Sondrio: what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening

Sondrio is a small town in Valtellina surrounded by the crests of the Lombard Alps and the terraced vineyards of the Rhaetian bank . The city center is very intimate and mainly for pedestrian use only, so the best way to visit Sondrio is undoubtedly on foot or by bicycle.
In addition to offering splendid historic buildings , the city offers you an unparalleled culinary tradition , with a selection of wines produced from truly excellent Nebbiolo grapes. Let’s find out what to see, where to eat, and what to do in Sondrio .

What to see in Sondrio

1 – Masegra Castle

Masegra Castle is the only medieval stronghold that survived the settlement of the Grisons in Valtellina . Over the centuries, the manor has lost its defensive purposes and has been used as a residence, enriching itself with loggias, cellars for wine tasting, frescoes and other architectural details. Do not miss the Camera Picta which houses a cycle of frescoes inspired by Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso.

  • How to get: 15 minutes on foot from piazza Garibaldi through via San Siro and via Capitano Masegra –
  • Timetables: from May to September, on Saturdays and Sundays, from 9:00 to 12:30 and from 15:00 to 18:00
  • Ticket cost: free

2 – Castel Grumello

Built between the late 1200s and early 1300s by the De Piro family, what remains of Castel Grumello dominates the city and much of the valley from above . The construction consisted of 2 buildings surrounded by walls. The building to the west was used as a residence while the building to the east was purely defensive.

  • How to get: 10 minutes by car from the historic center of Sondrio towards Montagna in Valtellina –
  • Timetables: from March to September, every day from 10:00 to 18:00; from October to January, every day from 10:00 to 17:00; last admission: half an hour before closing. Not open to visitors during the month of February.
  • Ticket cost: free

3 – Via Scarpatetti

Walking along via Scarpatetti means immersing yourself in the authenticity of Sondrio. Cobbled courtyards, stone arches, small votive chapels and stone galleries will give you the perfect view of the typical rural architecture of Valtellina. Do not miss the chapel of the Madonna dell’uva and the wooden statue depicting the Madonna holding the Child Jesus with a bunch of grapes.

  • How to get: 8 minutes walk from piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi through via Maurizio Quadrio
  • Timetables: always accessible
  • Ticket cost: free

4 – Palazzo Pretorio

Built in the 11th century, Palazzo Pretorio now houses the offices of the high offices of the Municipality but was once the seat of the government of the Grisons which dominated the city in the 16th century. The external facades of the building still show Renaissance ornaments and the courtyard shows a double loggia, decorated with the ancient gray scratch technique. The study of the Mayor of Sondrio houses a wooden statue of immense artistic and cultural value, dating back to the sixteenth century. Also important is the Sala Terranea , frescoed with the Grisons coats of arms. Inside Palazzo Pretorio there are also three exhibition halls .

  • How to get: 2 minutes walk from piazza Garibaldi 
  • Timetables: Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 14:30 to 16:30.
  • Ticket cost: free

5 – Palazzo Sassi de ‘Lavizzari

Built in the sixteenth century, today Palazzo Sassi de ‘Lavizzari houses the Valtellinese Museum of History and Art which collects archaeological evidence from prehistoric and Roman times, as well as local works capable of providing an overview of Valtellinese artistic production from the Middle Ages to today. A seventeenth-century wooden stua is also visible.

  • How to get: 5 minutes walk from piazza Garibaldi –
  • Timetables: Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00; holidays from 15:00 to 18:00. Closed: every Monday, January 1st, Easter Sunday, August 15th, November 1st and December 25th.
  • Ticket cost: full € 6.00; reduced € 5.00 for EU citizens between 18 and 25 years; free for the handicapped and accompanying persons and EU citizens under the age of 18.

6 – Villa Quadrio

Vila Quadrio was built at the beginning of the last century and today shows a splendid wooden stua in stone pine of the sixteenth century . The structure refers to the typical architecture of its time, however, bringing some significant references to the Renaissance in its exteriors. Today it houses the municipal library .

  • How to get: 8 minutes walk from piazza Garibaldi –
  • Timetables: Monday from 2pm to 7pm; Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00; Saturdays from 9:00 to 12:00.
  • Ticket cost: free

7 – Palazzo Sertoli

Located in the historic center of Sondrio, Palazzo Sertoli is a baroque building with an adjoining park. Do not miss the visit of the Ballroom on the main floor of the structure . It is a baroque room on two floors and decorated with frescoes and balconies typical of the time.

  • How to get: 4 minutes walk from piazza Garibaldi – 
  • Timetables: temporarily not open to visitors

8 – Collegiate Church of Saints Gervasio and Protasio

Located in Piazza Campello, in the heart of the historic center, Collegiata dei Santi Gervasio e Protasio is a church of medieval origin almost entirely rebuilt during the eighteenth century. The church contains paintings of refined beauty.

  • How to get: 2 minutes walk from piazza Garibaldi
  • Timetables: always accessible in compliance with religious functions.
  • Ticket cost: free

9 – Piazza Garibaldi

The center par excellence, the good living room of the city, where city life is created and flows , or stops for an aperitif or a coffee. The historic Albergo della Posta and the Teatro Sociale overlook the square , together with other wonderful buildings in Renaissance and neoclassical style. In the center of the square stands the statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi.

