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 Comune di Angera  Piazza Garibaldi, 14 - 21021 Angera (VA)  tel.: 0331.930.168  fax: 0331.960.181  pec:  p.iva 00338310121

The Fortress




Archivio Comunale Foto Alvinio Ravasi


As soon as you pass the entrance turret, you will feel as though you have journeyed back in time and as though time itself has come to a complete stop. Thus, catapulted back to the thirteenth century, the tour of the castle begins.

First things first, spend a little time in the courtyard in front of the lancet arched portal that leads to the inner courtyard, to enjoy the splendid view of Angera and Lake Maggiore. The same scenery that the Visconti first and the Borromeo family later were in a position to admire from the very same spot all those years ago.


As you enter the courtyard you will immediately see the Ala Scaligera (Della Scala Wing) which dates back to the first half of the thirteenth century and named by Bernabò Visconti in honour of his wife, Beatrice della Scala.


The building underwent some considerable changes during the second half of the fourteenth century, being raised and decorated on the inside with the Della Scala coat of arms.

The tour of the castle begins in the Tinaia (fermentation room) which guards the seventeenth-century press along with some farming equipment.

As you walk up to the upper courtyard you will see the Torre Castellana (Castle Tower) which dates back to the late twelfth early thirteenth century; the Ala Viscontea (Visconti Wing) from the late thirteenth century; the Ala Borromea (Borromeo Wing) built after the fifteenth century. When the castle came under the rule of the Visconti family, the fortress was reinforced and expanded on several occasions until it was purchased in 1449 by the Borromeo family, who added the last finishing touches - recently restored - and who are still the current owners.



Archivio Comunale Foto Alvinio Ravasi


Walk under the portico, where you will find the museum of ancient stone tablets, including the altar dedicated to the God Jupiter, and climb up the large staircase to the Gallery hosting an array of canvases depicting members of the great Borromeo family.

View the famous frescoes in the Sala di Giustizia (Hall of Justice), dating back to the late thirteenth century, which narrate the story of Ottone Visconti archbishop of Milan, in particular his victory over the Della Torre family in Desio in 1277.

The hall is divided into two spans, separated by a pointed arch and covered by cross vaults. The elegant double lancet windows provide natural lighting. From this hall, continue on to the upper terrace of the mighty castle tower, where a splendid view over Arona and the Pre-Alps awaits.

Go back on your steps to gain access to the Ala Borromea from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and, in the salone delle Cerimonie (Function Room), admire the frescoes torn from Palazzo Borromeo in Milan - savaged and half-destroyed by an air raid in 1943 - which date back to the fifteenth century. Then, move on to admire the remaining rooms, containing precious canvases depicting the magnificence of the Borromeo family and famous mythological scenes.











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Foto intestazione realizzata da Alvinio Ravasi