The town of Arona is one of several popular summer destinations along the west coast of Lake Maggiore, and is about 20 kilometres south of Stresa, near the southern end of the lake.
The main attraction in Arona is of course the area along the shores of Lake Maggiore, and this is where visitors congregate. As well as strolling along the promenade you will enjoy taking a pause in one of the cafes here to enjoy the views across the lake and to the Rocca di Angera.
The town itself is pleasant, if not the most beautiful on Lake Maggiore, with a good number of shops, cafes and restaurants. You will also find a small rocky beach on Lake Maggiore close to Piazza del Popolo in the town.
Historical monuments of interest in Arona include the castle, dating from the 9th century and now in ruins, and a small roman style chapel. The large park area around the ruined castle is a very popular place for picnics and for taking a walk.
Another notable monument is the enormous statue of San Carlone (Saint Charles Borromeo). Built in the 17th century from bronze and copper sheets, the statue itself is 23 metres high and the plinth is almost 12 metres high. It is possible to enter inside the statue and climb to the top to look out of San Carlone's eyes and ears.
At the time of its construction the statue was the largest upright bronze statue in the world, although now surpassed by the Statue of Liberty.
Within the town you can also see some 15th century pantings in the Collegiale Church of the Virgin Mary. Another church of interest is the Church of San Martiri, which was rebuilt in the Baroque period and features a neo-classical interior.
There is a medieval castle on the Rocca di Angera, across the lake and that you can see from the waterside which now holds a dolls museum.
The town of Stresa is not far to the north and the most visited town on Lake Maggiore. The ferries from Arona will allow you to reach most places on the lake - see the Lake Maggiore guide for the highlights.
Map of Arona and places to visit
Arona places to visit
See more places nearby in the Piedmont guide