Colossus of St. Charles Borromeo, Arona, Italy

The Colossus of St. Charles Borromeo (said Sancarlone) is a statue of over 30 meters high located in Arona on the Sacro Monte of San Carlo, considered a symbol of the city. San Carlo Borromeo was born on October, 2nd, 1538 in Rocca di Arona and in 1565 he became archbishop of Milan and he gave material and spiritual assistance especially during calamities such as famine and plague. He died in 1584 and was beatified in 1602 and canonized in 1610. In 1624 the works for the construction of a sacred hill and also a huge statue visible from Lake Maggiore which celebrates the memory of the saint, were started. It was designed by Giovanni Battista Crespi and was built with copper sheets hammered and assembled with nails and iron rods while the head and hands were made of bronze; being Bernardo Falconi of Bissone and Siro Zanella of Pavia, the sculptors. In 1698 it was finished and blessed. The statue is 23.40 meters tall, but it has a granite pedestal of 11.70 meters which make it one of the largest statues in the world and the monument can be visited inside. With this statue they wanted to represent the “gigantism in faith.”

Tips

The statue is open to the public, you can climb through a first spiral staircase and then another right as a stepladder to get inside the head of St. Charles. You can pay general access to get to the foot of the statue and enjoy a beautiful panoramic view that it is really worth or add a few euros to go up to the interior top. For children under 6 it’s free.
From Milan you can reach Arona by train on the Milan-Domodossola line.
If you have to wait a few hours to catch a plane, it is a good opportunity to go to know the statue because Malpensa airport is located only 23 km from Arona.

Bahia Palace, Marrakech, Morocco

Bahia Palace is a palace of century XIXᵉ of eight hectares in Marrakech, Morocco. It is a masterpiece of Moroccan architecture, one of the major monuments of cultural heritage. It was built southeast of the medina of Marrakech between 1866 and 1867. It was built for Si Moussa, chamberlain of Sultan Hassan 1st of Morocco, at his death, his son, Ahmed Ben Moussa, had enlarged the southern part his father’s palace by the successive acquisition and glitzy development of large sets of neighboring houses. The palace takes its name from his favorite mistress, Bahia. From 1912, General Lyautey, Marshal of France, used it as his personal residence as well as the residence of French officers by adding chimneys, heating and electricity. It has about 150 lavishly decorated rooms. There are marble, wood paintings, stained glass windows, many patios and gardens with orange trees, banana trees, cypresses, hibiscus and jasmine. The Moroccan royal family of King Mohammed VI sometimes stay there in a large private party not open to the public.

Tips

The palace is open to visitors, at your visit ask for information because you can also attend concerts of Arab-Andalusian music and art exhibitions.
You can also ask for a guide to accompany you and tell the whole story which is very interesting.

Galerías Pacífico, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Galerías Pacífico is one of the largest and most traditional shopping centers in Buenos Aires. This is the most frequented by tourists, the shopping center is home to the prestigious international brands, has a major restoration and the prestigious Borges Cultural Centre is located in an area of the building. It occupies an entire block and the streets surrounding it are Florida, Córdoba, San Martin and Viamonte. The building was built in 1881 as a commercial place to a shop by departments ‘Au bon Marché’, at this time, one of the most important in the Argentinian capital, it welcomed since 1896 the Museum of fine arts, today located in another place. In the year 1908 a part of the building was sold to the Buenos Aires Pacific Railway, from whom it took its current name. The emblem of the Galerías Pacífico was established in 1945 and at the same time they built the magnificent Dome with murals of the prestigious masters, Antonio Berni, Lino Spilimbergo, Juan Carlos Castagnino, Demetrio Urruchúa, and Manuel Colmeiro, being this last one the only foreigner one. In 1989 the building was declared a National Historic Monument and it was completely renovated and transformed in a luxury Mall. The project was made by the architect Juan Carlos López. At this time, four murals of Argentinian artists have been incorporated: Roux, Alongo and Josefina Robirosa. Its beautiful architecture and works that contains make that tourists consider it one of the most beautiful malls in the world.

Tips

Do not forget your camera when you visit this mall because you will regret it deeply. It is one of the few commercial places where buy remains the second option before such artistic beauty.
You can take advantage of the visit to several things that also have nothing to do with shopping. This shopping centre has a concert hall and an exhibition room, then go to the information centre for more information on what is happening at the time of your visit especially if you like tango because tango shows are very demanded by tourists.
You will also find ATMs if you need to withdraw money from your bank account even as places to make international calls or Internet connection.
If you do not already know the “alfajores” (Argentinian typical pastry), take your time and enjoy one with a good coffee, at the cafe called “Havanna” (also one of the trademarks of the alfajores) which, according to the majority, are the best.

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