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In the old town of Poschiavo

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Full of surprises!
That is how the late German painter and writer Wolfgang Hildesheimer described his encounter with the old town of Poschiavo (also known as “Borgo”), which was to become his adoptive home.

The town centre is an attractive mosaic of natural beauty and cultural values, creating a unique, harmonious atmosphere around the landscape, the monuments and the vibrant town life.
Today, the old town is full of surprises with its distinctive town planning and architectural features (which give it more of a large town feel), its uniqueness and fascinating richness in terms of language, culture, society and geography, its generous, hospitable people, its genuine local products, its refined handicrafts and its authentic tourism experience. 
In the past, Valposchiavo has been a crossroads, a melting pot of cultures, a land of migration, a meeting place but also a stage of conflict, the home of returning emigrants and a region with major projects, and over the centuries it has successfully exploited these assets.

The main square (Piazza Comunale) in the old town of Poschiavo is lined with buildings with elegant neoclassical façades. The churches and monasteries are reminders of the town’s rich historical and religious past, and the museums have extensive records of the region’s historical, cultural and artistic heritage. The “Palazzi”—also known as the “Spanish quarter”—are a row of stately houses built in the second half the nineteenth century from the earnings of emigrant pastry chefs, who made their fortunes from their Swiss cafés across Europe and in Spain in particular.

The cuisine offers a rich variety of authentic flavours, simple yet delicious dishes made with local produce, and organic products such as cheeses, meats and aromatic herbs.

Visitors will discover an Alpine valley with a strong passion for development and a desire to promote their traditional heritage and to reshape the landscape to provide a genuine tourism experience.

Valposchiavo
Polo Museale Valposchiavo

On board the Bernina Express

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Built over a century ago, the Albula/Bernina railway line is regarded as a masterpiece of civil engineering. A showpiece that blends wonderfully into the natural landscape, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.

The Bernina line is Europe's highest Alpine railway and one of the steepest adhesion railways in the world. The famous Bernina Express (or “Little Red Train”) offers a breathtaking ride from the Engadine to Valtellina through the spectacular Alpine landscape of the Bernina with its year-round snow-capped mountains and high-altitude vegetation. Passengers will experience a kaleidoscope of unforgettable emotions and sensations as they pass through an ever-changing landscape on their descent to the valley below. There, they will reach the old town of Poschiavo (also known as "Borgo di Poschiavo"), where they will be greeted by its well-maintained, welcoming main square, its patrician houses with their elegant Italian architecture, and a warm welcome from the friendly, open, hospitable locals.

From there, the journey continues southward, passing the delightful hamlets of the high valley, and stopping at Le Prese, close to the hotel. It goes on to skirt the peaceful Lake Poschiavo and then brave the circular viaduct at Brusio. Negotiating a large drop in altitude in a very short distance without building tunnels was considered an impossible task at the beginning of the twentieth century. The challenge was met and masterfully overcome by constructing a circular viaduct out in the open. Passengers travelling by train will be able to admire this spectacular feat of engineering: over 100 years old, the viaduct is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highlight of Valposchiavo, it serves as a reminder for future generations of the farsightedness and creativity of their forefathers.
The Bernina Express ends its journey in the small town of Tirano in Valtellina, where visitors are greeted by gardens in full bloom, Poschiavo’s outstanding cuisine, the ancient Palazzi and a warm, friendly welcome from the locals.

Rhaetian Railway
UNESCO World Heritage

On the Shores of Lake Poschiavo

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Formed by a prehistoric rockfall, Lake Poschiavo is a favourite destination for beautiful leisurely walks. The 7-km-long footpath is flat and free of obstacles, and a section of it is open to cyclists. It is very popular with anglers who enjoy fishing either from the shore or from a boat, with bathers seeking a refreshing dip in the lake and a secluded spot for sunbathing and relaxing, and, on a windy day, with windsurfing enthusiasts.

