The magnificent Palazzo Merizzi in Tirano
History, art and beauty intertwine in the courtyard of one of Valtellina’s most sumptuous and visited spots
Once you’ve crossed under the series of wide, stone, arched porticos that mark the entrance to Palazzo Merizzi, you’ll find yourself in front of one of the most sought-after, Instagram-worthy sights in Tirano’s old town: the palazzo’s stunning 18th-century square Cortile d’Onore (inner courtyard), ringed by graceful columns and pilasters.
On the east and west side, the four heads of the loggia are decorated with coats of arms, representing the noble Merizzi family, who owned and managed the palazzo for many centuries; and another three belonging to Maria Venosta di Tirano, Caterina Grana and Anna Maria Lucini – local noblewomen, who are believed to have advised upon and contributed to the realisation of the palazzo’s three wooden ‘stue’ (boiserie).
Inside the palazzo, the palatial rooms feature period furnishings, and some are replete with frescoes by Swiss painters from Malcantone in the canton of Ticino. The two most prominent rooms have carved wooden panelling and are decorated in a Louis XIV style, dating from the 17th century.
Carefully preserved, the noble Merizzi family’s archive – stored inside the palazzo – is a wealth of fascinating history with original documents from the period 1510 to 1800, including 150 medieval parchments and the ancient ancestral tree of the Tyrolean families Wolkenstein and Schlanders.