A Journey through Valtellina
17 March 2016
Madesimo has earned the distinction as the farthest town from the sea, situated on the border with the canton of Grisons, in the middle of the Alps. This is the destination par excellence for snowboarder, as here you find incredible snowparks with half pipes, spines, and quarter pipes. For the skiers there are also backcountry areas that take this area the perfect winter wonderland.
In Chiavenna, there are plenty of local landscapes and cultural sites to enjoy before continuing on your journey. Highlights include the Pian di Spagna Natural Reserve, Palazzo Vertemate Franchi in Prosto di Piuro, and Acquafraggia Waterfalls in Borgonuovo!
The village of Morbegno is absolutely stunning and features a dense network of tall, century-old buildings. Artistic treasures are hidden throughout the town and we have to mention both Morbegno in Cantina, an amazing event to enjoy the local wines in a unique environment, and the Palazzo Malacrida, gorgeous estate in the upper part of town.
As the capital of the Province of Valtellina, Sondrio is a charming city that will definitely show you what this northern area is all about. With many locations to enjoy the pristine nature and sports hotspots, you can’t miss out on the traditional food before taking a tour through the charming streets of this town.
For all the foodies out there, you can’t miss out on a stop to Teglio, the home of a special pasta known as Pizzoccheri. This one of a kind dish is made with buckwheat flour, potatoes, cabbage, butter, and Casera cheese. It’s rather hearty (read: suitable for the colder months), but a must-try for anyone in the area. If you’re passing through, be sure to stop in a traditional restaurant for this fabulous dish.
Descending from 2,300 meters, Aprica offers some incredible landscapes for fun in the sun, as well as fantastic trails for mountain biking. With all the paths leading to the outskirts of the village, there is a free bus service that will transport you from one zone to the next. This haven for sport lovers is definitely a stop to hit while exploring the Valtellina.
Tirano is a small town between Sondrio and Bormio is an excellent location to relax a bit and take in the cultural landmarks. One such place is the Basilica of the Madonna di Tirano, a stunning church in the heart of Valtellina.
Grosio is a recommended stop for anyone hunting down the traditional flavors of Valtellina! Here you can try the incredible Bitto cheese, which is made with the milk from cows grazing in the mountain pastures. Then try the Bresaola, a spectacular cold cut that is to die for and is also rather healthy! Don’t forget to finish it all off with a local glass of wine, all here in Grosio.
The Bormio ski-area offers the steepest slopes in Italy, and is the capital of ski racing. With over 50 km of trails and 15 lifts, Bormio is a fantastic destination for sport lovers. If you’re here in the summer months, you can also take advantage of the pristine natural surroundings for biking, hiking, and plenty of panoramas.
Valdidentro is one of the best places to head if you’re searching for a unique experience like dog sledding or a spa visit in the mountains. Here, the Bormio Baths have been around since the pre-Roman era, featuring thermal waters and a Natural Steam Cave. You heard right. This place a natural sauna built into the rock for over 50 meters. Hit Valdidentro for a trip to get away from it all while surrounded by nature!
Livigno’s Duty Free Area has some incredible shopping, offering name brands of plenty of products at reduced prices. Without the additional VAT fee, you can enjoy this quaint town and grab some goods while you’re there.