It is a small town in the province of Verbania, located on a plateau on the border with the territory of Vercelli in the valley of the River Pellino. From here it is possible to admire the beautiful landscape of the entire basin of Cusio. The local economy was, for centuries, devoted to the extraction of charcoal, while at present Arola has become an important touristic resort.
The settlement origins are very old. The center took advantage, since ancient times, of its peculiar location and the presence of the old route that crossed the pass and allowed the quick connection to the lake area, allowing the passage of people and goods of every kind, which helped Arola in its development and to become an important centre. According to the local legends, Julius Caesar returning from Gaul, sheltered here for a night. The town was part of the Riviera di San Giulio d'Orta and at the end of Lombard domain, it was ceded to the Committee of Pombia. In 962 by will of the Emperor Ottone, the town was ceded to the Bishop of Novara, even though the episcopal power became official only in the first half of the XIII century. In the XIX century, Arola was ceded to the Savoy, followed by periods of French and Austrian domination, until the final annexation to the Kingdom of Sardinia
Not to miss:
- the Parish Church of St. Bartholomew, located in the town's main centre, was built in the XVII century and restored in the following centuries. It features a Bell tower dating from 1622;
- the Sanctuary of the Annunciation, preceded by a porch, a fine building built in place of a pre-existing small chapel of the XV century. From its unique location it is possible to admire a beautiful view of Lake Orta;
- the Baroque Parish Church of Saint Anthony;
- the Oratory of St. John the Baptist in the district of Pianezza;
- the old mill and press;
- the mountain pass of Colma.