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Useful Info * Alto Adige - South Tyrol

Alto Adige/South Tyrol in facts

Geography
South Tyrol covers an area of 7400 km ². And it is northern part of the Autonomous Region of Trentino-Alto Adige / Südtirol. 80% is mountainous, only 8% is inhabited. It is located south of the Alps and it has been a "link" between northern and southern Europe for a very long time. Its climate is relatively mild, with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year. The highest the relief is Ortles measuring 3905 meters and is in the Stelvio National Park. 44% of the territory is covered by forests and there are 8 parks preserved as a natural heritage.

Politics and Society
Whether you are Italian or from a different country, when you come to Alto Adige/South Tyrol for the first time you may be a little confused to find all the road signs in at least two languages, Italian and German. We are in fact in the autonomous region of Bolzano where Italian, German and Ladin are the official languages. German is spoken by 70% of the inhabitants of South Tyrol and 5 % of inhabitants speak Ladin and come mainly from the Badia and Gardena Valleys. Besides protecting the presence of different ethnic groups, the Province of Bolzano has an extensive autonomy in many areas which would elsewhere be reserved to the State. This decentralization offers a high standard of public service and a good quality of life which is higher than the national average mark.

Economy
The main resources of Alto Adige/South Tyrol is tourism, industry, commerce, handicrafts and agriculture. Another important part of the economy is the production of hydroelectric energy which is double compared to the domestic needs. Our region has a high employment rate and the gross domestic product is at second place just behind the Lombardy region. Over 50,000 businesses, mainly small or medium sized, are the driving force of the economy in our zone.

Free time and curiosity

20,000 km of trails for excursions, 1,200 km of pistes (“Dolomite Superski”, the biggest ski complex in the world) and 600 km of cycle paths cater for any sportsperson.
The oldest mummy in a “wet” status was discovered in Alto Adige/South Tyrol. The man, now called Ötzi, came from Similaun 5,300 years ago and is now one of the major attractions at the Archaeological Museum of Bolzano. Our region cultivates grapes and is at the most northern latitude of Italy. We also have the warmest lakes in the alpine area not to mention the first trilingual university in Europe.

Typical products
The green trademark™ “Qualità Alto Adige” differentiates and protects many local products which are the result of tradition and rural culture, very much alive and thriving and is not just a publicity stunt. 950,000 tonnes of apples, largely from the Venosta Valley, make up 50% of the national production. The production of grapes for wine making is limited, yet it is of a high quality. Among the most well known wines are Pinot bianco, grigio and nero, Lagrein, Santa Maddalena and Gewürztraminer. Of course, we cannot but mention Speck (skillfully smoked pork leg), milk, grappa (typical Italian distillate), which is highly appreciated in the alpine zone and the many types of bread, which come primarily from small family-run businesses.

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