Chiavenna (333 m a.s.l.) is a small town probably of Etruscan origin and was a Roman station situated on the shortest route linking the Po Valley with central Europe.
It lies between the San Giacomo valley – in direction to the Spluga Pass – and the Val Bregaglia – towards the Maloja Pass – and is an important crossroads between Italy and Europe. The routes of the Spluga and of the Bregaglia get to Thusis and to Maloja in the Canton Grisons. These are two cross-border routes full of history and culture where you can meet many “xenodochi”, old hospices for pilgrims and travellers. If you are a keen biker, do not miss the cycle path of the Valchiavenna.
Let yourself be surprised by the spectacular Acquafraggia waterfalls in Borgonuovo di Piuro. Visit also the collegiate church of S. Lorenzo (XI-XVIII c.) with the font of the year 1156, the Museo del Tesoro (Museum of the Treasure) with the “Pace di Chiavenna” (“Peace of Chiavenna”) - a precious Gospel cover of the twelfth century - the Palazzo of the Counts Balbiani (XV c.), the Palazzo Salis (XV III c.), the Palazzo Pestalozzi and the Palazzo Pretorio (XVI c.), the Roman soapstone quarry “Caurga”, the mill of Bottonera (XIX c.), the archaeological museum and botanic garden “Paradiso” and the “Cort di Asen” as well as the marvellous Palazzo Vertemate Franchi in Piuro, one of Lombardy’s most splendid villas of the Sixteenth Century.
Then the “crotti”, the typical natural caves where the “sorèl” blows, a fixed-temperature current of air, which is best for the seasoning of the “bresaola” and other sausages and for the aging of wine, the protagonist products of the famous "Sagra dei Crotti" (Fest of the Crotti). Chiavenna is a certified "Città Slow" (Slow Town).