The Colossus of Saint Charles in Arona, which popular tradition has affectionately dubbed San Carlone,
was created in the seventeenth century at the behest of Federico Borromeo.
He planned to create a colossal statue, visible even from the lake, to pass on to the future the grandeur of Saint Charles Borromeo, his cousin and predecessor as Bishop of Milan, who died in 1584 and was canonised in 1610.
The statue, hollow and more than 23 metres high, rests on a 12-metre-high granite base. It was made to a design by Giovanni Battista Crespi, known as Cerano. It was then assembled out of large sheets of copper hammered and joined with nails and iron rods by the sculptors Siro Zanella of Pavia and Bernardo Falcoli of Lugano. The work was completed in 1698.
It is the world’s second-highest statue, after the Statue of Liberty in New York. Its surface area is no less than 500 square metres. It is possible to visit the inside, through stairs, up to a height of 28 metres.
Since 1624 the Ambrosiana, at the behest of the Federico Borromeo himself, administers the complex on the hill of Arona.
Piazzale San Carlo
28041 Arona Novara, Italia
tel. and fax+39 0322 249 669
Single ticket – terrace and statue:
euro 6,00 (currently unavailable)
Single ticket – terrace only:
CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR THE USUAL WINTER PAUSE UNTIL MARCH, 2021
DISCLAIMER: DUE TO PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES TO HELP CONTAIN THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS, OPENING HOURS AND ACCESS RULES MAY VARY IN THIS PERIOD.
ALWAYS CHECK THE STATUE’S WEBSITE FOR COMPLETE AND UPDATED INFO
Last admission 30 minutes before closing; minimum necessary visiting time: approximately 30 minutes.
ANIMALS ARE NOT ALLOWED INSIDE THE GREEN AREA AND INSIDE THE STATUE.