This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)
The Angera Rock is a place full of charme and culture. It is a must to go there when visiting Angera. It is sitting in a panoramic place on the top of a rocky spur on the upper side of the Maggiore Lake.
Originally owned by Archiepiscopal Table it becomes property of the Visconti Family on 1384; in the 1449 is bought by Vitaliano Borromeo and is still now property of the family.
Visiting the Angera Rock
It is possible to reach the Angera Rock by car and parking at the small park in front of it. After having paid the ticket and just behind the ticket office there is the paved street that in few steps drive people just at the building.
On the left hand side there is the amazing panorama of the Maggiore Lake and Arona; on the right hand side there is the building, while just in front there is the bar.
Just inside, in the big square, it is possible both to access directly to the Doll and Toys Museum or staying looking at the Romanesque covering of the sarcophagus dated back to the VII Century and the historical room with the Press.
The Dolls and Toys’ Museum
The Museum of Dolls and childhood fashion of the Angera Rock was desired by Princess Bona Borromeo back in 1988 and has grown thank to its assistants and benefactors.
What in the past was shown inside the Petit Musée du Costume in Tours (collected with love by Robert Pesché and his wife Madame Gisèle Pesché) is now exposed in these rooms, after the Petit Musée risked to lose everything due to the lack of financing.
In this Museum, organized in 12 rooms, it is possible to admire dolls coming from different ages and made of various materials. The goal of the Museum, through a linear time itinerary, is to show the changes of this kind of game during the years.
The dolls, well dressed and with their annexed trousseau while making particular activities, are posed in specific cases one after the other. Bilingual panels illustrate the materials they are made of and the related characteristics. For example the ceramics is easy to work and to wash, and became building material due to its strength.
It is easy to stop astonished in front of the dolls with nice faces and well defined particulars. Small dolls well dressed represent the fashion of the relative age. Really impressive are the “Frozen Charlie”, fully made of shiny porcelain with their nice colours and without joints, or the French “Mannequin Dolls” with their original trousseaus.
Furthermore in the Museum it is possible to see miniatures of furniture of the collection of Roberta della Seta Sommi Picenardi, and also the merry-go-round horses in the area with the Japanese dolls.
Most of the dolls are made of mix of materials: wood, porcelain, papier-mâché. There are also the nice wax dolls, typical from the second half of the 19th Century.
Some of them are really bizarre, like the ones that offer the possibility to open their bell to see their internal mechanism allowing them to walk, or to send kisses. Particular is the “Gibson Girl” doll, inspired to the character created by the designer Charles Dana Gibson.
And how to forget the old majolica from Europe and Far East.
Historical rooms and medieval garden
Looking around the rooms of the Angera Rock, it is possible to find some rooms that, through furniture and paintings tell people about stories and myths.
An example of what we mean is the Mythologic Room, where myths of Atlanta and Ippomene are the subjects of a painting made by Guido Reni. Another example is the one of Apollo and Marsia. In the Room of the Justice, with the paintings of the Master of Angera, there are represented the achievements of Ottone Visconti, archbishop of Milan, who fight against Napo della Torre who was defeated in Desio in the 1277.
Over the register there are 3 astronomical and astrological subjects.
To enjoy an amazing view it is necessary to go on top of the tower (if you suffer of acrophobia or claustrophobia the last meters could annoy): from here you it is possible to admire the Maggiore Lake and Arona, just in front of the Rock, other than the Alps and Prealps.
Obviously, visiting the Angera Rock, you can avoid to visit the Medieval Garden with the Garden of the Small Grasses, divided in small flowerbeds with odoriferous and medical grasses. Walking through the garden you can see the orchard and the small forest as well, just below the Rock which dominates the whole area.
An afternoon at the Angera Rock means entering a fairy-tale atmosphere, like jumping in the past, enjoy amazing viewpoints. If at the end of the visit there is some more time available do not forget to visit the town: you will be really satisfied of it.