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The walk up the hill to the castle, Rocca Borromeo of Angera, is quite long and takes about 25 minutes but well worth the effort, so take it slowly.  Bring a hat and water as there is not much shade and it gets very warm.  I do believe that you can take a taxi up to the castle from the township if you would rather not walk.

The Rocca Borromeo of Angera is a fortified building located in the town of Angera (Varese), on the southern shores of Lake Maggiore in Lombardy. This is one of the best preserved castles of Lombardy. The ancient castle tower dates back to the 13th century; the view of the lake and the hinterland from here is absolutely charming.

The castle is well-kept, an interesting building with impressive walls and beautiful gardens and magnificent views.  If you go on a clear day you can see the Alps across the lake.

La Rocca includes botanical, medievil, vegetable, herb and fruit tree gardens and vineyards which are a pleasure to stroll through.

The castle is perfectly maintained, and therefore unique. Inside the fortress,  you can see examples of press medieval plows and troughs.  Further inside, the castle houses a doll museum, unique in Italy and among the most prestigious in Europe and well-known by collectors Europe wide. There are not just dolls but also games for boys, table lamps, music boxes, and much more. For  the average visitor it is just a nice little add-on to the visit as seeing the exhibition leads you through the whole castle. The old dolls and toys are fascinating – and some were downright weird. You really have to see it to believe it.  No matter what your interests are, you will be amazed by this castle and its wonderful museum.

Be sure to go right to the top of the fortress for the best views, climbing up the various ladders from the Hall of Justice where the excellent frescoes are.

After we had spent a couple of hours in the castle and the doll museum we visited the gardens.  Take some time to wander round the gardens and then enjoy the stroll downhill back to the town. There is a cafe and small shop at the fortress, but there are lots of cafes back at lake level.

All in all an excellent way to spend a few hours.

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