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



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
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.

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 2021

The opening of the Terre Borromeo museum sites will be defined on the basis of the updates relating to the COVID emergency.
We therefore recommend that you consult the homepage or contact the call centre + 39 0323.933478 to receive up-to-date information.


Adults Single Youngs Single Adults Group Youngs Group Baby
Rocca di Angera € 12 € 8,5 € 10 € 7 -
Rocca di Angera + Isola Bella € 22 € 13 € 20 € 12 -
Rocca di Angera + Parco Pallavicino € 16 € 11 € 13 € 8 -
Rocca di Angera + Isola Bella + Isola Madre +Parco Pallavicino € 36 € 19 € 31 € 15 -
Download the pdf table with all prices
Adults Single
Youngs Single
Adults Group
Youngs Group
Rocca di Angera
€ 12
€ 8,5
€ 10
€ 7
Rocca di Angera + Isola Bella
€ 22
€ 13
€ 20
€ 12
Rocca di Angera + Parco Pallavicino
€ 16
€ 11
€ 13
€ 8
Rocca di Angera + Isola Bella + Isola Madre +Parco Pallavicino
€ 36
€ 19
€ 31
€ 15

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

• Beginning Friday 6 August 2021 access to the Terre Borromeo museum it is necessary to present a Green COVID-19 Certification (Green Pass or equivalent certificate) or a negative test. Minors up to 12 years of age and individuals with specific medical certification are excluded from the obligation.

• You are advised to arrive at the locations with a ticket already purchased online via the platform booking.isoleborromee

• In compliance with the safety rules, access to the sites may be limited.

• It is not possible to enter the sites if you have a high temperature (over 37.5°) or other symptoms of influenza and where hazardous conditions exist, such as coming from risk areas or in close contact with persons testing positively for the virus in the last 14 days or coming from abroad in the last 14 days.

• Access is only permitted if you are wearing a mask.

• You are advised to wash your hands frequently; hand sanitising gel dispensers are located at various points inside the sites.

• Always keep a distance of more than one meter from the other visitors and from the sites personnel.

• Luggage storage is not available.

• Inside the Parco Pallavicino, touching the cages, the enclosures and/or the facilities present inside the Park is prohibited. You are also advised not to touch the animals.

We thank you for respecting all the indications on the signs and given by the supervisory personnel.

The offer of Terre Borromeo

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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.

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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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  • 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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Finalmente weekend! È tempo di rilassarsi con un'esplosione cromatica che colora le giornate di settembre.
Scoprite tutte le sfumature delle Isole Borromee sfogliando l'ultimo numero di @iodonna_it, in edicola oggi con il @corriere della Sera.
Un'esperienza da vivere fino al 1° novembre!
Grazie a @gianna_testa e @susy_mezzanotte_photog
Finally weekend! It's time to relax with a chromatic explosion that colors September days.
Discover the vibrant shades of Isole Borromee on the latest issue of IO DONNA, on newsstands today with Corriere della Sera.
An experience to live until November 1st!
Thanks to Gianna Testa and Susy Mezzanotte.

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