Bozen (Austrian German)
|Comune di Bolzano|
|Province||South Tyrol (BZ)|
|o Mayor||Renzo Caramaschi (PD)|
|o Total||52.3 km2 (20.2 sq mi)|
|Elevation||262 m (860 ft)|
|o Density||2,100/km2 (5,300/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||Italian: bolzanini |
German: Bozner or Bozener
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
Bolzano (Italian: [bol'tsa:no] or [bol'dza:no]; Austrian German: Bozen, pronounced ['bo:t?sn?] (formerly Botzen); Bavarian: Bozn; Ladin: Balsan or Bulsan) is the capital city of the province of South Tyrol in northern Italy. With a population of 108,245, Bolzano is also by far the largest city in South Tyrol and the third largest in historical Tyrol. The greater metro area has about 250,000 inhabitants and is one of the urban centers within the Alps.
Bolzano is the seat of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, where lectures and seminars are held in English, German, and Italian. The city is also home to the Italian Army's Alpini High Command (COMALP) and some of its combat and support units.
Along with other Alpine towns in South Tyrol, Bolzano engages in the Alpine Town of the Year Association for the implementation of the Alpine Convention. The Convention aims to promote and achieve sustainable development in the Alpine Arc. Consequently, Bolzano was awarded Alpine Town of the Year 2009.
Bolzano is considered a bridge between Northern Europe and Southern Europe due to the three spoken languages in South Tyrol (Italian, German, and Ladin) and the confluence of Italian and German-Austrian culture.
The area of the city of Bolzano is 52.3 km2 (20 sq. mi.), of which 28 km2 (10 sq. mi.) is used as a settlement area. The city is located in the basin where the Sarntal, Eisacktal, and the Adige Valley with their rivers, Talfer, Eisack, and Adige, meet. In the Middle Ages, the two main Alpine crossings, the Via Claudia Augusta over Reschenpass and the Brenner route over Brenner Pass, met in Bolzano. Thus, the city was very important for the trade. The highest point is 1616 metres (5302') above sea level and the lowest point is 232 metres (761') above sea level. The center is located at an altitude of 262 metres (860') above sea level. The nearest big cities are 58 km (36 miles) (Trento) and 118 km (73 miles) (Innsbruck) away.
City districts (most district names were originally in German and italianized at a later stage):
In 1911 Zwölfmalgreien and in 1925 the municipality Gries were incorporated in the city of Bolzano. Neighbouring communities are: Eppan, Karneid, Laives, Deutschnofen, Ritten, Jenesien, Terlan and Vadena.
Being located at multiple climate borders, Bolzano features a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) with hot summers and very cold winters by Italian standards. According to the Trewartha classification, this climate could not be really considered a subtropical climate because fewer than 8 months are at least 10 °C (50 °F), and thus would be considered a semi-continental climate with hot summers. Some of its suburbs are designated an oceanic climate (Cfb) based on cooler summer temperatures, while mountains in the area may feature a continental climate (Dfb). The climate of Bolzano is influenced by its low altitude in a valley south of the main alps. This causes very sheltered conditions from cool winds during daytime, ensuring much warmer temperatures year-round than in similar valley cities north of the range.
|Climate data for Bolzano (1971-2000, extremes 1946-present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||21.8
|Average high °C (°F)||6.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.9
|Average low °C (°F)||-4.5
|Record low °C (°F)||-18.5
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||23.5
|Average precipitation days||3.6||3.1||5.1||6.6||9.3||8.5||8.9||8.2||6.8||6.8||4.9||4.3||76.1|
|Average relative humidity (%)||72||69||62||66||69||66||66||68||71||75||74||73||69|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||102.3||121.5||148.8||159.0||176.7||201.0||232.5||213.9||180.0||151.9||102.0||96.1||1,885.7|
|Source: Servizio Meteorologico (humidity and sun 1961-1990)|
|Largest groups of foreign residents|
Through fascism and the Italianization policy under Benito Mussolini in the inter-war period, the Italian language group became the majority in Bolzano. Prior to the annexation of South Tyrol to Italy (Treaty of Versailles, 1919) a small Italophone community of up to 10% of the population already lived in Bolzano.
The modern-day Bolzano was in ancient times a marshy region inhabited by the Raetian Isarci people, traditionally believed to be descendants of Etruscan refugees fleeing Italy from the invading Gauls. The Romans built a settlement after the area had been conquered in 15 BC by general Nero Claudius Drusus. The military settlement, Pons Drusi (Drusus Bridge), was named after this Roman general. During this time the area became part of the region Venetia et Histria (Regio X) of ancient Italy.
