Many people head to the major cities like Rome, Florence and Venice when they visit Italy on holiday. Others travel down the Italian coast, which is another popular option. However, I’d like to tell you about the place where I live, which is still unknown to many tourists and can therefore provide you with an experience unlike any of the classic holidays in Italy.
Welcome to Sondrio
I live in Sondrio in the mountainous region in the north of Italy. Call me biased, but for me this is the most beautiful region in the whole of the country. Despite this, my little corner of the world tucked away in the Alps still remains relatively unexplored by tourists.
If you want to experience something different from the norm and visit an area of Italy where you can almost guarantee none of your friends will have visited, here’s my quick local guide to how to enjoy a perfect break in Sondrio.
My Recommendations for Sondrio
Sondrio is a small and peaceful town, but that does not mean it lacks things to see and do. Upon your arrival, start off by visiting Piazza Garibaldi in the heart of the town, an attractive square surrounded by historic buildings. Palazzo Sassi is located nearby, and inside this beautiful palace you will find the Art and History Museum of Valtellina where you can discover some beautiful works of art and archaeological finds.
The Scarpatetti is the oldest area of the town, and it is a perfect place for strolling through the quiet streets where you’ll come across ancient churches and villas. Next you may want to visit Masegra Castle, which used to be a military base.
Historic Terraces & Delicious Wines
One of the features that you will instantly become aware of is the number of terraces surrounding the town. These ancient terraces were built by the local population who had to adapt to conditions that were far from ideal for growing crops. The land was transformed to become more productive, and now vines are grown on these terraces, which are responsible for producing the famous wines of the region.
Some of the best wines that you should make an effort to try include Grumello and Sassella, which are the most well known in the region, and Sforzato, which is also very popular, although there are many others.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Because it is surrounded by such dramatic mountainous scenery, it would be a shame not to see more of the great outdoors when you visit Sondrio. Indeed, the region is very popular with outdoor enthusiasts, not least keen skiers. There are numerous ski resorts in the area, including the resorts of the Valtellina ski area, with two of the nearest being Chiesa and Caspoggio.
For hiking and walking you can visit Stelvio National Park, which is the biggest park in Italy. Near to Sondrio you will also find the Orobie Valtellinesi Park, which is great for mountain biking and trekking amongst other activities.
Of course, whatever you plan to do on your holiday, you should always ensure you have the right travel insurance policy, so click here to get covered for your next trip and make sure you are protected while on holiday.
Discover Sondrio for Yourself
I love living in Sondrio, as you can probably tell. I enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings, the delicious wine and the laid-back lifestyle. If you would like to discover it for yourself, you will be able to discover a region of Italy that few other foreigners are familiar with, but which offers so much to those travelers who are prepared to explore beyond the classic holiday destination.
Enjoying the good life and traveller safety
Sondrio is safe and easy to get around for female travelers, and you can walk, ride a bike or catch a bus to nearly anywhere. There is not a huge range of accommodation because Sondrio does not attract masses of tourists, and your best bet is to stay in a family B&B. For shopping, you won’t find large shopping centers, but there are interesting weekly markets where you can stock up on local products, including cheese and wine. There are also some lovely restaurants and pizzerias in the town, and the food is simple but delicious – don’t miss the deserts. After exploring the surroundings, you might want to relax in a spa, and you can find a good one in nearby Bormio, such as the one at the Grand Hotel Bagni Nuovi.