Sat in the heart of Tirano’s old town, Palazzo Salis is a spectacular property built between 1630 and 1690. For many centuries, this grand site was the official residence of the counts Sertoli Salis – the governors and Grison podestà of Valtellina – and it is, in fact, still owned by this noble family.
Back in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Salis’ ten grand rooms – all beautifully frescoed – were where all the major decisions for the valley were made, and now it is finally able to reclaim the same breath-taking splendour after a string of restorations. Attractive from the outside, its late-1500s façade is flanked by two towers with one central portal, done in a Baroque style and leaning on a design by the Italian architect ‘Il Vignola’.
Once inside, the display of art reigns supreme, with the museum spanning out through the ten baroque-style rooms, which all overlook the ancient courtyard known as the ‘Corte dei cavalli’, the horses’ courtyard. From the frescoed entrance, the tour winds up the grand staircase and into the main hall, leading you into room after room that displays objects and archives collected over the centuries as well as treasures and finery. Admire the Salotto di lettura (the reading room), the Sala dei Turchi (the Turkish room), the Studiolo dell’Olimpo (the studio of the Olympus), as well as the elegant Italian-style garden, where even the most discerning visitors will end their visit feeling that they’ve come across something of rare beauty.
From 16 April to 31 October: Open daily from Monday to Saturday, from 10.00 to 16.30 (last entrance at 16.00).
Groups of more than 10 are advised to book a guided tour in advance (tours can be booked at various times, including Sundays).
From November to the end of March: Open for bookings only, minimum group size 20.
Entry fee 8.00 euro, including audio guide. Guided tours are recommended for groups (English, German, or Italian). Visits last approx. 50 minutes. It is also possible to visit the historic 16th century cellars upon request – groups only, for an additional cost of 3 euro per person).
PALAZZO SALIS DI TIRANO
Piazza Salis, 3
+39 340 0640653
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Tirano has a lot going on in terms of its geography. After all, it’s where Switzerland and Italy meet, where the Aprica and Bernina passes merge, and on the road connecting Milan with the upper part of Valtellina. For a dose of ancient history, quaint old town charm and appealing views of centuries-old buildings, Tirano’s wealth of churches