Member of the Italian National Network

Representative of Cittaslow

Filippo Pighetti - Consorzio Turistico Valchiavenna
Tel. + 39 0343 37485
Piazza caduti per la libertà, 3
23022 Chiavenna (SO)


The geographic area of Chiavenna comprises 11.07 sq. kms and naturally enough for the most part represents homes for the local community, spread gently along the banks of the River Mera and along the left bank of the Liro, at the point where the Splugen valley and that of Maloia meet - both heading towards passes to nearby Switzerland. Chiavenna's historic centre is accepted as being one of the best preserved in northern Italy and is heavily influenced by the local stone, called ollare or pot stone, the working of which was recorded way back in Roman times. The soft stone was ideal for the production of laveggi or saucepans, perfect for slow heating during food preparation. Pliny the Elder records as much in his "Naturalis historia". Window sills, portals with accompanying religious inscriptions, fountains throughout the town all bear evidence of the local pot stone as do the borders of Renaissance terraced housing, where Middle Age influences are also to the fore. Within the town the mansions of the noble are recognisable alongside the river, and housing from the 16th century features above the historic city walls.
The local economy unsurprisingly is based on tourism and craft activities in wood, stone and similar small undertakings.

Presidio (Executive Committee) Slow Food 'Violino di capra'

Projects already completed
- the restoration of paintings and religious frescoes on house facades within the historic centre
- plaques recording original family homes, and indicating the nature of lettering and symbols on portals - again in pot stone
- the regular opening to the public of old courtyards, entrance halls and gardens
- pedestrianised areas within the town centre
- the publicising of ancient mountain pathways all around and freely accessible from neighbouring communities
- lighting within the historic centre very much in harmony with the age-old architecture 
- environmentally-aware waste collection

Projects undertaken in conjunction with other towns
- bicycle and walking routes linking neighbouring communities including neighbouring Switzerland, which represent a genuine alternative to standard byways 
- restoration of historic pedestrian and international transit routes (Via Bregaglia, Via Spluga)

Major events
- Sagra dei Crotti - a celebration of the local natural phenomena- which takes place on the 1st Sunday and the following weekend in September; 
- Annual S. Lorenzo musical concert to celebrate the town's patron saint in the fantastic setting of the gardens of the extraordinary Palazzo Vertemate;
- Kilometro verticale: a speciality of international mountain running, with a single ascent
covering a height differential of a thousand metres with departure from Chiavenna

Special fairs and markets
- Chiavenna hosts five special fairs each year in March, April, May, October and November. This incorporates as many as 85 stalls, set within the splendid and green Pratogiano area of the town 
- weekly market every Saturday, and Christmas Eve, once again in Pratogiano and accommodating 43 stalls
- Dì de la brisaola: an event which will bring together master butchers within the valley to showcase and
promote their very special local cured meat, which takes place every year on the fisr Sunday of October

Typical Local Produce Foodstuff
- Valchiavenna Brisaola (cured beef)
- Violino di Capra - goat's shoulder 
- Fennel cake
- Alpine and goat's cheeses
- local chestnuts

Other products
- pot stone produce
- wrought ironwork
- wood crafts

Traditional recipes
- local white gnocchi cooked in butter
- pasta with chestnuts
- polenta with cheese and butter
- salmì - rich meat stew (often venison)
- spare ribs in sauce cooked slowly in a pot stone pan
- spare ribs and vegetables cooked on hot stones