Sondrio, town (1991 pop. 22,097), capital of Sondrio prov., Lombardy, N Italy, on the Mallero River near its confluence with the Adda River. The chief town of the Valtellina, it is an agricultural market and an industrial and tourist center.

Sondrio (Sundrium, Sondrio, Lombard: Sùndri, Sunder) is an Italian town and comune located in the heart of the Valtellina. Sondrio counts approximately 22,600 inhabitants and it is the administrative centre for the Lombard Province of Sondrio.


The area of Sondrio was populated in ancient times by the Ligures and, from the 5th century BC, by the Celts. Formerly an Ancient Roman military camp, today's Sondrio was founded by the Lombards: in their language Sundrium meant "Exclusive property", referring to the status of free men (arimanni) of the holders of the city and the surrounding land.

After the fall of the Lombard Kingdom in Italy, Sondrio became part of the Holy Roman Empire. The Capitanei of Vizzola, who controlled much of the Valtellina, had it in 1040 from the emperor Henry II. From 1310 to 1335 the city was involved in the war between the Guelph and Ghibelline factions of the nearby Como, and its war against Milan. After having resisted several attacks by the Comaschi, in 1335 Sondrio and Valtellina became part of the Visconti Milanese dominions.

From the second half of the 16th Century to the 18th Century, Sondrio was governed by the Tre Leghe Grigie ("Three Grey Leagues") of the Grisons, as the capital city of Valtellina. After the Reformation, Sondrio was the centre of heavy struggles between the Catholic Valtellinesi and the Protestant Grisons. In 1620 the citizens, led by Giacomo Robustelli, killed 180 Protestants and declared the independence of the Valtellina.

After the Napoleonic parenthesis, in which it was annexed to the Cisalpine Republic, Sondrio fought gallantly with the Austrian Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia for its independence.

Bounding Communes


The territory of Sondrio is famous for its vineyards, the most famous quality of wines being the Sassella and Grumello. Wine represents one of the main resources of this region, together with tourism, especially in winter.

Another important piece of Sondrio's economy is its banking industry, with the Banca Popolare di Sondrio and the Credito Valtellinese both headquartered in Sondrio and listed on the Milan Stock Exchange.

Main sights

The heart of Sondrio is its central Garibaldi Square. Not far from it is the Palazzo Sassi that is home of the Art and History Museum of Valtellina. In a dominant position, near the ancient road to the Valmalenco, linking the town to Switzerland, there is the Masegra Castle, where it is the Historical Museum of the Grisons Domination.

Sister Cities


External links

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