If you're going to be in Northern Italy's Lombardy region, veer off the beaten path and pay a visit to the charming, little-known town of Bormio. Named from the old Germanic word meaning "warm" for the abundant natural spring water in the area, Bormio offers a picturesque setting for skiing and a taste of Italy unspoiled by outside influence any time of year.
A land of thermal baths, ski slopes, and hiking trails, Bormio offers visitors an idyllic environment to come and soothe their souls by experiencing authentic old-world Italian lifestyle. And if you want to make your Italian getaway even more special, you can stay in one of our vacation homes. Not only will you have far more privacy than you would in a hotel: if you're with a group, you'll also save money by splitting the cost of a home rather than paying for single rooms.
Situated at the base of four mountain passes of the Italian Alps in the alpine province of Sondrio, Bormio is an ancient medieval town bordered by Stelvio National Park in the Valtellina area, which means "the Magnificent Land." Bormio is a three-hour drive from the breathtaking resort area of Lake Como and only a few miles south of the Swiss border.
Bormio is known for its stellar skiing, and while the area is packed with skiers during the winter months, you can come to Bormio any time of year and carve your way down these spectacular mountains.
If you're in the market for a new pair of skis, pay a visit to the Ski Trab factory in Bormio where you'll find skis made with exquisite and detailed craftsmanship backed by thorough science and testing. Treat yourself to a new pair, then hit the slopes at Arnoga, Livigno, or Santa Caterina di Valfurva for a mind-blowing day on the slopes. And if you're in Bormio in December, you'll be able to catch World Cup ski racing, a truly spectacular event.
If skiing isn't your thing, there's still plenty to keep you occupied and get you out and about. Visit the old baths of Bormio, which are located on Mount Reit and feature medieval and Roman baths, as well as the San Martino Sweating Grotto, which was built in 1827. Descend slowly into the grotto to adjust to the rising temperatures and enjoy a luxurious detox in this naturally heated sauna. Loll in the outdoor pool and feast your eyes on breathtaking panoramic views of the Bormio basin and the mountains beyond.
Make the drive over Stelvio Pass, the highest paved road in the Eastern Alps. Long and winding with 48 hairpin turns, this scenic drive offers stunning mountain vistas and has been deemed as one of the top driving roads in the world. Every year in late August/early September, the pass shuts down, and bicyclists and runners make their way to the glacier-dotted summit.
And, of course, what would a trip to anywhere in Italy be without the food? While pasta is a staple throughout the country, alterations to this classic Italian dish vary by region. In Bormio, expect to find less cheese with your pasta and more beans. For a truly comprehensive sampling, visit as many of the fine restaurants as possible that you'll find in this little pocket of mountain paradise.
At Enoteca Guanella, you'll be assured a delicious meal accompanied by delectable Italian wine you can purchase at the adjacent wine shop. If you're wanting a romantic dinner, Ristorante Al Filo is the ticket, and Vecchia Combo offers a cozy atmosphere and expertly prepared cuisine. And, at least once while you're in Bormio, treat yourself to a Bombardino, a popular Italian drink made with eggnog, whiskey, coffee, and whipped cream.
Take a step back in time and head to Bormio for a true Italian adventure. Indulge in a visit to this hidden gem of Italy, and consider one of our comfortable vacation rentals for your home base.