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Tirano is a town in Sondrio Province in the Lombardy region of northern Italy.


Tirano is 2 km (1.2 mi) south of the Swiss border and serves as the railhead for the Swiss RHB trains heading north. It is the southern terminus for the scenic Bernina Express.



The discovery of prehistoric finds made it possible to establish that the area was already inhabited in very ancient times.

After having declared itself a free municipality in the 12th century, Tirano was subdued by the Capitanei, lords of Stazzona.

In 1335 with the conquest by the Visconti, Tirano grew in importance.

Following repeated raids by the Grisons, Ludovico il Moro decided to have the walls and castle of Santa Maria built in 1487. During the sixteenth century the city grew in importance both for its strategic position and for the apparition of the Madonna to Blessed Mario Omodei who made Tirano a destination for religious pilgrimages. Still in the religious sphere, in the sixteenth century in the Valtellina town there were harsh clashes between Protestants and Catholics.

Tirano played an important role both during the Italian Risorgimento (we remember patriots such as Luigi Torelli, Ulisse Salis, Giovanni and Emilio Visconti Venosta) and during the first and second world wars.

Get in[edit]

By Train[edit]

You can reach Tirano from Switzerland on Rhätische Bahn (RHB) trains which all take a winding mountain route offering incredible alpine scenery. The Bernina Express has special "panoramic" tall windows to take in the scenery. Make a special seat reservation to enjoy these carriages.

Within Italy the Tirano-Sondrio-Lecco line also terminates in Tirano (at a different station located on the same town square as the Swiss trains). Timetables and fares are available on the Trenord website.

Get around[edit]

By Taxi - Taxis may be available at taxi rank outside the two train stations, however this is not to be relied upon. You may need to phone for a taxi.


Sanctuary of Our Lady of Tirano


Bernina railway






Go next[edit]

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