What to do in Valtellina, a gourmet itinerary

If you are demanding travelers, if you like local cuisine and you want to explore amazing landscapes, Valtellina is a must-see among your upcoming trips.

For what reasons you should go there in spring? First of all, this Alpine region, located in Lombardy, features many Parks and Nature Reserves that during this season offer a wonderful variety of colors, the opportunity to meet rare animal species, to admire the waterfalls, rivers and valleys that embellish the panorama.

The route we recommend is centered on the most enchanting places in Valtellina and Valchiavenna, along with the culinary specialties that can be enjoyed in this valley surrounded by the Alps, a land particularly suitable for the production of fine wines.

Alta Valtellina

What to do in Valtellina, a gourmet itinerary

Bormio is often identified as a winter destination, yet it boasts at least two peculiarities that invite you to visit it even in spring or summer.
Here there are the thermal springs, enhanced by modern facilities that allow you to follow high-quality wellness paths, offering the chance to regenerate and get your own inner balance thanks to specific services, such as the oxygenating honey-based facial with butter, cane sugar, and honey for a scrub that purifies and moisturizes the skin, and the exfoliating treatment of alpine forest treasures based on honey from the rhododendron, which leaves the skin smooth, hydrated, and bright.

The other feature is the Stelvio Pass, where you can practice skiing even in summer (from May 27th to November 5th): this is the largest alpine ski area for summer skiing and is recommended for both those who want to learn the rudiments of this sport, and for the experienced skiers.

Livigno is the ideal destination for those who like to follow mountain biking or Nordic walking trails, or to do sporting activities at high altitude, an experience undoubtedly more challenging than normal exercise, but with great health benefits, in fact this place is often attended by many athlete teams for their retreats.

Livigno, however, is also a great place for shopping, as there are many shopping malls and shops in the historic center, and is a duty free area (so all prices aren’t subjected to VAT).
The cool weather, even in the summer, is an invitation to spice up the wardrobe and to buy accessories with great discounts.

Chiavenna

Castle_of_Chiavenna

Valchiavenna is an area bordering Valtellina and is part of the province of Sondrio. Here the main town is Chiavenna, which we suggest to visit by virtue of its Crotti, the natural cavities of the mountain, where the temperature is always fresh and constant, originally used as cellars and recently transformed into restaurants.

The main specialty of Chiavenna is Bresaola (here called Brisaola), a salami prepared exclusively with selected beef, low fat food, to be savored as natural or as an ingredient of refined dishes.
The unique flavor of Bresaola is due to the valley’s climate, so to enjoy the best quality of this cured meat we suggest to go to Macelleria Del Curto, at Via Dolzino 129 in Chiavenna, specialized in the production of Bresaola for over 100 years.

If you are looking for top wines, go to the Enoteca Marino, at via Dolzino 66, where you will find the best Valtelline wines and valuable tips to bring home some of the most representative wines, ideal for pairing with typical local dishes.
What makes Valtelline wines different from others? First of all, the exposure of vineyards in the Retiche Alps, all oriented to the South, then the constant ventilation of the soils and the thermoregulatory effect of Lake Como.

The DOCG Valtellina superiore wine, for example, is characterized by a ruby red color tending to garnet, a persistent and subtle perfume, a dry and slightly tannic flavor.

sagra dei Crotti Chiavenna

If you are interested in events that every year attract gourmet enthusiasts, you will have to wait for the second weekend of September, when the Sagra dei Crotti is held. This festival is dedicated to tasting of Bresaola, polenta, sausages, cheeses and wine Valtellina DOC. www.sagradeicrotti.it

The center of Chiavenna offers other worthy attractions, such as the Castle of the Counts Balbiani, built around the middle of the XV century and now home to the Comunità Montana della Valchiavenna, and the Collegiate Church of San Lorenzo, from which you can access the Treasury Museum, where are housed sacred objects that are particularly significant for local art and history.

The work that stands out amongst the others in this museum is the Peace of Chiavenna, a masterpiece of medieval goldsmith, made up of 25 gold plates mounted on a walnut board and embossed with 97 pearls, 94 gems and 16 enamels.

Just a short distance from Chiavenna, in Prosto di Piuro, stands the Palace Vertemate-Franchi, one of the most elegant examples of Renaissance architecture in Lombardy, with interiors rich in precious decorations and furnishings (for guided tours, call 0343-37485, ticket costs 7 €).

The exterior of the palace, refined and plain at the same time, is in harmonious contrast to the richness of the interior rooms, embellished with paintings, wood carved ceilings, hand crafted furniture of the XVI century.

Palazzo Vertemate Franchi

Palazzo Vertemate Franchi

The Palace is also a wedding venue: you can book some rooms and set up the reception outside, where you will find the Italian garden, the orchard and the vineyard.
For further information, please visit www.palazzovertemate.it.

This is a tasty appetizer of what Valtellina offers, a land that will satisfy your thirst for charm even out of season.

Lago di Como

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