a symbol of her purity, ascends to heaven in a cloud of flying angels and cherubs as she crushes a demon in the form of a snake beneath her feet.
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Antonio Cavallucci
Immaculate Conception
Circa 1790
Berthier Gallery, Borromeo Palace
Isola Bella

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #isolabella #palazzoborromeo #BorromeoExperience
“Di notte, anche il paesaggio riposa.”
(Fausto Gianfranceschi)
☀️🌙
E al mattino è ancora più bello! Goditi l’alba sull’Isola Madre, vai nelle stories e salva lo screen per il tuo telefono!
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“At night, even the landscape rests.”
(Fausto Gianfranceschi)
☀️🌙
And in the morning it's even more beautiful! Enjoy the sunrise on Isola Madre, check the stories and save the screen for your phone!

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #BorromeoExperience  #isolamadre #beautifulview #lakeviews
Scatta la voglia di Natale!
🎄
Da oggi fino al 25 dicembre, scarta il tuo regalo online con il calendario dell’avvento firmato Terre Borromeo. Ti aspettano grandi sorprese!
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The desire for Christmas has taken off!
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From today until December 25th, unwrap your gift online with Terre Borromeo's advent calendar. Big surprises await you!

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Prosegue l’opera di recupero dei Castelli di Cannero: il progetto, avviato nel 2019, trasformerà la fortezza lacustre in un museo moderno voluto dalla famiglia Borromeo per raccontare la storia della rovina. 

Vieni con noi per un tour esterno dei Castelli di Cannero 🤩
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The recovering of the Castelli di Cannero continues: started in 2019, the project will transform the lakeside fortress into a modern museum wanted by the Borromeo family to tell the story of the ruin.
 
Come with us for an external tour of the Castelli di Cannero 🤩
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#staytuned #TerreBorromeo #BorromeoExperience #LagoMaggiore #LakeMaggiore #Cannero #CastellidiCannero
Vi siete mai chiesti cosa succede quando le porte di Palazzo Borromeo sull’Isola Bella chiudono per il periodo invernale?
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In questo video vi raccontiamo come avviene la manutenzione delle decorazioni lignee della Sala delle Medaglie.
🖌️
Queste “cascate d’intaglio” che impreziosiscono la Sala delle Medaglie assieme a lesene e decorazioni a stucco, furono realizzate in legno intagliato in parte dorato con foglia d’oro e in parte dipinto a tempera azzurra.
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Grazie alla pulitura della superficie e alla rimozione della polvere e dello sporco, si riesce a recuperare l’originaria luminosità dei colori.
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Have you ever wondered what happens when the doors of Palazzo Borromeo on Isola Bella close for winter?
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In this video we tell you how the maintenance of the wooden decorations of the Sala delle Medaglie takes place.
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These “cascades of carving” which embellish the Sala delle Medaglie together with pilasters and stucco decorations, were made of carved wood, partly gilded with gold leaf and partly painted in blue tempera.
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Thanks to the cleaning of the surface and the removal of dust and dirt, it is possible to recover the original brightness of the colours.

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #BorromeoExperience #isolabella #palazzoborromeo #restauri