When the kids and I made it to the top of the San Carlo statue, we made an audio recording. It goes pretty much like this:
Mom: Well, we’re at the top of the Caroloni statue in Arona, and getting up here was one of the most terrifying experiences of our lives.
Older Child: No it wasn’t!
Younger Child: Yes it was!
Mom: We’re up here by his neck. You can look out across the lake. It was a LONG hike up his body, but you can look out his eyes and his nostrils.
Older Child: And see his earlobes!
Mom: I haven’t seen those yet from up here. But from below they’re very large. They look like mouse ears.
Younger Child: This thing is like a mineshaft.
Mom: Yes, that is what it feels like. You climb straight up.
Older Child: We’re supposed to have harnesses.
Mom: Yes, we’re supposed to have harnesses. I’m trying to brace myself for the trip down, because at least coming up we didn’t have any idea how bad it would be. I guess we’re heading down now. Listen to the birdsong. It sounds so idyllic…
Older Child: If I don’t make it down, bury me with perfume and eyeliner!
Mom: I leave all my worldly goods to my beloved children. Well, here we go. Farewell.
I will say that getting up and back down again did feel like a celebration-worthy achievement, and was somewhat of an emotional buffer against the discovery that the bathrooms below were of the squatty potty variety, and against the torrential downpour began during our hike back to the bus station. All in all, an experience not to be missed. No regrets.