The statue of Saint Charles was built in Arona,
his birth town, after his canonization and
to honour his importance as archbishop
of Milan: for about two centuries it was the
tallest statue in the world.
In Arona many other monuments refer
to this saint’s life: the ruins of the Rocca (fortress)
where he was born; the church
Collegiata di Santa Maria Nascente
where he was baptized;
the Church of the Saint Martyrs where he
celebrated his last mass before dieing of a
high temperature on 3rd November, 1584.
One can climb inside the statue
(the so-called Sancarlone)
and this is an unforgettable experience.
The statue is about 35 metres tall.
Visitors can climb a winding staircase
and a steep ladder to reach the head of the saint,
in the meantime experiencing
the internal structure.
From the head it is possible to look out through
some holes in the saint’s eyes, ears, nose.
More windows open on his shoulders,
allowing the people to admire
the surrounding breathtaking view.
All visitors who buy an entrance ticket
can also visit the garden around the statue.
Tickets have two different prices: to the garden
and the terrace or to the top of the statue.
Using the telescopes on the terrace,
you can look at the view on Lago Maggiore
and on the Rocca of Angera.
In the garden, you can have a picnic on the
tables under the shadow of century-old trees.
Groups can book their place
to eat a packed lunch.
One can also book the church
for the celebration of a Mass.