Retirees go Abroad – Lake Como Italy
The Borromeo Trifecta
As we travelled back to our hotel we passed above Arona and I happened to spot Rocco di Angera on the other side of the lake. Doing some research on the internet we decided we had to visit the Rocco and complete the Borromeo trifecta. Thursday we drove over to Angera where we spotted on top of the highest point in town the Rocco.
“Rocca Borromeo at Angera.
Before 1227, the castle belonged to the Della Torre family, who lost the possession to the Visconti after the Battle of Desio (1277). In 1449, it passed into the ownership of the Borromeo family. It once belonged to the Visconti family, beginning with Bernabò Visconti and his wife, Beatrice della Scala. But it was purchased by the Borromeo family who expanded and refurbished the castle over the centuries. It still belongs to the Borromeo family. It is best known for its Hall of Justice (Sala di Giustizia) which still contains its original late 13th century fresco depicting the victory of Ottone Visconti, archbishop of Milan, at the Battle of Desio. The castle suffered damage during bombardment in the Second World War.
The castle also contains the Museo della Bambola (Doll Museum), founded in 1988 by the wish of Princess Bona Borromeo Arese, and displays over a thousand dolls made between the 18th century and the present day. Wikipedia”
We started by walking up to the gatehouse and then onto the barbican and through the main gate but before doing so we took a look at the view from the walls of the castle. In the stable we found an old and large wine press. Inside the castle is the major museum of the history of dolls. Mixed amongst the museum are elements of the original castle but as you progress through you find some of the castle furniture and then we came across the hall of Justice. What a find and some of the original frescos still on the walls. Then there is the staircase up to the roof and the watchtower above the roof. Truly amazing. I hope my photos do it justice.
After Angera it was still early so we decided to go back to Como 40 minutes away. After programming Tommy, we drove off and I had a strange feeling that we had passed that way before. We stopped and checked Tommy. Somehow Tommy was taking us to Stresa and not Como. Como was now 1 hour 40 minutes away. Oh well a few extra euros for tolls but otherwise no real harm done.
We got to Como and it was lunch time. There is a nice little restaurant in the main square outside the Cathedral so after a healthy lunch we strolled the streets of the old city finishing off what we had started two days before.