We were dropped off outside the rail station (a small branch line connects Chiavenna with Colico near the head of Lake Como) and headed off to explore. First stop the main piazza where we went in search of refreshments. The temperature was milder here than the north side of the alps and we sat in the main piazza, basking in the sun and enjoying some delicious treats from Il gelato del vecio!
Chiavenna nestles high up in the pre Alps near the Italian border. The River Mera gushes through town on its way down from the Val Bregaglia and the Maloya Pass to Lake Como in the south. North of the town, the Valle Spluga also heads towards the Spluga Pass (if you thought the Maloja sounded tricky read about driving conditions on the Spluga!) and over to Chur in Switzerland. With such a strategic position near two important alpine passes, Chiavenna became an important trading post and it still retains much of its medieval charm and character. We had a pleasant stroll through the narrow streets enjoying the sunny atmosphere.
Many of the old buildings are now home to trendy boutiques, food and deli shops and a myriad of cafes and restaurants. Some of the cafes are housed inside old caves or crotti – they are quite a feature in Chiavenna. With churches including the ancient Church of Saint Lawrence dating back to the 5th century, museums, parks and walking trails, Chiavenna was certainly worth visiting. We would have liked to have stayed longer but after a quick afternoon tea break it was time to head back to our coach for the relatively short ride back to Lake Como (16 kms further south).
Copyright © 2016 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved