Arona - Lago Maggiore

Arona, One Of The Most Beautiful Towns In Italy

Arona Is One Of The Most Famous Tourist Destinations In The Lake Major Area, Which Became Part Of The Italian Touring Club Circuit, After Being Awarded Their Orange Flag.

A Piedmontese town of about 14,000 inhabitants, Arona is under Novara jurisdiction and is the main port of Lake Major. In Arona and its surroundings, we find the Parco Naturale Dei Lagoni, which is in the district of Mercurago. The park became part of UNESCO heritage in 2011.

Thanks to the rich and diversified cultural offer, the beauty of landscapes surrounding it, and the care for visitors, Arona is the ideal place for those who want to dive through beauty and relax. 

The Ancient Origins Of Arona & the San Carlone

The city is named after its Celtic roots, from “art” (Mount) and “on”(water), meaning “mount by the water”. 

Arona vaunts a very ancient history: some archeological findings testify the existence of a stilt village, which was inhabited since prehistoric times. Later, Arona became part of the feudal properties of the Borromeo Family: San Carlo Borromeo was born here in the first half of the 16th century. 

Bishop of Milan, a statue in copper and bronze representing San Carlo sits right outside the city center. One can admire the monument from any point in the Lake Major area, above all from the shores of Angera and Ronco, in the region of Lombardy. 

Sancarlone or Arona’s San Carlone is the most iconic attraction of the city. You cannot but visit this colossus, which is 35 meters high. 

Cardinal Federico Borromeo ordered the statue construction in 1697, after San Carlo’s death in 1584, to honor his cousin’s canonization. This statue inspired the construction of one of the most famous statues in the world: the Statue of Liberty of New York. 

A tourist can also visit the inside of San Carlone. Visitors can reach different points of the statue body and face through two stairs, which maximum six people can climb per time. From San Carlo’s eyes and ears, you can admire a wonderful view of Lake Major and its landscape. 

What To See In Arona

Arona sits on the shores of the Piedmont side of Lake Major. Stream Ververa crosses the town and flows into Lake Major. Hilly terrains and woods occupy a great majority of the area. 

Other than Sancarlone and Parco Naturale Dei Lagoni, visitors should check out the town center and Rocca di Arona. Rocca di Arona is a fortress that the Longobards built around the 11th-century with a big park – open to the public- and a great view of the mountains and lake surrounding it. 

In the low end of the town, tourists find the Palazzo di Giustizia, which dates back to the 15th century, and Villa Ponti, a mansion where the municipality organizes different art exhibitions and conferences. 

Arona Is One Of The Most Beautiful Italian Town

In 2018, Arona received the Orange Flag, a prize awarded to municipalities that, besides offering a relevant historical, cultural, and environmental experience to tourists, also offer high-quality hospitality services. 

The Italian  Touring Club has been selecting, certifying and promoting exceptional towns  since 1998, awarding them with the orange flag, a quality label for tourists, especially from the touristic and environmental point of view. 

In this way, Arona joins Orta San Giulio, adding two orange flags to the area of Novara, granting touristic and environmental quality. The number of flags that the Touring Club awarded to Piedmont reached a total of 31. Piedmont is now the second most orange region after Tuscany. 

Among the reasons why Arona received this award, we know that the diverse historical and cultural offer, the landscape and the prestige of the area (Lake Major), and the presence of pedestrian zones in the city center were key factors. Indeed, these latter improve the tourist’s experience. 

Photo by Albert Ndoci on Unsplash