We arrived in the busy Italian town of Tirano in northern Italy by train from Menaggio on Lake Como. Tirano is actually on the Swiss/Italian border and it is the start of one of the most amazing train journeys in the world.
The Bernina Express starts from Tirano and travels through the streets of the town before heading over the border and climbing high into the Swiss Alps. Our journey was going to take us to the Swiss town of Chur, a journey of over 4 hours through and over some of the most beautiful Swiss mountain scenery.
Apart from the train service running from Tirano there is little else to see and do in Tirano. It’s a pretty place though standing at the foot of some fairly high mountains and you can see snow on the mountain tops even in summer.
There are not many places to stay in Tirano Italy so my advice is to book early. We chose a hotel called the Hotel Corona, which is located only about 100 metres from the train station. Sadly, the hotel is in need of refurbishment and our room was very basic and not the cleanest we have stayed in. There was a notice in the Hotel Corona reception saying that the hotel is to be re-furbished in November 2013 so I hope that makes a big improvement.
There are several places to eat in Tirano but we were there on a Monday and most places were closed in the evening. We found only one place open , a Chinese restaurant , again this is one restaurant best avoided. We should have known better, Chinese restaurants in Italy are never good!
Before going to the station for the Berina Express which left at 14.10 we had lunch in the lovely Caffe Merizza in Tirano. The food and service was excellent and I can recommend this as a good place to eat.
Tirano is a unique town because the trains that depart from Tirano station actually travel through the streets of the town. It’s quite a sight watching the train go through the streets and I took a video of the train which you can see below.
When we arrived in Tirano there was a huge thunderstorm. The river that runs through Tirano from the mountains was in full flow and the sky was looking angry !
Watch my video of a train in the streets of Tirano Italy