EuropeItalyArona

The statue of San Carlo Borromeo

Arona Travel Blog

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Sancarlone. The giant statue of Saint Charles Borromeo.

While we were camping in Solcio at the Lago Maggiore, we decided to pay a visit to the town of Arona. A town with about 14,500 inhabitants and also a popular tourist attraction. The most well known sight in Arona is the giant statue of San Carlo Borromeo. This statue is 35.10 meters high! It’s almost the highest bronze building in the world. Only the Statue of Liberty is higher. I saw that the people who developed the Statue of Liberty, took some of the ideas and blueprints from the San Carlone.  

When you drive on the road next to the lake, you have to take a way up into the mountains to reach the statue. It’s very funny to see that when you’re driving, you’re thinking like: where is it? When will we reach it? It’s so amazingly big, where can it be?? And then all of a sudden, the huge statue appears.

Lago Maggiore view when sitting in the head of the statue.
You can easily park your car. Very close and free. Some people only take a look at the statue or take some pictures. We decided to enter the statue and climb to the top. Entrance to the statue was about 3 euros.  

It was said that you could get as high as his head and have a really great view from out of his ears and eyes. I thought: “Well, the statue looks kind of big, but does a guy like me fit in his head?” Then it was time for the first climb. The climb to reach the plateau at his feet. You already had a great view of the lake at this point (as you can see on my pictures). I started to sense that the statue was actually bigger than I eventually thought. I climbed the stairs to the point where its groin was supposed to be. Then I looked up above and saw a 90 degrees vertical stairway…  

What was I supposed to do? I saw some kind of rope with a pulley for protection and an intercom next to it.

Kim climbing to the top of the statue.
I was looking around and then I heard an Italian guy who said: “Go climb without protection, it’s not dangerous!” A very long, dark and narrow vertical tunnel, but I thought: “Ah, what the heck.” And I climbed up to the top. I won’t recommend people with acrophobia to do this! When you reach its head, you will see that there actually is a lot of space. Enough space for about 5 people. Although it’s pretty scary because you feel the wind and you see the height from out of his eyes and ears.  

I stood upon the top of the Empire State Building (not afraid at all), the Eiffel Tower (nope, not afraid) and at the foot of the Grand Canyon (impressive, but not afraid!), but I thought this was the most scary of them all, haha! Then we went back down and after a visit to the souvenir shop, we left the San Carlo. It was a nice experience, which brought us great views and laughter.

eamesker says:
stunning view...
Posted on: Aug 24, 2008
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Sancarlone. The giant statue of Sa…
Sancarlone. The giant statue of S…
Lago Maggiore view when sitting in…
Lago Maggiore view when sitting i…
Kim climbing to the top of the sta…
Kim climbing to the top of the st…
Us in front of the San Carlo.
Us in front of the San Carlo.
Sancarlone.
Sancarlone.
Lago Maggiore view when standing o…
Lago Maggiore view when standing …
Lago Maggiore view when standing o…
Lago Maggiore view when standing …
St. Charles Church next to the sta…
St. Charles Church next to the st…
Arona
photo by: ninnu