Sondrio / Italy
Alpine Town of the Year 2007
Facts & Figures
Area in km²
Sondrio boasts some of the most typical features of the Alpine area, such as the forests and Alpine pastures that line the Orobic Alps at different altitudes, the terraces on the slopes of the Rhaetian Alps and the geometrically divided fields and meadows in the valley.
Sondrio is also one of the founding towns of the “Alpine Towns” working group. In 1986, the town council unhesitatingly responded to the call of the City of Trento for international cooperation between towns in the Alpine region in order to strengthen the Alpine identity and consolidate the relationship between Alpine towns and mountain areas. In its capacity as provincial capital, Sondrio promotes initiatives in the fields of culture, tourism and nature conservation. At the same time, numerous projects have been implemented to improve living conditions through increased use of public transport and the rehabilitation of several districts. In this way Sondrio has become a modern Alpine town which has been at the top of the ranking of Italian towns with the highest quality of life for many years.
The jury said…
The jury recognises the work that Sondrio has been doing for years in the spirit of the Alpine Convention, combining the protection of nature and the landscape of the Alpine area with sustainable and future-oriented social and economic development, for example by preserving and protecting the terraced areas, the characteristic dry-stone walls that have supported the vineyards in the Sondrio area for centuries and which have been recognised by UNESCO as a ``Heritage of Humanity``. Also worthy of note is the Centre for Documentation of Protected Areas, set up in 1995, which not only collects data on protected areas throughout the world, but also organises scientific and publicity activities in the field of natural history information and environmental awareness as a Regional Centre for Environmental Education.