Sondrio is located in the northern part of Lombardy, in the centre of Valtellina, with high mountains in the background, reaching4050 m a.s.l. with Pizzo Bernina.
Its name came from the Lombard term Sundrium, which was used for a land cultivated directly by the landlord and his subjects. On these lands are now cultivated with vineyards and the most famous are Sassella and Grumello. Wine represents one of the main resources of this region together with winter andd summer tourism.
The area was inhabited in ancient times by the Ligurians who were followed from the 5th century BC by the Celts; the Romans established a camp here, but the town was founded by the Lombards. In 1040 it was given as a fiefdom to the De Capitanei family from Vizzola. In the 14th century Sondrio was disputed between Como and Milan, and finally in 1335 became part of the Visconti dominions.
From the latter half of the 16th century to the 18th century Sondrio was governed by the Three Gray Leagues of the Grisons and was the capital city of Valtellina. At the time of the Reformation, there were bloody struggles between the Catholic Valtellinesi and the Protestant Grisons.