Towns Near Livigno
Livingo is located in the Lombardy region of Italy. Popular towns such as Bormio, Sondalo, Santa Caterina di Valfurva, Grosio and Glorenzo are just a short journey away and can provide an exciting day trip. If you want to take in the scenery, visit Tirano and take the incredible Bernina Express train over the border and into Swtzerland. You could also consider making the short crossing into via car Switzerland and visiting the towns of St Moritz, Zernez or Poschaivo.
Bormio is a short 38km drive to the south east of Livigno. Politically, Livigno’s history has closely followed Bormio, and relationships between the two communes has often been strained. Bormio is the more dominant and populous neighbour to Livigno and is a historic trading point on the route between Venice and Switzerland.
The historic Piazza Cavour and Via Roma occupy the centre of Bormio town, making it a popular tourist attraction for foreigners and Italians alike. It has retained its unique medieval town centre where you can sample the traditional Italian cuisine, culture and lifestyle. Known for wonderful historic buildings and traditional fetes, Bormio would make an excellent day out should you choose to wander from Livigno.
Bormio is located in the Valltelina valley, surrounded by the beautiful mountain scenery of the Italian Alps. It is well renowned for its natural hot springs. The Bormio thermal baths have long been a tourist attraction. Roman aristocrats travelled to Bormio especially to bathe, and many of the most ancient baths are still open today. The hot spring water has been tapped, and the spa baths at Bagni Vecchi, Bagni Nuovi and Terme di Bormio are well worth a visit.
Bormio is also a well known ski resort and has twice hosted the Apline Ski World Championships, once in 1985 and subsequently in 2005. The Pista Stelvio is considered one of the most challenging downhill courses in the world. Named after the Stelvio Pass, this course would provide an exciting opportunity for hardcore ski enthusiasts to challenge themselves.
Santa Caterina di Valfurva
Santa Caterina di Valfurva is a small historic village located in the heart of the the Stelvio National Park, a 52km drive to the South East of Livigno and just the other side of Bormio. The village was once an important meeting point on the trade routes used by the Venetian Republic and has a very similar history to Bormio.
More hot springs can be found in Santa Caterina di Valfurva. These springs were a famous attraction for nobles and aristocrats of the Republic of Venice. Some time later, the water of the ‘akua forta’ spring became popular around the world after a factory was built in 1885 to extract and sell the spring water.
Two of the hot springs in Santa Caterina di Valfurva were renowned for their therapeutic properties. One was rich in sulfur and the other was rich in iron. Nowadays, a museum stands testament to the remarkable cultural history of the area and provides and is a great resource if you are interested in the artisans of the valley and the local farming traditions.
Surrounded by the high peaks of the Ortles Cevedale mountain chain, Santa Caterina di Valfurva is an oasis of peace and serenity. Climbers will enjoy the high peaks, while hikers can explore lush forest trails. Of course, Santa Caterina di Valfurva also offers new regions for ski enthusiasts too.
Glorenza is a medieval town about a 52km drive to the North East of Livigno and is often referred to as ‘the pearl of the Alta Val Venosta’. It was once a medieval border town and is known for perfectly preserved renaissance town walls and original doors. Here you can roam historic arcades and take in the stately, noble and middle-class buildings of the 13th to 16th century. You can also explore the well preserved ruins of the original 12th century village.
The church of Saint Pancrazio in Glorenza is Romanesque in origin and was later modified to include a baroque onion shaped dome. It can be found at the edge of the old village. The church also boasts a large fresco painting of the Last Judgement.
Other notable buildings such as the late Gothic church of S. James al Maso Söles, the Porta di Tubre and Castel Glorenza all add to the experience. Glorenza offers a unique chance to submerse yourself in the rich history of the area.
Journey 55 km to the south of Livigno and you will come to Sondalo. This 11th century town lies in the beautiful Rezzalo valley and is well known for superb health care facilities and accommodation. The well placed town has clean air, a dry and pleasant climate and is sheltered from the wind. Sondalo offers tourists a peaceful day out in a village steeped in history - ideal for those who want to combine relaxation with cultural interests.
Rustic houses line the narrow streets in Sondalo, and here you can see many facades decorated with frescoes. You can visit the Parish Church of St. Maria Maggiore with it’s well preserved and valuable works of art, and the ancient church of S. Agnes (XI-XV). Also the Church of St. Martha (XII) can be found in Sondalo; it has one of the most important and well preserved cycles of frescoes which are attributed to the painter John Sondalo.
In the old town, you can find historic buildings, frescoes, ancient workshops and fountains. The fountain of St. Clement is a site of legend, where water began flowing spontaneously, as if by miracle.