In 1948, excavations of the current Cathedral led to the discovery of an ancient Christian basilica from the fourth century. Also discovered was a Roman cemetery, including the tomb of "Secundus Regontius" with Latin inscriptions dating to the third century, making him the oldest known inhabitant of Bolzano.
During the gradual decline of the Lombard influence in the seventh century, Bavarian immigration took place and the first mention of a Bavarian ruler in Bolzano dates from 679. At that time, the Bavarians named the nearby villages around Bolzano Bauzanum or Bauzana. In 769 Tassilo III, Duke of Bavaria issued in Bolzano the foundation charter of the Innichen Abbey. German populations have been present in the region of Tyrol from that period onwards. At around the year 1000, the settlement is called "in Pauzana valle, quae lingua Teutisca Pozana nuncupatur".
In 1027 the area of Bolzano and the rest of the diocese was conferred, by the emperor Conrad II from the Salian dynasty, upon the bishops of Trent. In the late-12th century, the bishop founded a market town, along the Lauben thoroughfare. The town therefore became an important trading post on the Transalpine Augsburg-Venice route over the Brenner Pass, elevation 1,371 metres (4,498 ft) above sea level, within the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1277 Bolzano was conquered by Meinhard II, the Count of Tyrol, leading to a struggle between the counts of Tyrol and the bishops of Trent. In 1363, the County of Tyrol passed to the Austrian House of Habsburg. In 1381, Duke Leopold granted the citizens of Bolzano the privilege of a town council. This gradually eliminated the influence and power previously held by the bishops of Trent over the next few decades. In 1462, the bishops eventually resigned all their rights of jurisdiction over the town.
From the 14th and 15th centuries onwards, a large market fair was organised four times per year to greet tradesmen and merchants en-route the Brenner Pass. The Mercantile Magistrate was therefore founded in 1635 by the Austrian duchess Claudia de' Medici. During every market season, two Italian and two Germanic officers, who were appointed among the local tradesmen, worked in this magistrate office. The establishment of an official trade organisation strengthened Bolzano as a cultural crossroad in the Alps.
After the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, Bolzano became briefly part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy and was incorporated into the Department of Alto Adige. After the Congress of Vienna (1814-15) Bolzano returned to the County of Tyrol, within the Austrian Empire and subsequently the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary in 1867. The County covered both modern-day South Tyrol, Trentino and the federal state of Tyrol (including East Tyrol) in Austria.
In 1915, the Triple Entente powers promised Italy territorial gains if she would enter the First World War on the side of the Entente instead of siding with the German Empire and Austria-Hungary. When Italy abandoned the Triple Alliance (1882), the Entente offered her territorial promises in Tyrol and Istria. This secret arrangement was confirmed in the Treaty of London (1915).
After Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary on May 24, 1915, heavy fighting took place all along Tyrol's southern border for the entire duration of the conflict. For the next 3+1⁄2 years Tyrol's southern border became the front line between Austro-Hungarian and Italian troops. Tyrol's south frontier was - and still is - dotted with tens of defensive fortresses that had been built in view of a possible Italian attack. Losses on both sides amount to several thousands. During World War I, tens of thousands of civilians living along Tyrol's southern border were evacuated to either of the two countries, the majority to Bohemian and inner Austrian areas, and some to Italian internment camps, away from the front line.
On November 3, 1918, the armistice of Villa Giusti, near Padova ended military operations between Italy and Austria-Hungary. Subsequently, Italian troops entered Tyrol and occupied the Austrian areas south of the Brenner Pass. Italian control of South Tyrol was internationally recognized in 1919. At the time of Bolzano's annexation by the Kingdom of Italy the town was settled primarily by a German-speaking population. As of 1910, 29,000 inhabitants identified themselves as German speakers and only 1,300 as Italian speakers, these latter ones mainly from the Italian speaking areas of Tyrol, namely Welschtirol, currently known as Trentino.
Along with the rest of South Tyrol, Bolzano was subjected to an intensive Italianisation programme enforced by Fascist leader Benito Mussolini from the 1920s onwards to September 8, 1943, when Italy left the military alliance with Nazi-Germany and South Tyrol fell under direct German control. The goal of such programme was to outnumber the local German-speaking population by tripling Bolzano's population through Italian immigration from other regions of Italy. In 1927 Bolzano became the capital of the province of Bolzano. Any reference to and use of the words Tyrol and Tyrolean were banned by law and were punishable offences. In 1933, Adolf Hitler came to power in the Weimar Republic. Mussolini and the Fascists worried that Hitler, in pursuing his ideology of all ethnic Germans under one Reich, would claim South Tyrol from Italy. To avoid such prospect, in 1939 Mussolini and Hitler signed the Option Agreement, by which Germany would renounce territorial claims over South Tyrol as Germany's Lebensraum (living space). Furthermore, ethnic South-Tyroleans who had opted to stay in South Tyrol and refused resettlement to the Third Reich were subjected to full-scale Italianisation, including loss of their German names and national identity, prohibition of schooling in German and use of German for their daily transactions.
