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Livigno is a valley, town and commune in the Lombardy region of Italy.


Valley overview

Between two chains of mountains that gently descend from 3,000 m to 1,800 m of the town, consisting of an uninterrupted series of houses in wood and stones. Italian town in the province of Sondrio, Lombardy; it is the second highest municipality in Italy. Livigno is also known for being a pleasant tourist center frequented both in winter and in summer, this makes it one of the most important and well-equipped tourist resorts in the Alps which, with more than one hundred welcoming hotels, offers the visitor wonderful holidays in contact with nature and alpine tradition throughout the year, ideal for a holiday or a stay in full contact with nature. The skiable area includes 115 km of slopes, with also slopes dedicated to snowboarding, and 32 ski lifts. The locality is called the "Little Tibet" of Italy due to its high altitude and its dry and rigorous climate. It is in fact one of the coldest municipalities in Italy. Snow usually appears there in November and persists until May.

The area is basically a 12-km long street full of shops and housings, surrounded by mountains full of ski slopes and hiking trails.

Livigno enjoys a special tax status as a duty-free area. Italian VAT (Value Added Tax) is not paid. Buying full tank of gas here, before going to Switzerland, pays off. However, this also means that especially the Swiss border control may require you to pay tax when importing non-trivial amounts of liquors and such.

Geographical notes[edit]

Center city

Livigno is the northernmost town in Lombardy, on the border with Switzerland. The Livigno valley extends for a few kilometers beyond the Alpine watershed. Livigno is a town in the upper Valtellina located on a plateau at about 1,800 m asl, at the foot of the Livigno Alps. The town winds along the road that runs for over 15 km the entire valley crossed by the Spöl stream (Aqua Granda in Italian) which conveys its waters towards the Eno (Inn) and from this to the Danube. Livigno is therefore one of the Italian municipalities not belonging to Italian catchment areas. Due to the peculiar situation of having in its national territory territories crossed by tributaries to the Danube basin, Italy, according to the Belgrade Convention of 1948, has the right to participate in international conferences on the navigation of the Danube and Italian boats do not pay navigation rights up to and including the Black Sea. The Spöl flows for half of its initial stretch in the Val di Livigno and for the other half it flows in the Engadine, in Switzerland. The dangerous passage of the Spöl in a very narrow, steep and steep valley between the two parts, the upper and the lower course, has historically been an extremely difficult access to the bottom of the valley for Livigno, explains the relative isolation that the Val di Livigno has suffered. in the past. The other two accesses are high altitude mountain passes.


In the 8th century the territory passed from the abbey of Sant'Abbondio di Como to the Community of Bormio in exchange for a barrel of wine. Around 1300 the first historical elements of stable and organized residents are identified: they obtain from the neighboring Grisons the permission to sell their agricultural products on their markets, in exchange they obtain the authorization to import black powder and salt, exempt from the duties applied to other neighbors. Social, economic and political relations were prevalent towards the area of ​​the canton of Grisons rather than towards the owners of Bormio, with whom there was a permanent dispute. Geographical isolation conditioned every possibility of progress, well-being and cultural growth. Nonetheless, social relations were maintained with the Engadine valley also due to the greater ease of access: there were exchanges of money, through loans and deposits; health care in Livigno relied mainly on Swiss doctors because they were considered more experienced in the ailments and treatments in use at that time; the exchanges of goods took place between Livigno and the Engadine valley. The wool produced by the many sheep raised in Livigno was transported to Tubre to sell to the merchants who supplied the wool mills of the Republic of Venice. The route was the Valle del Gallo, the Alpe del Gallo, the Giufplan and down the Val Monastero. Salt, black powder, potatoes and flour arrived from the same road, while cereals and wine arrived from Forcola, Val Poschiavo and Tirano. The transports took place with the "brozz" (two-wheeled wagon with animal traction) and with the "bast" (loading saddle for mules and horses). In 1600-1700 at various times the inhabitants of Livigno managed to obtain and maintain various forms of concessions and de facto autonomy, especially on trade in goods exempt from duties, on the paths of travel and on sources of purchase. Towards the end of the eighteenth century the Austrian Empire officially recognized the autonomies and franchises of the Community of Livigno. In 1805 the Napoleonic Command of Morbegno officially recognized the Livigno franchises. This decree was promptly reconfirmed by the Austrian Empire in 1818. From this last date the political activity of the Public Administration of Livigno began to protect its franchises, its import and export quotas free of duties. In the times of the Counter-Reformation Bormio was garrisoned by the Jesuits to defend Catholicism against the infiltration of Protestants and Livigno found itself in the middle, between the Swiss Protestants and the Jesuits of Bormio, with the complications of the case. In 1914 the Italian army built and opened the road connecting Bormio-Livigno. In 1960 a limited tourist movement began, but it was only after 1968, following the construction of the Gallo basin, that the road to the northern markets was made through the Tunnel Munt La Schera which in fact started the tourist development of the locality. . In 1960 it was obtained formal recognition by the EEC. For many decades a dispute went on between the provincial administrative authorities and the Livigno Healthcare Administration: they asked for the appointment of an Italian doctor, they continued to appoint Swiss doctors, not recognized by the Italian authorities. In 1972 there was the institution of VAT and the relative official recognition of its exemption for the duty free area of ​​Livigno. In 1975 it was the seat of the VIII Winter Universiade.