Guests of Hotel Le Prese may access the peaceful shores of Lake Poschiavo from the private dock at the end of the hotel’s gardens. There, they will find three rowing boats, which they may take out on the lake, perhaps for a spot of fishing or simply to relax while being gently rocked by the waves lapping at the boat.

Valposchiavo

In the mountains

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In the mountains of Valposchiavo, you are surrounded by beautiful scenery: along the paths, on the flower-filled slopes, on the snow-capped mountains, in the shade beneath the trees.
The plant life and wildlife exhibit a fascinating variety, ranging from Alpine to Mediterranean: from larches and Swiss stone pines to chestnuts and vines; from eagles, chamois and ibexes to yellowhammers, kingfishers and deer. The River Poschiavino flows down the valley, which is dotted with small hamlets and many mountain pastures, and empties into Lake Poschiavo. It then carries on down the lower end of the valley, eventually joining the River Adda near Tirano. Valposchiavo’s rivers are full of fish, and fishing is a favourite pastime of locals and visitors alike.

During the summer season, the region offers a wide range of opportunities to explore the great outdoors, for example the magnificent Val di Campo - a protected nature reserve - with its rich Alpine flora and the enchanting mountain lakes of Lagh da Saoseo and Lagh da Val Viola, the Sassalbo (white rock) mountain, which towers majestically over Poschiavo against the deep blue sky, the impressive natural formations (known as “giants’ cauldrons”) of the Cavaglia glacier garden, guided tours of the summits of Valposchiavo with spectacular views, the hermitage of San Romerio and the delightful villages of Viano and Cavaione perched on the steep slopes, topped off by the warm hospitality of the mountain huts and restaurants.

Valposchiavo
Cavaglia glacier garden

By bicycle or mountain bike

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Valposchiavo is an ideal base for mountain biking. It is crossed by a dense network of signposted trails through which visitors can explore the region, from the year-round snow of the Bernina Pass down to the vineyards of Valtellina, the protected nature reserve of Val di Campo, the beautiful hermitage of San Romerio and the picturesque village of Cavaione, perched on the right-hand slope of the valley: over 100 km of pure cycling bliss in the great outdoors against the backdrop of a salubrious, scenic natural landscape.

The lower reach of the valley lends itself to leisurely cycling tours. Guests of Hotel Le Prese can reach the old town of Poschiavo along country lanes, avoiding the main road traffic.

Altarezia BikeTours

In Valtellina

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Valtellina is an important Alpine region located in the heart of the Alps between Italy and Switzerland, between Lombardy and the Canton of Grisons. In past centuries, it was the main gateway to the Alps and the only transit route for merchants travelling between the rich ports of Italy and northern Europe. The valley’s richness is reflected in its vast historical heritage.

Valtellina is a popular destination for hiking, visiting museums, churches and buildings of the nobility, exploring the local handicrafts and sampling local products such as wine and cheese, or the famous pizzoccheri (buckwheat flour tagliatelle pasta boiled with potatoes and cabbage) and bresaola (cured raw beef), apples and honey. A journey through cultural traditions handed down through the generations and flavours that never fail to impress.

Valtellina includes popular holiday resorts such as Livigno and Bormio and as many as four thermal spa resorts: the Bormio Thermal Baths, the New and Old Baths of Bormio, and the Masino Baths.

To discover the secrets of the fine wines of the Valtellina region, do not pass up on the chance to visit the wine-making houses across the region and find out about the fascinating history of the Nebbiolo wines, the fine red wines of the region. As well as tasting the region’s top wines, visitors to the wine cellars may also sample the local products.

In the spring and summer, the nature is ablaze with a kaleidoscope of colours, from the meadows in flower to the lush green woods in bloom, crossed by crystal-clear mountain streams. The Stelvio National Park, the Parco delle Orobie Valtellinesi and the Val di Mello Nature Reserve are well worth visiting. The signposted and well maintained mountain-bike trails offer long bike rides in the great outdoors.

Valtellina

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