The long and complex history of the Salis family continues as “Conti (counts) Sertoli Salis” in 1800, with the count engineer Ulisse Salis, hero of the “Risorgimento”, becoming father of a girl, Rita. Countess Rita married a nobleman Francesco Sertoli and received a special permission to continue the family line as Counts Sertoli Salis.
3 sons were born, Cesare (grandfather of the present owners of Palazzo Salis in Tirano), Pietro and Ulisse. The youngest son Ulisse became lawyer and enjoyed travelling around the world beggining of 1900, thus leaving beautiful pictures of a fascinating and, sad to say, almost disappeared world.
From Count Cesare derive in direct line the two nephews, Cesare, admired empreneur that died in 2005 at the age of only 53, and his younger brother Francesco, present main owner of the Palazzo.
Today Palazzo Salis represents one of the most important and attractive cultural and turistic destinations of the region and can be visited by groups all over the year. Perfectly responding to those looking for a cultural trip, like schools and historical experts , or lovers of the splendid architecture of the 17th and 18th century, the visit will lead you through 500 years of history and splendid decorated rooms.
Eight centuries of nobility are no trifle for a family, and few other examples of such long-enduring family lines are found in the Almanac of Gotha. Legend recounts that the Salis family came from Etruria with the mythic warrior-leader and hero of the Tusci, Reto.
More prosaically, we know that the family of de Salicibus migrated from the Como region to the Bregaglia valley at the beginning of the twelfth century. Originally from the Swiss Rhaetic region of Canton Grigione, the Salis family were among the patricians of the Como region.
The family crest shows a willow tree, to which was later added the black griffon of the Sertoli family. The name Salis – in earlier times de Salicis, de Salicibus, etc. or in the plural Salici (willows) - is thought to come from the Latin. We know that in Italy one branch of Salis family, the Salis Zizers, settled in Tirano in the mid-seventeenth century, building the remarkable family palazzo, one of the most beautiful in the region. This noble family, in its different branches, has contributed in a massive way to the long and suffered history of this region, giving 25 Governours, 44 Majors, 16 Vicars and many important military chiefs to this valley.
The famous Valtellina path, which centuries ago, allowed important trade between Valtellina and Europe, through the Bernina pass at the back of the mule, has recently been resumed and relaunched as a hiking trail. Of great interest for historical and natural aspects, the Valtellina path is the starting point (or arrival) of the town of Tirano, an important commercial and political crossroads in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. This ancient commercial road, leats through the Bernina pass and the most beautiful places of the Grisons until each reaches Klosters. The goods exchanged through the Valtellina path included, in addition to wine, salty meat, chestnuts, precious salt, and more valuable goods, such as spices and textiles from distant Venice through the Priula road.