What to see in Chiavenna and surroundings

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

In province of Sondrio, in the northern part of Lombardy is Chiavenna, a very pretty town of Valtellina, still little known despite everything it offers to tourists. Interesting to visit both in summer and in winter, even here every season offers some nice surprises. Full of interesting attractions to discover, from the mountains to the villages, without forgetting the waterfalls, this city offers curious ideas and moments of total relaxation thanks to its position surrounded by nature. Perfect for passionate skiers who here can descend on the slopes of the Valchiavenna, Madesimo and Campodolcino ski area, from November to spring, for both alpine and cross-country skiing. Important opportunities also for culture lovers, considering that Chiavenna is really a open-air museum. Among the many possibilities, here what to see in Chiavenna and surroundings because even the neighboring areas have something to tell.


  1. The historic center and the crotti
  2. Paradise botanical archaeological park
  3. Treasure Museum
  4. Park of the Marmitte dei Giganti
  5. Historic Fire Brigade Gallery
  6. Acquafraggia waterfalls, Piuro
  7. Vertemate Franchi Palace, Piuro
  8. Valchiavenna in Winter
  9. Where to eat in Chiavenna
  10. User questions and comments

1 - The historic center and the crotti

Il historic center of Chiavenna it is full of medieval buildings, beautiful stone fountains, suggestive churches. Some of its structures have remained intact since 1500. The serene coexistence between the ancient stone buildings and the more modern ones is curious, which in any case are very few compared to the "historical" part. Among the most interesting and famous buildings there is certainly the collegiate church of San Lorenzo, majestic and dating back to the 1600th century of which the Renaissance portico, the baptismal font and the bell tower rebuilt in are remembered. Inside the church also the Treasure Museum which deserves to be visited carefully and without haste. Crotti are gods natural ravines among the boulders where in Chiavenna characteristic places have been created where you can eat traditional dishes.

  • by train from Milan or Sondrio which are the main hubs to reach the area. From there you can walk to the historic center through Viale Matteotti.
  • /
  • Cost: /

2 - Paradise botanical archaeological park

The Paradise Botanical Archaeological Park consists of two hills: the Paradiso and the Castellaccio which are located in a magnificent position offering a beautiful view of the city and the surrounding area. They are divided by the caurga and connected by a footbridge and paths. To visit absolutely for its smooth, rounded rocks, for the numerous botanical varieties of flowers and plants, for its archaeological remains and the ruins of the old walls and fortress. It is also possible to visit it by reservation. Dogs are allowed as long as they have a leash.

  • walk from the historic center along piazza Castello towards via Quadrio where the entrance is located at the "Ca Rossa". Through the steps you arrive at the ticket office.
  • Tuesday to Saturday from 14:00 to 17:00 and Sunday from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 17:00 (winter time), from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00 (summer time).
  • Cost: € 3,00 full, € 1,50 reduced (students, over s, school groups).

3 - Museum of the Treasury

In the collegiate church of San Lorenzo, the Museum of the Treasury is a complex dating back to probably the th century. The main piece it holds is the peace of Chiavenna, an th century evangelary blanket in embossed gold, pearls, gems and enamels of medieval origin which still today represents an example of a goldsmith's artifact of rare beauty. It is called peace because it was used as a liturgical object during mass. Many studies have been carried out on its precise origin, but nothing certain has yet been discovered.

  • you can easily reach it on foot as it is located in the historic center. If we arrive from the station, just take Viale Matteotti to Piazza Don Pietro Bormetti.
  • every day from 15:00 to 18:00, on Saturdays from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00. Closed on Mondays.
  • Cost: € 3,00 full, € 1,50 reduced

4 - Park of the Marmitte dei Giganti

Just outside Chiavenna, at the entrance to the Val Bregaglia, the Marmitte dei Giganti Park includes the homonymous one Nature reserve dating back to 1983. Inside the signs and paths lead to the various attractions to be discovered such as glacial phenomena and the potholes of the giants (deep pit-shaped depressions in the rocks due to river erosion), the rock engravings, the extraction of pietra ollàre and Gigart, the permanent art event with works almost entirely made with natural materials such as stones, trunks, branches, leaves. It will remain exposed until the natural deterioration of the works. The visit of the park takes more than an hour.

