Valtellina is 150km north of Milan in the Italian Alps bordering Switzerland. It can be reached from the south via Lake Como, while from the north there are several Alpine passes, most of which are open year-round.
The Valtellina region is entirely Alpine, offering a variety of mountain sports and activities. The territory ranges in altitude from 200 metres at Pian di Spagna (just north of Lake Como) to the 4000-metre peak of Pizzo Bernina. Valtellina’s east-west orientation, unusual for Alpine valleys, offers a range of beautiful natural environments, from the rich valley bottoms, through the middle slopes, to the high mountain peaks. There is a large variety of wildlife, agriculture, architecture, traditions, customs and dialects.
Most of the Valtellina region is nowadays recognised as a protected area, rich in natural reserves and monuments. The reserves include the Stelvio National Park (the largest in the entire Alpine span) and the Regional Park of the Orobie Valtellinesi, situated on the north side of the Orobie Alps. The Valtellina landscape is marked by a huge number of terraced vineyards held up by dry-stone walls a labour of love created over centuries by human hands, to bring fertility to a harsh land.