Get in[edit]

Either from Switzerland side via 1 Bernina Pass, or 2 Munt la Schera tunnel - or from Italy from 3 Bormio

Get around[edit]

Livigno has four free bus lines (blue, green, red and yellow) every hour from 07:30 to 20:00.

The blue and green lines are managed by Silvestribus, connecting all major hotels with lifts and the center of the city.

Extra connections are available in high season.


Lake Gallo
  • 1 Lake Gallo (Lake Livigno). Artificial lake at the border with Switzerland which has a capacity of 164 million m³, thanks to the Punt da Gall dam, built between 1965 and 1968.
  • 2 Parish Church of Santa Maria Nascente. The construction of the first church dates back to about 1300 AD and is that of Santa Maria Nascente. In the following centuries the churches were made up of S. Antonio, S. Rocco, S. Anna in Trepalle, Florin's Sorrows, Immaculate of Lourdes at Tresenda, Addolorata in Val Federia, Blessed Virgin of Caravaggio and Immaculate of Viera. Apart from the first, which was subsequently consecrated as a parish church, all the others are small in size but rich in small details that make them unique and interesting to visit.
  • Livigno Dairy, Via Pemont 911, +39 0342 970432, toll-free: +39 0342 974331. 8am - 7pm. It is here where small milk producers, united in a cooperative, have created a structure that, alongside the processing of dairy products, offers residents and tourists the opportunity to experience all the goodness of milk firsthand. You can visit the various workshops, taste the products at the White Bar or on a large outdoor terrace, admire the vintage agricultural equipment in the small museum. In summer from Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 11:30 there is a tour inside the Dairy, where through you can witness some stages of milk processing. It's recommended the yogurt and ice cream produced by them, sold at the ice cream shop along the cycle / pedestrian path. It is not recommended to reach the Dairy by car as it is difficult to find parking.



There is the possibility to relax with an afternoon or a whole day of shopping, in fact, Livigno offers its tourists more than 250 shops by creating a real large outdoor Shopping Mall, or a large open-air gallery, far away. from traffic and surrounded by the picturesque and majestic surrounding mountains.

In the village there are also many restaurants, clubs, delicatessens and shops where it is possible to taste and buy the typical products of the place and the Valtellina area.

Since the municipality of Livigno enjoys the status of a non-customs area, it is convenient to buy alcohol, spirits, perfumes, sugar, cigarettes and many other goods in the many shops in the town. It is also convenient to buy petrol and diesel. N.B .: On the tourism website it is possible to consult the table with the maximum quantities of products that each tourist can bring outside the municipality.

Historically, the non-customs benefits were granted as early as the early nineteenth century by Napoleon, later confirmed by the Austro-Hungarian Empire and by Italy, and finally recognized by the European Community in 1960.





  • 1 Post office, Plaza dal comun 71, +39 0342 996049, fax: +39 0342 997587. M-F 08:20 - 13:45, Sa 08:20 - 12:45..

Go next[edit]

In Switzerland, St. Moritz and Swiss National Park are nearby.

Trepalle - Livigno hamlet about 6 km. From Trepalle you can admire Livigno through many panoramic points. To visit the highest church in Europe at over 2000 m.

Val Federia

Bormio (about 40 km) - At the mouth of the Valfurva, where the Frodolfo that descends from its mountains merges with the Adda, Bormio was an ancient center of trade between Milanese, Veneto and Germanic nations. To this he now adds the tourist activity, summer and winter, which makes it a center of solid economy and even more solid reputation.

Valdidentro (about 20 km)

Santa Caterina Valfurva (about 50 km)

Valdisotto (about 45 km) - The headquarters of the Levissima are located in Cepina, a hamlet.

Valle di Fraele - Crossing the Alpisella pass you will find the lake of the same name and the sources of the Adda. A little further on, the two large artificial lakes of Cancano and San Giacomo are located between conifer woods. Interesting excursions to the Fraele valley with dog sleds are organized by the Husky Village which is based in the nearby town of Arnoga

Forcola alpine lakes

Val Nera waterfall

Stelvio Pass (about 60 km) - At 2.758 m a.s.l. The Stelvio Pass is on the border between Lombardy and Trentino Alto Adige.

Sankt Moritz (about 40 km). Swiss mountain town, a day visit is recommended.

Tirano ( about 60 km).


Livigno is part of the Strada del Vino e dei Sapori della Valtellina, a route of food and wine tourism promotion, about 200 kilometers long and recognized by the Lombardy Region, which winds through the Sondrio Valtellina over a territory of 78 municipalities, touching among these: Montespluga, Madesimo , Chiavenna, Colico, Lecco, Morbegno, Ardenno, Postalesio, Chiesa in Valmalenco, Teglio, Aprica, Tirano, Grosio, Bormio and Sondrio.

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