Since ancient times, Tirano has been one of the most important economic and cultural centres of Valtellina. This ancient town still preserves three gateways from the city walls built in 1497 by Ludovico the Moor to defend the town against the Grisons (from Swiss Grigione), who nonetheless seized Tirano and all of Valtellina in 1512.

Tirano is a traditional stopover for the many visitors who make their way each year to the famous resorts further up the valley: Bormio, Livigno and Santa Caterina Valfurva. Easily reached from Milan, Tirano is also linked to St. Moritz and to the Engadine valley by the delightful “little red train” of the Rhaetian Railway, which crosses the Bernina pass.