Exploring Valtellina’s historic and artistic heritage


Valtellina is the perfect destination for a mountain holiday with a cultural twist. For a start, there is a wide range of museums that open the door onto the past of this region bursting with history, art and local traditions.   

There is something for everyone, from art museums to natural history, mining and mineral museums and a number of interesting ethnographic museums. The museums organize a variety of activities and events, often for children, making your visit even more interesting and the exhibits easier to appreciate.


Must-see museums include the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale of Morbegno, which focuses on nature-related aspects of Valtellina’s history, and the Museo del Tesoro in Chiavenna, which is home to the famous Pace di Chiavenna, a rare 12th-century Gospel book cover featuring 25 gold leaves with gemstones, pearls and enamel work on a walnut panel. Not far from Chiavenna, in Campodolcino, is Mu.Vi.S. (Museo della Via Spluga e della Val San Giacomo), which narrates the story of the Via Spluga and Val San Giacomo.

Heading further into Valtellina, in the provincial capital of Sondrio is the Museo Valtellinese di Storia e Arte. In Lanzada (Valmalenco), the Museo Minerario della Bagnada features a guided tour and exhibitions about mining in the area. Other worthwhile museums include the Museo di Palazzo Besta in Teglio, which is housed in a noble 16th-century residence featuring frescoes depicting scenes from Virgil’s Aeneid, and the Museo di Palazzo Salis in Tirano.

In Upper Valtellina, the Forte di Oga, a military fort built during the First World War; the Civic Museum of Bormio, an art and ethnographic museum; and the MUS! Museum of Livigno and Trepalle, which narrates the history of Livigno, its people and its traditions, are all worthy of a visit.