The city of Tirano is a typical country town and fascinates visitors with its artistic tasting and culture, as well as its wines and gastronomy. Are you travelling to Tirano, northern Italy? Get to know the best of Tirano with the main information about the city, tourism tips, where to stay and what to eat.

Tirano is considered a city because of the walls that were built by Ludwig Sforza, also known as Il Moro at the end of the 15th century, to protect it. The three gates of the city still exist, Bormina, Poschiavina (recently restored) and Milanese.

Tirano is best known as the starting point of the famous Bernina Red Train, but in fact Tirano is much more, and has many things to offer and discover.

This city enjoys a natural strategic position in the heart of the central Alps, between Italy and Switzerland, a crossroads of considerable importance over the centuries. Already in antiquity it was inhabited by Etruscans, Tyrrhenians, Gauls and then by the Romans, of whom it is thought to owe their present name.

How to get to Tirano

Cut by the Adda river, Tirano is located in the upper Valtellina at the entrance to the Puschlav (route to the Bernina Pass into the Upper Engadine) very close to the Swiss border and is the capital of the Italian province of Sondrio. Tirano is the southern terminus of the Bernina line of the Rhaetian Railway.

It is possible to get there by train from Milan and a journey to Tirano takes around 2h30.

The train from Milan to Tirano runs through Monza, Lecco and Varenna, among other cities. When arriving in Lecco, it borders Lake di Como for a good part of the journey and it is possible to have beautiful contrasts of the landscape of the lake with snow-covered mountains on the summits. 

For those who travel by car you should follow the SS36 to Clico. Then take the SS38 to the city of Tirano. But it is also possible to follow from Milan to Bergamo and take the SS42 to Endolo. Then follow the SS39 and the SS38.

Where to stay and where to eat in Tirano

Do you want to know where to stay and where to eat in Tirano? Download our free travel guide.

What to eat in Tirano

The cuisine of the Valtellina Valley region is known for Bresaola, cheese with Valtellina Casera type cow's milk, wines and pasta based on (dark) wheat. In Tirano, you can try Italian dishes typical of Alpine regions:

Main tourist attractions

Santuario della Madonna di Tirano

It is a church that was built in the early 16th century, after the Virgin Mary appeared there on 29th September 1504. Interesting elements of this church include the baroque organ, dating from the 17th century. The organ is a work of Bulgarini, which impresses with its magnificence and wealth of detail.

Palaces in Tirano

In Tirano, there are several palaces that give beauty to one of the richest historical centres of the Alps. Some of them are:

Il Trenino Giallo

It's a little yellow train that tours the city streets. It departs daily from the square near the train stations "Piazza delle Stazioni". The tour lasts 30 to 70 minutes.

Bernina Express Tour

The Bernina Express is a train ride through the Alps between Italy and Switzerland. The trains leave from Tirano station on the Retica Railway. The Bernina Express is bound for the Swiss cities of St. Moritz and Chr. The Bernina Express is also known as Trenino Rosso and is one of the unmissable attractions of this region.