During the Second World War, Bolzano was the site of the Nazi's Bolzano Transit Camp, a concentration camp for persecuted Jews and political prisoners. Members of the Jewish population of Bolzano were deported to the death camps in the Reich and murdered there. When Italy surrendered in September 1943, the whole of South Tyrol as well as Belluno were de facto administered by the Nazis as Operational Zone of the Alpine Foothills. After 1943, heavy fighting between Nazi Germany and the Allied Powers took place in the Dolomites.
After the War, the Gruber-De Gasperi Agreement of September 1946 was signed by the Italian and Austrian Foreign Ministers in Paris, guaranteeing "complete equality of rights" (including education and use of German as an official language) as well as "autonomous legislative and executive regional power" to the German-speaking population in South Tyrol and Trentino.
Because the implementation of the post-war agreement was not seen as satisfactory by the Austrian government (the autonomous province of 1947 included Trentino and therefore had an Italian-speaking majority), it became a cause of significant friction with Italy and was brought to the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1960, which called for a resolution of the issue. A fresh round of negotiations took place in 1961 but proved unsuccessful, partly because of the campaign of terrorism by South Tyrolean Liberation Committee - a secessionist movement - against Italian police and electric power structures (one notable incident being the Night of Fire on 12 June 1961).
The issue was resolved in 1971, when a new statute of autonomy for the smaller, majority German-speaking province Bozen - Südtirol/Bolzano - Alto Adige, which was supported by the German-speaking population of South Tyrol, was granted by Italy. It resulted in a considerable level of self-government, also due to the large financial resources of South Tyrol, which retains almost 90% of all levied taxes. The agreement was implemented and proved broadly satisfactory to the parties involved and the separatist tensions soon eased. In 1992, Austria and Italy officially ended their dispute over the autonomy issue on the basis of the statute of 1972.
The city thrives on a mix of old and new high-quality intensive agriculture (including wine, fruit, and dairy products), tourism, traditional handicraft (wood, ceramics), and advanced services. Heavy industry (machinery, automotive, and steel) installed during the 1930s has now been mostly dismantled. The local economy is very dependent on the public sector and especially the provincial government.
Bolzano is the biggest city in South Tyrol, which is an autonomous province in Northern Italy with a special statute. This statute preserves the rights of the German-speaking minority in Italy. This unique system was admired by the Dalai Lama, who visited the city on several occasions to study a possible application in Tibet. It has also been presented as role model for the successful and fair resolution of inter-ethnic conflict to other regions of the world.
The tradeshows and conferences of the exhibition are concentrated on topics relating to the economies of Alpine countries. There is thus a great focus on tradeshow subjects within the economic competence of South Tyrol and Trentino. The main focuses of dining and leisure time, sports, agriculture, and specific Alpine industries attract an annual total of over 3,000 exhibitors and over 230,000 visitors from all over Europe.
Since 2011, the city hosts the Italo-Germanic Business Forum, which brings together the leaders of the Italian and German economies - Confindustria and the Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie - in the Mercantile Palace to address issues related to the international crisis.
Large companies in Bolzano are:
NOI Techpark is on a 12-hectare (30 acre) site in the south of Bolzano, on premises formerly home to aluminium works. The "Nature of Innovation" concept contains: innovation imitating nature. This concept that NOI Techpark is based on, where research institutes, companies and start-ups from South Tyrol and all over the globe will work together to prepare the ground for a sustainable development.
Working with representatives from South Tyrol's business and research communities, BLS and TIS innovation park have developed the park's "Nature of Innovation" positioning title, the initials of which give the park its name: NOI. The name reflects two meanings in South Tyrol: depending on how you want to pronounce it, NOI can either sound like the Italian word for "we" or the South Tyrolean dialect word for "new". A special focus lies on those fields:
The Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, founded in October 1997, is actively involved in basic and applied research projects through its five faculties, of which four are located in Bolzano. The university is engaged in a multitude of scientific and technological areas, in addition to different disciplines belonging to Humanities.
