Download GPX file for this article
46.466710.3667Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bormio is a town located in the Alps in northern Italy. It's a very beautiful old medieval town surrounded by the amazing landscape of Stelvio National Park. You can find good ski slopes and thermal baths.


Geographical notes


The Bormio basin is large and bright; excavated over the centuries by glaciers and waterways and partly filled by floods, it is surrounded by mountains that to the north form a limestone and dolomite barrier whose main peak is the Reit (3,075 m). It protects from the Northern winds. This basin characterizes the area as it is entirely surrounded by river valleys. Four valleys converge: the Valdidentro which connects it to the Foscagno Pass, crossed by the Viola torrent, the Valfurva which connects it to the Gavia Pass, crossed by Frodolfo, the Braulio Valley which connects it to the Stelvio Pass, and the Valdisotto, in the which flows the river Adda towards the capital Sondrio. It is about 65 km from Sondrio, in a north-easterly direction.


The Bormio area constitutes a unitary region whose physical characteristics have contributed to determining a single history, a common ethnographic imprint and similar living conditions. The first mention of Bormio in ancient documents is in a letter from Cassiodorus. During the Middle Ages Bormio was the seat of the homonymous county, including the territories that correspond to the municipalities of Valfurva, Valdidentro and Livigno. The Contado, despite the attempts to acquire the power of the bishops of Como and the bishopric of Chur, maintained its independence for about three centuries from the tenth to the thirteenth, when it came under the control of Como. In 1377, through the enactment of the "Magna Carta of Bormi's liberties", the municipality regained its autonomy and obtained important privileges. Power was entrusted to the Podestà of Bormio. He represented the superior authority and enjoyed directive and constricting power. Without him the municipal bodies could not act. Since then and for all the following two centuries, the Contado was at the center of the trade route that connected Venice with northern Europe. Thanks to its strategic position and the possibility of imposing duties exclusively on goods in transit there, it was able to develop economically. In 1400 the population was 5,000 inhabitants and there were 32 towers in the area. Prosperity lasted until 1487 when the town fell under the siege of the Grisons, which became more powerful following the agreement of the Three Leagues. From that moment the Sforza also granted the Republic of the Three Leagues the possibility of imposing duties like Bormio. The Contado, due to the plague and the political and military instability of the area, turned towards decline and in 1512 became a protectorate under the dominion of the Three Leagues. Worthy of note was Gian Giacomo Vismara, mayor from 1495 to 1499, Aulic Knight and Secret Advisor to the Duke of Milan. The same denomination of "Magnifica Terra" or "Magna Terra di Bormio et honorate valli", assigned in the past to the whole area, beyond the natural aspects, defines a territory limited in its autonomy, proud, since the most distant times, of his social life. With the arrival of Napoleon and the Italian campaign also ended the independence of the Contado di Bormio. In 1797, with the Valtellina, it was reunited with Lombardy and annexed to the Cisalpine Republic. Since then the same fate followed in Lombardy, first under the Habsburgs then in the Kingdom of Italy.

Get in[edit]

Map of Bormio

0°0′0″N 0°0′0″E

The nearest airports to Bormio are around 3 hrs away:

By car[edit]

Bormio is located in Alta Valtellina, in the heart of the Alps, near the border with Switzerland. It is located about 200 km from Milan, 240 km from Zurich (CH) and 130 km from Bolzano.

If you want to reach Bormio by car, the following are the possible routes:

Roads open all year round:

• From Milan - highway 36 to Colico - state road 38 "dello Stelvio" - Sondrio - Tirano - Bormio

• From Brescia - Edolo - Aprica Pass - Tirano - Bormio

Roads open only in summer:

• From Val Camonica - Gavia Pass - Santa Caterina - Bormio

• From Trentino Alto Adige - Stelvio Pass - Bormio

To reach Bormio from Northern Europe:

Roads open all year round:

• From Landeck (A) towards St. Moritz (CH) to Zernez (CH) - towards Fuorn Pass - Munt La Schera Tunnel (toll) - Italian Customs at Passo del Gallo - Livigno - Eira Pass - Passo del Foscagno - Bormio.

• From Zurich (CH) - Landquart (CH) towards Klosters - Vereina Tunnel Zernez - towards Passo del Forno - Munt La Schera Tunnel (toll) - Italian Customs at Passo del Gallo - Livigno - Eira Pass - Passo del Foscagno - Bormio

• From Zurich (CH) - Landquart (CH) - Chur (CH) Thusis - Tiefencastel - Julier Pass - St. Moritz Bernina Pass - Tirano - Bormio.

Roads open only in summer:

• From Zurich (CH) - Landquart (CH) - Davos (CH) Flüela Pass - Zernez - direction Passo del Forno - Munt La Schera Tunnel (toll) - Italian Customs at Passo del Gallo - Livigno - Eira Pass - Passo del Foscagno - Bormio.

• From Zurich (CH) - Landquart (CH) - Chur (CH) Thusis - Tiefencastel - Julier Pass - St. Moritz Bernina Pass - Forcola - Livigno - Eira Pass - Foscagno Pass - Bormio.

• From Zurich (CH) - Landquart (CH) - Chur (CH) Thusis - Tiefencastel - Julier Pass - St. Moritz Bernina Pass - Tirano - Bormio

By bus[edit]

The Gianolini company provides buses from Milan

The Perego automobile offers connections between Bormio and Tirano, Livigno, Santa Caterina di Valfurva and many other Valtellina towns.

Get around[edit]



  • The plaza
    Hot springs
    • The historic ones Bagni Vecchi or the modern ones either in Terme or in the luxury Bagni Nuovi or the free ones outdoor into a creek.
  • Outdoors activities.
    • Walking (in the forest or through the hundreds years historical buildings).
    • Hiking.
    • Trekking.
    • Skiing: alpine ski (worldwide known for the male FIS world cup downhill race), cross-country ski, ski touring.
    • Skating (local top worldwide athletes in short track ice skating competitions).
    • Mountain climbing (historically top mountain climbers, e.g. also members of the first and following K2 expeditions).
    • Biking (flat areas or uphill and downhill, mountain biking, downhill mountain biking).
    • Hunting mushrooms and blueberries.
    • Riding horses.
  • Enjoy local culture.
    • Eating local food and drinking local wines, liquors and water.
    • Shopping in the historical center.
    • Enjoying historical mountain art, architecture and handicraft.
    • Events.
    • Watching some Italian Basketball teams and soccer teams summer pre-season training.
  • Relaxing (slow down!).



  • Bresaola
  • Pizzoccheri
  • Sciatt.
  • Polenta taragna
  • Formaggi e salumi locali (local cheese and cold cuts).
  • Porcini e finferli (porcini and finferli mushrooms).


  • Vini rossi locali della Valtellina (Local red wines from Valtellina Valley).
  • Amari locali (local after dinner liquors).
  • Local bottled water (a leader in bottled water in Italy, water from a local glacier).



Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Bormio is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!