Before traveling with dogs on the Bernina train we decided to spend one night in Tirano in Valtellina, north of Italy, to enjoy the views, the pizzoccheri, good wine and also to leave early on the Bernina Express the next day without too many races and stress.
We left from Milan, in fact, on Saturday morning and we arrived in time for lunch in Tirano. The Trenord train station is right next to the Swiss Rhaetian from where the Bernina train starts. We took a ride through the historic center of Tirano, a real medieval jewel with many restored palaces to visit. Take a tour of Tirano on the City website to get an idea of the routes. In the historical center you can visit with the dog also Palazzo Salis: a beautiful sixteenth-century building with a museum circuit of 10 decorated and frescoed rooms, all recently renovated.
Going from the old town, we got up to the medieval castle of Santa Maria, known as Castellaccio, commissioned by Ludovico il Moro along the city wall to defend the Valtellina from possible incursions of Grigioni. In addition to the beautiful panorama from the ruins of the restored castle, it is very nice to stay in this area for peace, silence and the view of the mountains all around.
We ate the typical pizzoccheri and chisciöl from Valtellina at the Vineria, a place in the historic center which is very popular in winter, with open fire, and in summer, when you can eat in the courtyard outside. The chihuahuas, of course, have only had a little taste of pizzoccheri 😉
At the end of this long day we slept in the dog friendly hotel Altavilla, where they welcomed us in the main rooms overlooking the Santuario della Madonna, the Basilica can be seen from the Bernina train when you leave from Tirano and you start the climb towards the mountains.
A tip: if you go on the train of Bernina, you should take with you a little supply of food from Tirano, because it is cheaper than in Switzerland. So you can make some breaks during the train stops. A good place to buy bread, muffins, cakes and the typical “bisciola” is the old bakery Brothers Of Pona, by all known as “Plozza”, located in the center of Tirano.