The Palazzo Salis is situated in the heart of the historic centre of Tirano, a small town in the valley Valtellina. The building got constructed during the second half of the 17th century by the noble family von Salis-Zizers, a branch of the important and well known grison family von Salis.
The palace was erected in the 1490s by Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. The start of the construction is dedicated to Giovanni Salis-Zizers, who even became in the 1660s twice podestà of Tirano. About in the middle of the 17th century he bought and sold different properties to finally have the land to build his Palazzo. The entire structure of the Palazzo Salis is the result of the integration and change of already well established buildings, most probably already from the 15th or 16th century. The general style of the face of the building is a leftover of the facades of those 16th century buildings. The imposing doorway of the main entrance took its inspiration from a 16th-century design of the well-known architect Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola. The ground plan of the building is structured and organised mainly around two courtyards, named corte della meridiana (Sun-dial Courtyard) and corte dei cavalli (Courtyard of Horses).
The Palazzo is still in the hands of the family Salis and is run today as a Museum. More than ten rooms decorated with frescoes and stucco from the 17th and 18th century, as well as the hidden Italian Garden on the backside of the building are opened for the public.References:
Sweetheart Abbey was a Cistercian monastery, founded in 1275 by Dervorguilla of Galloway in memory of her husband John de Balliol. His embalmed heart, in a casket of ivory and silver, was buried alongside her when she died; the monks at the Abbey then renamed the Abbey in tribute to her. Their son, also John, became king of Scotland but his reign was tragic and short. The depredations suffered by the Abbey in subsequent periods, have caused both the graves to be lost. The abbey, built in deep-red, local sandstone, was founded as a daughter house to Dundrennan Abbey; this Novum Monasterium (New Monastery), became known as the New Abbey.
The immediate abbey precincts extended to 120,000 m2 and sections of the surrounding wall can still be seen today. The Cistercian order, also known as the White Monks because of the white habit, over which they wore a black scapular or apron, built many great abbeys after their establishment around 1100. Like many of their abbeys, the New Abbey's interests lay not only in prayer and contemplation but in the farming and commercial activity of the area, making it the centre of local life. The abbey ruins dominate the skyline today and one can only imagine how it and the monks would have dominated early medieval life as farmers, agriculturalists, horse and cattle breeders. Surrounded by rich and fertile grazing and arable land, they became increasingly expert and systematic in their farming and breeding methods. Like all Cistercian abbeys, they made their mark, not only on the religious life of the district but on the ways of local farmers and influenced agriculture in the surrounding areas.
The village which stands next to the ruins today, is now known as New Abbey. At the other end of the main street is Monksmill, a corn mill. Although the present buildings date from the late eighteenth century, there was an earlier mill built by and for the monks of the abbey which serviced the surrounding farms.