The Eurac Research is a private research center headquartered in Bolzano. The research facility was founded in 1992 and initially had 12 employees. Meanwhile, the Center for Applied Research has more than 300 employees. The topics of this institution include, for example, "Liveable Regions", "Diversity as Added Value" and "Healthy Society". The research has focused more on the Alpine region. Since 2002, the site has been located on Drusus Street, in the former fascist "GIL" building, which was then extensively renovated and integrated with modern buildings. In 2018, the research facility will lead the terraXcube in the NOI Techpark Bolzano. The terraXcube is a research infrastructure that can simulate the most extreme climatic conditions on earth. Air pressure, humidity and solar radiation can be simulated and changed simultaneously in one room. The aim is to investigate how humans react to extreme climatic conditions. Even machines can be tested in this simulator.
Fraunhofer Italia is a subsidiary of Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and is headquartered in Bolzano. The company was founded in 2009 and since then specializes in areas such as "Automation and Mechatronic Engineering" and "Process Engineering in Construction". The Organization for Applied Research seeks to help small and medium-sized enterprises in the region through charitable research. Since 2017, the research facility has been based in the Technology Park in Bolzano South.
The last municipal elections were held in the year 2020. Of the 45 seats, 9 different parties were elected to the city council. The Partito Democratico (PD), the Südtiroler Volkspartei (SVP) and the Lega Nord (LN) won 7 seats each.
This table shows the mayors of the city of Bolzano after 1945. All mayors within this list belong to the Italian language group. So far, the last mayor of the German language group in Bolzano was Julius Perathoner from 1895 to 1922 and was replaced by the march on Bolzano by the fascists.
In 1996, the European Union approved further cultural and economic integration between the Austrian province of Tyrol and the Italian autonomous provinces of South Tyrol and Trentino by recognizing the creation of the Euroregion Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino.
Its medieval city centre, Gothic and Romanesque churches and bilingual signage give it the flavour of a city at the crossroads of Italian and Austrian cultures. This and its natural and cultural attractions make it a popular tourist destination.
Among the major monuments and sights are:
For more historical and geographical information see South Tyrol.
Bolzano organizes the following events every year:
The Free University of Bozen-Bolzano was founded in 1997 and has its headquarters in the city of Bolzano. It offers trilingual courses in German, Italian and English. The unibz was the first trilingual university in Europe. Other university locations are in Brixen and Bruneck. Through the Euroregion Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino, the university also works closely together with the universities of Innsbruck and Trento. The University of Bolzano has the following five faculties:
The State College of Health Professions "Claudiana" was founded in 1993 and has since 2006 its headquarters next to the regional hospital of Bolzano outside the center. The college was named after the Regent of the Austrian County of Tyrol, Claudia de Medici. The college serves to train health professionals, such as nurses, midwives, technical medicine and rehabilitation specialists. Teaching is in Italian and German.
The conservatory "Claudio Monteverdi" is a college of music in Bolzano. The conservatory was founded in 1927 and has since been named after the former Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi. The rooms of the conservatory are located in the Dominican monastery. The Academy of Music gained international recognition through the biennial Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition.
Bolzano is connected to the motorway network A22-E45 to Trento and Verona and to Innsbruck (Austria) and Munich (Germany). In Bolzano South there is a transport hub that connects the dual carriageway MeBo with the A22 motorway. The dual carriageway MeBo (Merano - Bolzano) was completed in 1997 to quickly connect the two metropolitan areas of South Tyrol, Merano and Bolzano, and to relieve the surrounding communities in the district of Burggrafenamt and the old former two-lane State street SS38 (Strada statale 38).
The city is also connected to the Italian railway system. Bolzano railway station, opened in 1859, forms part of the Brenner railway (Verona-Innsbruck), which is part of the main railway route between Italy and Germany. The station is also a junction of two branch lines, to Merano and Mals. The station of Bolzano is served by Frecciarossa and Frecciargento trains of Trenitalia, Italo EVO of Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori (from August 2018) and EuroCity trains of ÖBB.
There is a 50-kilometre (30 mi) network of cycle paths, and about 30 percent of journeys in Bolzano are made by bicycle.
Since 1966 a cable car connects the centre of Bolzano with Oberbozen-Soprabolzano and the community of Ritten. In 2009 the Italian manufacturer Leitner replaced the old cable car with a new modern 3S system. Although the so-called "Rittner Seilbahn" primarily serves the tourist market, it also provides an important transit link for the residents of Renon. The cable car system, which can carry up to 726 persons per hour, is the first tricable gondola lift in Italy.
Cable car Ritten
The town is host to an annual road running competition - the BOclassic - which features an elite men's 10K and women's 5K races. The event, first held in 1975, takes place on New Year's Eve and is broadcast live on television by Rai Sport Più.
Bolzano is also the host city to the Giro delle Dolomiti annual road bike event.
Notable people born in or associated with Bolzano include:
Bolzano is twinned with: