We stopped in Tirano because it is the end point for the Berninia Express. Most visitors to Tirano stop on their way somewhere else whether on a train journey, to ski areas like to St. Moritz or Pontresina, or on the way to Milan. On someone’s advice, we decided not to stay in Tirano, Italy, but stayed in Lugano instead. They told us Tirano was small and Lugano offered more to see and do in Lugano. They were right. It has only about 9,000 inhabitants (it is still considered a city because it has walls that were built to protect it). We took a 30-minute train tour of the town. Although it was in a wonderful setting, our tour was enough. Here are the highlights: The Catholic shrine of Madonna di Tirano is dedicated to the supposed appearance of the Blessed Mother to Mario Degli Omodei on September 29, 1504. Pilgrims credit the appearance to an end to a pestilence. They have a nice plaza around the church.
The town has some pretty old buildings but their beauty is trumped by the natural beauty of the Alps that surround it.
Tirano has a river, a gorgeous setting, some tranquil sun-drenched piazzas and some ancient, winding streets. I’m pretty sure that the food there is pretty good. We saw lots of people out in cafes enjoying the sun. If we head there again, I will put it to the test.
- An Interesting Bus Ride To Lugano (schwingeninswitzerland.wordpress.com)
- The Bernina Express Out Of The Alps And Into Sunny Italy (schwingeninswitzerland.wordpress.com)
- Epic Ride Through The Alps On The Bernina Express (Part Two) (schwingeninswitzerland.wordpress.com)
- Switzerland’s Panoramic Train, The Bernina Express (schwingeninswitzerland.wordpress.com)
- Ciao Bella Lugano (schwingeninswitzerland.wordpress.com)
This is just weird. We passed from Germany to Austria, to Switzerland, to Italy and back to Switzerland then to Germany and no one asked to see our passports except when we went to the restaurant for our supper in the Hotel Franco (Italy) where we were already registered to stay overnight. The woman not only asked to see them but would not serve us unless we let her take them into her office and photocopy them. We questioned why and said that we thought it was very strange. She didn’t like that. The hotel (a nice hotel) was in a village about 8 km outside of Tirano and there wasn’t any other place to eat unless we called a taxi and went back into town. It was either go along with the foolishness or go to bed hungry. She didn’t like it that we couldn’t speak Italian and was nasty throughout our meal. Linda asked for a coffee and she acted like she didn’t know what coffee was and then brought her a big pitcher of coffee (shown in the photo) with no cup. She then avoided looking our way so that we couldn’t ask for one. There were no cups anywhere to be seen. It took about 10 or 15 minutes before we could get another waiter to bring cups. The whole situation was so bizarre that we couldn’t help but see the humor in it and we laughed and had a good time in spite of her which I think made her even more angry. Can’t recommend Hotel Franco unless you speak Italian.
In Italy, hotels are required to collect the passport information of their of guests by law. I guess the clerk just didn’t know how or couldn’t be bothered to explain the regulation to you. Everyone has days like that!:)
As Rick Steve writes in his guidebooks to Italy:
“When you check in, the receptionist will normally ask for your passport and keep it for anywhere from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours. Hotels are legally required to register each guest with the police. Relax. Americans are notorious for making this chore more difficult than it needs to be.”
Yea….it can’t ever be anyone else – – always the fault of the Americans.
I’ve traveled, extensively throughout Europe and have never had any issue providing my Passport at a Hotel when I am a guest. I have NEVER been asked to give it when having dinner – – but I would if asked because “why not”. But I would not be wrong if I asked “why”. No one seems to like being questioned – – and I absolutely have the right to ask “why” when I am handing over something personal.
Well said Roy !