I love Europe. There is at least one thing that everyone can appreciate in any place, big or small. Like this small town called Tirano in Northern Italy which lies in the border of Italy and Switzerland. Nestled in the Alps. Picturesque, lively and oozing the old world charm.
We had booked the Bernina Express tour with Viator (click here for detailed info) which started from Milan in a coach and took us to Tirano before starting the 'actual' train ride from there. The further we went from Milan, the scenery changed and by the time we grabbed some coffee (below), it felt we were already in the Swiss territory. Our guide, informed that many people from these region travel to Switzerland for work on a regular basis since wages are much higher there.
Tirano is not a place where you can plan to spend an entire day, 2-3 hours is good enough to explore. In fact, it would have been off the radar for many travelers had it not been for the famous UNESCO listed Bernina Express which departs from here and goes till Chur in Switzerland, passing through postcard settlements, glaciers and the breathtaking Alpine scenery. Here is what you can do while in Tirano:
Visit the Catholic shrine of Madonna di Tirano, built in the 16th century on the site of a smaller church. There is a nice plaza surrounding the church.
Get a sneak peek of the Swiss Alps.
Pick up souvenirs: Similar ones in Switzerland can be far more expensive so its always a good idea to buy some from here. Also, there are couple of good bakeries in and around the piazza, worth a try.
Enjoy strolling along the Adda river. Unfortunately we could not make it because of the time crunch, but the below picture (from google) makes me think it might be a good idea.
Enjoy a good grab. There are many good cafes around, the food is fresh and simply delicious. In fact, I had my best pasta in the entire Italy trip there (Salt & Pepe,no they are not paying me anything!)
What you can see in the background (above pic) is the Tirano train station and the boarding point for the Bernina Express. To say I was excited, would be an understatement. I literally felt like a child who was waiting to open a box of lollies. Having said that, what awaited was breathtaking beyond my imagination.
Stay tuned for the next post :)
Till Then, take care and happy tripping!