The statue of San Carlo was built at Arona, Borromeo's hometown, after its canonization and in honor of the greatness of the Archbishop of Milan: for about two centuries it was the highest statue in the world. In Arona there are many other places related to the figure of the saint: the fortress where he was born, now splendid panoramic park with the remains of the lost fortress; The Collegiate of Santa Maria Nascente where he was baptized, rich in precious masterpieces; The Church of the Holy Martyrs where he celebrated his last Mass before returning to Milan, where he died of fever on the evening of November 3, 1584.
Getting inside the statue can and can be an incredible experience. The colossus measures a height of about 35 meters, which the visitor can reach by climbing to the summit of Sancarlone. Through some spiral stairs and then a steep staircase to the sailor with protection it rises up to the head of the saint, observing at the same time the inner structure. From here you can look outward through some holes corresponding to the eyes, nostrils, and ears of the saint. Other windows open up to the shoulders allowing you to overlook and enjoy the remarkable surrounding scenery.
All visitors with entry tickets can access the park at the Statue of San Carlo. In the ticket office you can buy access to the colossus terrace or the uphill entrance to its summit. The terrace, featuring panoramic glasses, offers a wonderful view of Lake Maggiore and the Rocca di Angera. Inside the Park, in the shade of centuries-old trees, there are picnic area. Reservations are allowed for groups to reserve for lunch. By contacting the Statue's ticket office, you can also book at the Church of San Carlo, the celebration of the Mass.
Not everyone knows that the giant statue of San Carlo Borromeo of Arona (Lake Maggiore) - with its total height of 35.10 meters - is the second tall bronze statue (depicting one person) in the world after Liberty in America!
And not everyone knows Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi - who designed the Statue of Liberty - stayed in our beautiful Arona to study the structure of the colossus of San Carlo and then mention it with a plate that at the foot of the New York statue remembers that Was built on the model of the Colosseum of Arona, to which he took off the highest statue of the world.
The statue can be visited inside and from the pedestal you can admire a wonderful landscape. Once you get to the top you can observe the surrounding landscape through the circular holes corresponding to the eyes, the nostrils and ears of the saint, or through the openings on the back.
Have you ever entered the "bowels" of the statue? We advise you to do so, it's a unique experience!