Province of Sondrio
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Grosio is one of 78 municipalities of Province of Sondrio.
Inhabitants: includes approximately 4566 inhabitants.
Elevation: approximately 656 meters above sea level.
Border municipalities: Grosio borders : Grosotto, Monno (BS), Poschiavo (CH-GR), Sondalo, Valdidentro, Valdisotto, Vezza d'Oglio (BS).
Postal code: 23033
Phone code: 0342
ISTAT code: 14033
Italian name of the inhabitants: Grosini
Folklore, Culture and Traditions
Monuments and Places
Parish Church of St. Giuseppe
The Church of San Giuseppe is dated XVII century. It is the parish church of Grosio since 1818. You can reach it by wide steps that lead to the churchyard characterized by elegant balustrades. The facade alternates stone walls with artistic green stone. On the right you can see the amazing tower (XVIII century) with its concert of eight bells cast in the local Pruneri foundry. The inside, wide and solemn, is dominated by a dome above the transept. It has a single rectangular base aisle. On the sides you can see the chapels enriched by stucco and precious fresco.
Visconti Venosta Palace
To the right of the parish church you can find the Visconti Venosta Palace with its wide garden that you can reach through a wrought iron gate in XVIII century style. The palace presents a central part with a four arch porch and a superior double aisle arcade. The left section is the most ancient (XVII century) with its picturesque decorations inspired by Oriental Art (XVIII century). In the right one, XIX century origin, you can see a Renaissance room with its furniture, pictures and precious ornaments. The Palace was the summer residence of the Venosta family, whose the most famous member was Emilio Visconti Venosta, internationally recognized diplomatic and close collaborator of Cavour, and also Foreign Minister for 6 governments since the Italian Unification until 1900. In 1982 the Palace was donated to the Town Hall of Grosio by the last descendant of the famous family: the marquise Margherita Pallavicino Mossi, widow of Giovanni Visconti Venosta (Emilio's brother). The Palace is open to the public as a museum and it is host to the local Library.
Church of St. Giorgio
Going on the right through the narrow roads of Grosio you can see the Church of San Giorgio dated XIII century. It was the parish church until 1818. It is a precious example of Late-Medieval Art in Lombardy and it is among the most important monuments of the municipality. San Giorgio's Church is also one of the few buildings in Valtellina that still preserve its original XIII century interior aspect. It is in the historical centre and adorns a small square with its peculiar polygonal stone fountain.
On the outside you can see the portal which opens on to a fenced lawn, the cemetery in Grosio until 1830, and on the north side you can see a staircase that leads to the internal balustrade. The facade, above the main marble portal, shows a fresco of the Deposizione (A. De Passeris). Inside there is a single aisle, rectangular base, with visible beam roof in which there is inserted the square presbytery, cross vault and the semi-circular apsis. The most precious part of the church is wooden ancon representing the Nativity, engraved by P. Bussolo and decorated by A. De Passeris (1494), that is placed in the Holy Virgin's Chapel. The recently restored fresco are suggestive and refined, some are attributed to the local artist Cipriano Valorsa, named the "Valtellina's Raffaello".
The Rupestral Engraving Park and the Castles
Ai the small town entrance you can admire, on the rock at the start of Val Grosina, two Medieval Castles: "Vecchio" of S. Faustino and "Nuovo" next to the impressive Rupe Magna. The first, dated XI century, has on its side the ancient church dedicated to San Faustino and Giovita, characterized by the Roman style tower, still well preserved. In the feudal period it was a Parish Castle, given by the Bishop of Como to the Venosta family, who lived there until the XVI century. The "castrum novum" (New Castle), or "Visconteo", was built for the Visconti from Milan in the second half of 1300s with the strategic and military aim of controlling the Grosio area with a fortification able to dominate the valley corridor and the entrance to Val Grosina. The recent restoration has given back the value of the double walls and the huge towers.
The visitors attention is also struck by the huge rock, smoothed by the action of ice, named "Rupe Magna" by the sculptor Davide Pace. It represents the heart of the park, and it is the biggest engraved rock of the Alps. Also worth of a visit is the site of Colle di Giroldo and the Antiquarium, permanent show of Grosio archeology, placed at the visitor centre "Ca del Cap".
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