A further 7km along the road to Sondalo lies Grosio, a large old village of archaeological and artistic significance. At the centre of the village you can find the 17th century church of San Georgio, which contains many frescoes by Cipriano Valorosa, who is considered to be the ‘Raphael of Valtellina’. His paintings earned him the title ‘Pittore Devoto’ and are typically religious in nature.
In the hillsides above Grosio, you will find some petroglyphs dating back to the Iron and Bronze ages and the remains of two Medieval castles. The ruins of of the S. Faustino castle can be found near the petroglyphs. The second castle dates back to the 12th century, although it was rebuilt in the 14th century. Excursions and educational workshops can be arranged by appointment.
The beautiful Grosina Valley is rich in forests, alpine meadows and pastures. It offers interesting walks and excursions to any visitor and is definitely worth a visit, whether you are interested in the flora and fauna or would just like to enjoy some fresh alpine air.
Tirano is a 50km drive directly south from Livigno. Its major tourist attraction is the beautiful Catholic shrine of the Madonna di Tirano, which is dedicated to the appearance of the Blessed Mother to Mario Degli Omodei at the start of the 16th century. This event led to the ending of a pestilence, according to local religious belief.
Tirano has been populated since ancient times and the old centre offers plenty to do. In Tirano you will find the ruins of the old town defenses, built by the Sforzas and the Bormina, as well as churches dating back to the 11th century. You can also visit the Tiranese Ethnographic Museum, Castle of Santa Maria and many other notable buildings.
In the centre of Tirano you can also find the Palazzo Salis. Owned by the noble Salis family of Switzerland, this building is an important monument to the history of the Vallentina and Graubuenden region. Built in 1630 by by the Knight Baptista de Salis, extended further and embellished by his descendants, this building has been carefully renovated and is now a hotel. The Palazzo Salis is open to the public and it is possible to admire its court, many beautifully decorated rooms, frescoes, the baroque church and a genuine Italian style garden, considered a rare find in the alpine area.
You can catch the Bernina Express in Tirano, a spectacular train journey to St Moritz. This unique route passes through Val Poschiavo and Engadina, taking in vineyards, lakes, woods, mountains and alpine pastures. The line passes by the Morteratsch and Bernina glaciers, reaching 2,253 meters in altitude.
Poschiavo lies a 34km drive to the south of Livigno and is a historic Swiss town, dating back to the 9th century. It is connected to St Moritz and Tirano by the Bernina Railway. The town is definitely worth a stop off if you are passing through.
You can find ten Swiss heritage sites of national significance in Poschaivo. Amongst the many historical churches and houses is the the Casa Tome. Built in the middle ages, this tower has since been converted into the town museum and is a wonderful place to find out more about the history of the area. The town has more museums, art galleries, churches and monasteries for those seeking a cultural day out.
Just to the south of the village is the Lago di Poschiavo. This natural lake is a beautiful place to stop and take in the mountain air. A popular spot is the little church of San Romerio, located 800 metres above the lake and offering breathtaking views across the valley.
Further along the Bernina Railway and a 45 km drive from Livigno is St Moritz. This Swiss town is steeped in history and is a popular tourist destination for many people. Considered to be the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism, St Moritz has twice hosted the Winter Olympic Games and offers opportunities for the ski enthusiast to try out some of the Olympic runs.
You can also find the Segantini Museum here. It is listed as a Swiss heritage site of of national significance and dedicated to the painter Giovanni Seganti. St Moritz is has been famous locally for over 3,000 years due to its therapeutic springs. Relics dating back to the Bronze age have been discovered here. Built around the St Moritz lake, it offers a guarantee of exceptional leisure and sporting attractions, cultural highlights, up-market shopping and world-class events the whole year round.
The famed St. Moritz Champagne climate enjoys over 300 days of sunshine per year and virtually guarantees a fantastic day out for any traveller.
Zernez is a 12th century town just a 27km drive through two national parks to the north of Livigno. This town is a fantastic base for anyone wishing to visit the Swiss National Park. Surrounded by nature, mountain sides, rivers and forests all add to the beauty of the area. It is a great place for nature lovers to visit.
The old town centre contains four Swiss Heritage sites of National Significance, including the reformed church in Zernez which was built in the 14th century. The 12th century Windenberg Castle can also be found here; it now serves as the town hall. The Palazzo Bezzola and Galgen Fuorcha can also be found in Zernez.
In the centre of the town you can also find the museum for the National Park. One of the first national parks in Europe, the 174 square km park is the largest protected area of Switzerland and is said to be one of the top ten places to visit in the country.
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