The Province of Sondrio is a fascinating mix of different styles and eras. It is known as a place where man demonstrated his ingenuity by terracing the rugged lands that host its renowned vines.
Enclosed within the heart of the Alpines, the Province occupies the northernmost part of the Lombardy Region. Lying at opening of Valmalenco, Sondrio is in the Valtellina’s center. Typical are the vineyards sprawling over the foothills below the Rhaetian Alps. For centuries, the valley’s northern slopes have been cleared of woods and rocks to terrace and cultivate these vines (both an economic and cultural asset of the Valtellina). They are an extraordinary testimony to man’s ability to transform nature and terrain, despite unfavorable local and climatic conditions.
Sondrio is replete with artistic treasures. The city center includes Piazza Garibaldi with its elegant, neoclassical buildings, and the Cinema-Teatro Pedretti, built in 1820 according to architect Canonica’s design.
Narrow streets lead from the new to the old city center, elaborate in its styles from different eras – Renaissance, Baroque, neoclassical, modern and contemporary. Also from here, we can see the Medieval Castello Masegra, with a panorama of the vineyards.
Numerous castles and towers stand in evocative locations of great strategic importance. See de li beli miri Tower in Teglio, Castel Grumello north of Sondia, Bellaguarda in Tovo di Sant’Agata or the castles in Grosio, to name just a few.
Sanctuaries abound here, particularly the Blessed Virgin of Tirano, the Madonna della Sassarella standing on a promontory among the vines at the gates of Sondrio. Many are the churches as well, everywhere serving as spiritual repositories housing astounding treasures, precious expressions make for an interesting artistic route along the Valley.
An important addition to the territory are the ski resorts of the “Skiarea Valtellina”: Alta Valtellina, Aprica, Valmalenco and Valchiavenna. The district boasts 249 miles of slope for Alpine skiing, and more than 124 mi for Nordic skiing. All of this resides within famous international resorts such as Livigno, Bormio, Santa Caterina Valfurva, Valdidentro/Valdisotto, Aprica, Chiesa in Valmalenco and Caspoggio, Madesimo/Campodolcino and Valgerola, a network to which the summer ski resort of Passo dello Stelvio has been added.
Valtellina is also a summer destination, and in the warmer months shows off an explosion of color in its numerous nature parks and reserves, that include the likes of Stelvio National Park, the largest nature park in Italy; the park in Orobie Valtellinesi, with the Alpine ecological and wildlife observatory at Aprica; and the Nature Reserve of Val di Mello, an ideal oasis for nature lovers.