Isole Borromee Isole Borromee
HISTORY

THE ROCCA DI ARONA

As early as the Longobard period, the fortresses of Arona and Angera (one located on the western bank of Lago Maggiore, the other on the eastern one) probably provided the elements for a single defence system that enabled the southern basin of the lake, through which most of the traffic from across the Alps moved towards Milan and Pavia, to be controlled.

THE ROCCA DI ARONA

The Borromaic period of the history of Arona and its fortress began in 1439, with its enfeoffment by Filippo Maria Visconti to Vitaliano I Borromeo.

 

THE ROCCA DI ARONA
From the left: Filippo Maria Visconti and Vitaliano I Borromeo

Immediately after his investiture, Vitaliano began work on the restoration and expansion of the fortress and on the construction of the military port, connected to the fortress by a “secret road”.

On Vitaliano’s death, the work continued with his son Filippo I, who erected other towers and a further circle of walls around the fortress.

The fortress was the object of disputes and was temporarily removed from the Borromeos in 1495-1499 and in 1500, being returned to Federico I in 1512. During its history it underwent famous sieges, becoming a theatre of episodes of war.

On 2 October 1538 the Rocca di Arona was the birthplace of San Carlo Borromeo, who was born in the “Room of the Three Lakes”, so called on account of the presence of three windows from which it was possible to have three different view of the lake.

THE ROCCA DI ARONA

As early as the 17th century, the room became the destination for a large number of pilgrims, so it was reconstructed in the apse area of the church of San Carlo, built on the rocky protrusion above the town in the area of the Holy Mountain dedicated to the Saint.

The Rocca fully exploited the physical characteristics of the spur on which it stood and the system of three sets of walls completely surrounded it, with the sole exception of the side of sheer cliffs dropping into the lake.

The complex had an irregular altimetry, which was obviated by a system of flights of steps; differences in height also separated the “piazze d’armi” [parade squares] and the courtyards. The highest wall (five metres high) was the oldest part of the fortress, probably together with the Tower of Santa Maria.

THE ROCCA DI ARONA

Stretching out at the centre was the Piazza d’Armi, flanked by the soldiers’ Barracks, the Armoury and the little church of Sant’Ambrogio; behind the soldiers’ Barracks were the Stanza dei Molini [Room of the Mills], Saint Charles’ Room and, behind the latter, a building that had a residential function, connected to the other constructions via underground passages and secret pathways.

The pathway, which can still be walked today, solved the problem of a difference in level of 60 metres. The third wall, with four towers, was connected by a steep road running along the inside of it to the Porta del Secondo Recinto [Gate of the Second Wall], where the Main Gatehouse was housed, where today the remains of the old farm are visible.

The enormous complex remained intact until 1800, when Napoleon Bonaparte, having defeated the Austrians in Marengo (14 June), ordered it to be dismantled.

THE ROCCA DI ARONA

The work began on 23 June, carried out by a group of French miners assisted by around four hundred citizens, but it proceeded slowly because of the sturdiness of the construction and the disputes that arose between the municipality of Arona and the French government regarding the financing of the operation. It was only on 22 March 1801, after almost nine months of work, that the demolition could be said to be concluded.

THE ROCCA DI ARONA

Today the Rocca di Arona is undergoing a significant conservative restoration. Preceded by the preliminary analyses of the condition of conservation, the restoration is mainly focused on halting the causes of the deterioration, rectifying the damage and re-establishing safe conditions for the monument, aiming to rigorously safeguard and maintain the material integrity of the buildings.

THE ROCCA DI ARONA
Our Partners
Instagram Feed
Sentite già il rombo dei motori?
Sono le Rolls Royce che stanno raggiungendo la Rocca di Angera.
🚙
A partire dalle 15.00, oggi pomeriggio una lunga coda d’auto d’epoca farà visita al castello per rimanere fino alle ore 18.00. 
Le 41 auto che faranno tappa alle Terre Borromeo fanno parte del Club inglese RREC (Rolls Royce Enthustiasts Club).
✨
Prenotate i biglietti di ingresso in anticipo al link in bio per non perdervi lo spettacolo!
.
.
.
Can you already hear the roar of the engines?
They are the Rolls Royces that are reaching the Rocca di Angera.
🚙
Starting at 3.00pm this afternoon, a long queue of vintage cars will visit the castle and stay until 6.00pm.
The 41 cars that will stop at Terre Borromeo are part of the English RREC Club (Rolls Royce Enthustiasts Club).
✨
Book your tickets in advance at the link in our bio to make sure you don’t miss the show!

#terreborromeo #lagomaggiore #lakemaggiore #roccadiangera #rollsroyce #raduno #autodepoca #cars #BorromeoExperience