  • How to get: 6 minute walk from the train station –
  • Timetables: always accessible
  • Ticket cost: free

10 – Via dei terrazzamenti

It is really worth visiting the terraces destined for the cultivation of the Chiavannesca vine and their wine cellars, to taste a glass of Sassella, Grumello, Inferno and Sforzato. At your disposal, several walking and cycling routes from which to admire the city from above. The streets of the terraces go from Tirano to Morbegno, passing through Sondrio .

  • How to get: 6 minutes drive from the center of Sondrio –
  • Timetables: always accessible
  • Ticket cost: free

Sondrio itinerary in one day

Start your visit to Sondrio by stopping for breakfast at the La Milanese pastry shop in Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi. Here you can eat typical Valtellina sweets and leave with the right energy .
Admire the square with the statue of Garibaldi and the flow of city life that is created here, then continue along Corso Italia to reach Palazzo Pretorio and admire the splendid fifteenth-century wooden stüa that adorns the office of the First Citizen. Proceed towards Piazza Campiello where you can admire the Collegiate Church of Saints Gervasio and Protasio with its beautiful interiors. After your visit, take via Martiri della Libertà and continue until you reachPalazzo Sertoli and its admirable gardens . Continuing on via Zara you can reach Villa Quadrio.

Go back and have lunch at the Cima 11 restaurant which offers typical Valtellina dishes in a daily menu, which varies according to availability. Accompany your culinary choice with local wine, capable of enhancing any dish. After lunch, reach the MVSA via via Pelosi and delve into the magnificence of the history and art of Valtellina. After visiting the museum housed in the Palazzo Sassi de ‘Lavizzari, take via Scarpatetti until you reach Castel Masegra . The road is uphill but the view over the valley repays the slight effort.

Once your visit to the castle is over, stop for dinner at the nearby Masegra Restaurant , to enjoy delicious dishes and excellent glasses of wine, all locally sourced. After dinner, go down to via Scarpatetti and reach piazza Cavour, where you can end your day with a glass of wine or grappa.

One day itinerary at a glance

  1. Breakfast at La Milanese , piazza Garibaldi, 7 
  2. Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi – always accessible – free
  3. Palazzo Pretorio – opening hours: from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 14:30 to 16:30 – ticket price: free
  4. Collegiate Church of Saints Gervasio and Protasio – always accessible – free
  5. Palazzo Sertoli – opening hours: from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 19:00 – ticket price: full € xx, reduced xx € xx, xx (in case of too complex times or reductions, insert the link of the official website)
  6. Villa Quadrio – opening hours: Monday from 2pm to 7pm; Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00; Saturdays from 9:00 to 12:00. – ticket cost: free
  7. Lunch at Trattoria Cima 11 – via Pelosi, 3
  8. MVSA – opening hours: from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00; holidays from 15:00 to 18:00 – ticket price: full € 6.00; reduced € 5.00
  9. Castel Masegra – opening hours: from May to September, on Saturdays and Sundays, from 9:00 to 12:30 and from 15:00 to 18:00 – ticket price: free
  10. Dinner at Masegra Restaurant – via De Capitani di Masegra 7B 


Where to eat in Sondrio

  1. Cima 11 : a very small trattoria in the heart of the historic center that offers an informal and familiar environment where only and exclusively typical local specialties are served.
    Average price per person: € 20.00
    Address and contacts: via Pelosi, 3 – 
  2. Masegra : typical Valtellinese cuisine revisited in a modern and chic way. The location near the castle of the same name is beautiful. Average price per person: € 35.00
    Address and contacts: via De Capitani di Masegra 7B – 
  3. Ristorante della Posta : a place of extreme class and refinement with meat and fish dishes cooked by excellent chefs.
    Average price per person: € 45.00
    Address and contacts: piazza Garibladi, 19 –


What to do in the evening: nightlife areas and the best clubs

The nightlife of Sondrio develops above all in the taverns of the historic center , although there is no shortage of trendy clubs for young people. In the area of ​​Piazza Garibaldi you will find night clubs able to satisfy every taste and always respond to your expectations, from the most refined to the most familiar.

  • Astoria Disco Club : the right place for those who love to dance to the rhythm of wild DJ sets
    Address: piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi, 26 – 
  • Le Café : a quiet place to have a drink with your friends while enjoying an excellent cellar
    Address: via Giuseppe Piazzi, 10 –
  • Caffè Della Posta : refined and elegant place, ideal for a romantic after dinner
    Address: piazza Garibaldi, 6 – 


Plan your stay in Sondrio: info and useful tips

  • How to get: about 2 hours by car both from Bergamo Orio Al Serio airport and from Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate airports; 2 hour train ride from Milano Centrale – 
  • Getting around : the best way to get around the center of Sondrio is on foot or by bicycle. In this way you can enter the pedestrian areas without problems and enjoy all the beauties of the city.
  • Where to park : in the center you will find the paid parking in Piazza Garibaldi . Also in the center, you can take advantage of the public parking in piazzale Tocalli 
  • Where to sleepHotels and b & b from € 40.00 per room – see the offers
  • What to see in the surrounding area : Tirano 30 minutes by car; Madonna della Sassella 10 minutes by car; Morbegno 30 minutes by car; the Sentiero della Valtellina, 100km of paths that connect the most beautiful places in the area, to be covered strictly on foot or by bicycle.

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