The county town Sondrio is in the centre of a rich wine-growing region, in the middle of the Valtellina, not far from the Valmalenco. Its name derives from the Longobardic " Sonder", which was later latinized as "Sundrium", that is, "cultivated directly by the lord". The economic fulcrum of the Valtellina for the service sector and also the textile and agriculture sectors, in its time Sondrio has seen the alternation of periods of domination and of autonomy. For this reason, in the modern town one can see a layering of various historical traces. The vibrant centre of the town is the area which, between Piazza Garibaldi and Piazzetta Rusconi, culminates in Piazza Campiello, today still seat of the Municipality. Outside the residential centre, one should note above all the Santuario della Madonna della Sassella, enclosed within the marvellous characteristic natural environment of the Valtellina. In Sondrio the local produce of the valley comes together, and so in particular bresaola, apples, mushrooms, chestnuts, not forgetting the renowned Valtellina DOC wines: for an overall look and, perhaps a taste of these products, you should take advantage of the Settembre Valtellinese(Valtellinese September), a popular and characteristic local: another inviting solution is to follow the Panoramica dei Castelli(Panorama of the Castles), which runs through apple orchards and vineyards, following the route that joins the ancient castles of the area.