An ancient town at the foot of the Stelvio Pass, has a rich history of events. The County of Bormio, in the "Beautiful Land", with its "honorate" Valleys, was attractive to many. The splendor of its past is witnessed by several testimonies (32 towers, 12 churches, palaces, paintings, works of inlaid wood and wrought iron).
Piazza Cavour is the main square of Bormio, dating back to the Iron Age, it was rebuilt after being buried by a landslide of Mount Reit. Here are the most important buildings of the ancient community:
- The Kuerc from the dialect word "cover" was the place which once hosted the meetings of the people and where justice was administered. After the fire of 1855 few remains can be seen.
- The tower of hours, so called for the sundial included in its structure, is about 30 meters high; its bells were created from the fusion of the "Bajona", the great bell once used to call people at meetings, parties or in case of danger.
- The Collegiate Church of SS. Gervasio and Protasio dates back to the fourth century; it was rebuilt in 1626-28 after being damaged by the Grisons in 1620 and completely destroyed by the Spanish the following year. Inside the church there is a single nave and some side chapels full of paintings, sculptures, carvings, altars and statues. The old-rose facade is adorned with stones and marbles of Bormio.
- Palazzo De Simoni consists of a palace, a medieval tower, a church and an orchard; now it houses the Village Museum. In 1963 the last heir of the De Simoni family donated the property to the Municipality. Inside the palace there are the "Stùe" that is typical wood-paneled rooms fully equipped with "pigne" that is masonry stoves.
The Civic Museum of Bormio
It was founded in 1961 by the "Friends of Bormio" and it is located in the halls of the De Simoni Palace. It contains a rich historical, artistic, ethnographic and traditional heritage: finely carved furniture, works of art from local churches, the wooden statue of the Madonna of the Attic (found in the attic of the same building in August 2011), some votive tablets, some tools once used for wool and flax, some others used by the butchers for meat processing the so-called "bekeria", some keys and locks testifying the craftsmanship of blacksmiths, some tools used for milk processing and others used by carpenters and cobblers, some old skis and other equipment used in winter, some carriages, and other objects used in agriculture.
Natural History Museum
It is set up near the home of the naturalist Edy Romani by the Mineralogical Group “Valli di Bormio”. The mineral collection includes most of crystals and fossils found in Valtellina, some of which are of international importance. In the same museum you can see some examples of dioramas and local wildlife.
It was for centuries the only access to the village from Valtellina. It was built in 1591 directly on the rock to replace the old bridge resting on pillars that was easily destroyed by the floods of the river Frodolfo. Its slender arch is adorned with two chapels at the center that show two paintings with a religious background. Two buildings on the opposite banks connect the bridge: House Imeldi which garded the passage and the " south-eastern Customs” where duties were paid on goods in transit.
The Church of Saint Antonio Abate or Church of the holy Crucifix
It is one of the oldest in the village. Inside there is a single nave covered by a barrel vault; numerous frescoes decorate the whole church, making it a little gem. In the chancel is a scene from the life of St. Antonio. The right altar preserves the miraculous crucifix which is carried in procession on extraordinary occasions.
Church of St. Ignatius
It was built by the Jesuits. The Church has an octagonal single nave; its dome is decorated with frescoes depicting scenes from the life of the Jesuits and the altar was donated by the congregation of women of Bormio. Under the church, closed to the public, there are the graves of some Jesuits. The church is linked to the “ex Gymnasium” Palace through an elevated walkway. This Palace once belonged to the Alberti family and then it was donated to the village people in order to establish a school. Here you can admire some beautiful frescoes and paintings.
The Tower of the Family Alberti
Imposing and massive it dates back from the late thirteenth century and is 24 meters high. It is located in Roma Street and was built in ashlar stones. You can still see the old windows and the slits for firing the crossbow. Donated by the Alberti family to the “Company of Jesus”, it became the barracks of the alpine troopers.
It is a small house that keeps a hopper, grinding stones, a container, a “nuratto”, a wheel and gears in the basement . it was also a sawmill until the advent of electricity. The upper part of the building, used as a residential dwelling, is made up of one large room divided into several rooms by pine wooden walls. Now owned by the municipality it hosts exhibitions and cultural events.