Rocca d’Angera: A must visit site overlooking Lake Maggiore

May, 02 2016 ( Updated August, 09 2017)

Lake Maggiore
Museum of Dolls
Fun for kids
Going out

On the southern shore of Lake Maggiore stands the historical Rocca d’Angera or Rocca Borromeo di Angera dominating the landscape with its grandness. The castle which is also known as Borromeo castle because it is owned by the Borromeo family now is open for public. Besides its historical importance, the castle also draws a lot of visitors for its enchanting medieval garden and the impressive collection of dolls in its museum.

History of Borromeo Castle

The history of the castle goes back to the 8th century. However, quite unfortunately, the building does not retain that part of its history anymore. The oldest part of the castle dates from the 12th-13th century when it was owned by the House of Torriani.

The medieval castle was then taken over by the House of Visconti in 1277 after the battle of Desio. The triumph has been recorded in the cycle of frescoes in one of the historical halls of the castle.

The Borromeo family purchased the castle and the church of Angera in 1449 and still owns the place.

The castle is a collection of five different buildings built during various centuries, from the 12th to the 15th century. With the changing ownership of the castle from one noble family to another, the place saw new additions made to it in each century. The difference in the architecture of these buildings and their interiors are telling of this change.


  • Location: The formidable castle located on a lakeside hilltop enhances the scenic beauty of the place. In the old times, its strategic location was used to monitor trade routes in the region.

  • Historical Halls: The historical halls are full of interesting works of art. The frescoes, portraits, paintings and polished furniture adorn the interiors of the halls.

  • Medieval Garden: The gardens have been restored according to the documented medieval codes and instructions. Walking around the historic-botanical garden overlooking Lake Maggiore is an incredible experience. The gardens are in the series of the ones that surround the villas on the Borromean islands.

  • Museum of Dolls and Toys: The museum, which was founded in 1988 by Princess Bona Borromeo Arese, is one of a kind. It is home to a collection of more than a thousand dolls and toys collected over two centuries from around the world and exhibited in 13 halls.

Practical Information

How to Reach:

By car:

Lake Highway - 61.5 kilometers from Milan - exit Sesto Calende. From there, you take the state road 629 in the direction of Angera. Once you reach Angera  you will find tourism signage to lead your way.

By boat:

You can reach the castle from Stresa, Arona, Pallanza, Locarno at any time of the day.


By train:

State Railway line Milano-Sempione, stop: Arona,  Take a boat to reach Angera.

Entrance Fees (per person):

Adult € 9,50

Children € 6,00

Adult Group (min.18 people) € 8,00

Free entrance for children under the age of 6

Special family package: 2 adult tickets + 2 children  €25,00

Opening Hours:

Every day from 9:00 AM to 17:30 PM (last entrance).

The opening hours may change, please check the website before planning your visit.


There are wonderful accommodation facilities near the castle at great prices. Book a holiday home close to Borromeo castle and enjoy a peaceful retreat on the shores of Lake Maggiore.

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