Crotti of Valchiavenna
Natural ravines originated by the remains of old landslides, Crotti are natural cellars, where a wind stream called “sorèl” blows at a constant temperature of around 8 degrees Celsius both in summer and winter. These ravines are ideal to store food and age wine, salami and cold cuts. The most famous Crotto is the ravine of Caurga, near Chiavenna. Valchiavenna, the second biggest valley in the province of Sondrio after Valtellina, is the most famous area where you can find Crotti. Until today many have tried to physically explain “sorèl”, although it has not been scientifically studied yet.

Crotto of Valchiavenna

Different events and festivals related to these natural ravines take place in this area. One of the most famous festivals is the Festival of Crotti, established in 1956, that takes place in these areas every year. It offers a unique chance to visit Crotti, that are often used as taverns that serve typical local products like pizzoccheri from Valchiavenna (a white variety of pizzoccheri in the form of gnocchetti), polenta taragna (polenta with cheese), polenta uncia (polenta with cheese and butter) and of course bresaola (cured meat). This festival draws in thousands of visitors from Italy and abroad each year.

Where can you find Crotti?
In Valchiavenna there are about 80 Crotti in different locations. In Chiavenna there are 18, in Villa di Chiavenna 14, along with the ones spread on the maggenghi (pasture fields), located South from Chiavenna, 11 in Chiuro and 10 in Samolaco. In Valle Spluga there are Scandolera, San Guglielmo and Campodolcino Crotti and the isolated Mottala Crotto, near Fraciscio.

The various Arimannia groups of Langobard descent were called after the name “Crotti”. The noble Arimannia Crotti reigned over different strategic areas across Lombardy.