  • on foot along via Poiatengo along the river. By bus number 4 (from the train station) which with 5 stops takes us to Prosto di Piuro and from there on foot for 500 meters.
  • Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 20:00. Closed on Sunday.
  • Cost: free entry

5 - Historic Fire Brigade Gallery

The museum holds historical statistical artifacts and motor vehicles from all over the nation. The historical gallery of the Fire Brigade was built in 2001 so as not to lose all the artifacts collected in 1991 on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of the national fire brigade. All the material tells the story of the body from the 2006th century to the present day. First organized in the basement rooms of the Mese detachment, since 600 the Municipality has made available what was the old headquarters of the mechanical professional institute, where it is still located, of square meters covered, precisely three sheds and other appurtenances. If you happen to be in Chiavenna it is advisable to make at least a jump.

  • from the station you can walk along viale Matteotti up to via canonico Francesco Novi.
  • every Saturday from 15:00 to 18:00. Closed in August.
  • Cost: free entry

6 - Acquafraggia waterfalls, Piuro

Around Chiavenna also deserves attention valley of the Mera which goes up the Bregaglia up to the State and beyond. TO Piuro there are the Acquafraggia waterfalls, imposing and easily visible from afar. Example of U-shaped glacial excavation, undoubtedly represent one of the most evocative spectacles of the Val Bregaglia. The name derives from fracta water, that is a stream continuously interrupted by waterfalls. They constitute an impressive natural complex.

  • by car proceeding north-east towards the road to Loreto, from here take the SS37 and follow the signs for Piuro which are clearly visible. By bus with number 4, starting from the Chiavenna Quadrio stop to Borgonuovo. From here you can reach your destination on foot in less than 5 minutes (about 250 meters).
  • always open
  • Cost: free

7 - Vertemate Franchi Palace, Piuro

Also in Piuro is the Palazzo Vertemate Franchi, prestigious and elegant dating back to the sixteenth century. What is striking is the difference between the magnificence of the interiors with the rich furnishings and the deeply sober exterior. The walls and vaulted ceilings are painted in fresco. The palace was built by the two brothers of the family, who were traders, in the second half of the 500th century to be used as a second home.

  • drive along the SS37 del Maloja, arrived in Prosto di Piuro, follow the clearly visible signs towards the Palazzo.
  • from 24 March to 4 November every day from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 14:30 to 17:30. Closed on Wednesdays except holidays. In August it is open every day at the same times.
  • Cost: € 7,00 full price, € 5,00 reduced (students, over s, school groups, Fai and Tci groups)

Valchiavenna in Winter

In winter Valchiavenna is very active. Certainly in addition toskiing activity (alpine and cross-country skiing) from November to late spring on 60 kilometers of slopes of the Skiarea Valchiavenna, Madesimo and Campodolcino there are also numerous possibilities to dedicate yourself to others winter sports as the ice skating on the track of the multi-sports center, a few steps from the center where it is also possible to indulge in swimming either alone or following courses. Any sport can be practiced by adults and children. Do not miss the trekking in Valchiavenna, in particular thanks to the chestnut path ring route of easy walking through nature and the most representative product of the area, that is the chestnut. Even if it is not purely winter, there is a culinary appointment not to be missed in Chiavenna, la festival of the crotti. Every year at the beginning of September it opens onto the scenery of the city and you can choose whether to follow programmed tasting itineraries (reservation required) or dedicate yourself to visiting the crotti and tasting independently.

Where to eat in Chiavenna

Chiavenna is famous at the table for being the homeland of Bresaola, also called Brisaola della Valchiavenna. Salami that has made the history of the place like yours dairy cheeses, so called because they are produced in the low valley dairy where the milk is collected and processed to obtain high quality cheeses. THE pizzoccheri, noodles prepared with both white and buckwheat flour, are one of the most famous specialties of this area which according to traditional recipes should be seasoned with butter, chard, parmesan and a sprinkling of pepper.
Here is a list of clubs and restaurants to eat in Chiavenna:

  • Crotto al Prato, via don Peppino Cerfoglia, 2. Tel: 0343 37248. Google map: click to view
  • Crotto Quartino, Strada comunale dei Quartini, 5. Tel: 0343 35305. Google map: click to view
  • Trattoria del Mercato, via Carlo Pedretti, 32. Tel: 0343 36595. Google map: click to view
  • Crotto Torricelli, corso Giovan Battista Picchi, 15. Tel: 0343 36813. Google map: click to view
  • Crotto Giovanantoni, via San Giovanni, 37. Tel: 347 2617955. Google map: click to view

Audio Video What to see in Chiavenna and surroundings
add a comment of What to see in Chiavenna and surroundings
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.