Traditions, between past and present
The secular history of Bormio and the Alta Valtellina is reflected and retained in many folk traditions, which are rich in superstition and legend. Even in these modern times, to retain the folklore, they are handed down from father to son. And these traditions are much more than just verbal history, but are very much an active part of the culture, giving both the residents and tourists the opportunity to feast, and to liven up the whole community one many occasions throughout the year.
The importance of the farming culture
Both religious holidays, such as Pasquali (Easter Day), and those pagan, like the Carneval of Mat, L’è fora Geneiron, L’è Fora l’Ors de la Tana, Gabinat, and the Palio delle Contrade, have their roots in agricultural and mountain culture. In fact, they represented an outlet from the harsh daily life of a people linked to the land, especially those rearing livestock and and farming in an environment often inaccessible and having a harsh climate.
Strolling through the historical center
All of this fits into a particularly lively cultural environment. In the past, Bormio was an obligatory crossroads for people who wanted to travel between the North and the South of Europe. And many powers were interested in controlling the Magnificent Terra, and consequently, its trade routes.
Precisely because of its strategic position, the Bormio area has always managed to remain fairly autonomous and rich. You will note this as you walk among the alleys and narrow streets of the historic center; a jewel where medieval remains are mixed with those constructed during the XIV-XVI centuries—the golden age of the Contado (semi independent towns, largely responsible for their own defense, with church leadership). The evidence of this golden age is in the palaces, towers, churches, and the symbol of the town, the Kuerc. Immerse yourself into the atmosphere of the town that was, for seven hundred years, a democracy in the heart of the Alps, in which innovation has only added the finishing touches, leaving intact the perspective and views of the past.