Propst Wieser Weg 30
Völlan/Lana near Meran
in South Tyrol
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Bozen-Bolzano is where the south begins. Although the provincial capital is surrounded by popular alpine images such as the Rosengarten and Schlern mountains, there is a lot that is Italian here. Bozen-Bolzano is colourful and intoxicating. The town is the beating heart of South Tyrol and a melting pot of two cultures.
Shopping in Italian: In Bozen-Bolzano, two cultures and languages, two stereotypes come together. You are just as likely to come across fruit farmers wearing their typical blue aprons as Italian businessmen sporting designer shoes. ‘Bitteschön’, ‘quanto costa?’, ‘buongiorno’,’ Aufwiedersehen’. Elsewhere in South Tyrol you may forget that you are in Italy, but not here in Bozen-Bolzano. This is where Italian ’mammas‘ enjoy bargaining on the Obstmarkt, and good shopping may also be had under the Bozner Lauben arcades in the form of elegant boutiques and smaller shops. The narrow alleyways feature shops going way back where locals buy their delicacies, and farm products are also to be had in the centre of town.
Crowds throng the ’Bermuda triangle‘ between Obstmarkt, Kornplatz and Waltherplatz squares, drinking a ‘quick’ coffee together in the morning, or enjoying the obligatory ‘aperitivo’ of an evening. Friends meet in the small vinotheque around the corner or in one of the cult bars of Bozen-Bolzano for a ‘veneziano’ or a glass of local wine.
Sloping vineyards containing local varietals reach down to Bozen-Bolzano. One of these is St. Magdalener – a dry, yet spicy wine, which is light, yet full-bodied, and displays an aroma reminiscent of sweet almonds.
It is the time of the First World War. 1918. Italian troops march into South Tyrol to claim the area for their own. Lots of buildings bear witness to this history, most of all, the triumphal arch and victory monument.
These days the linguistic groups enjoy equal rights and make efforts to live together in harmony. This is how alpine earthiness and Mediterranean ‘dolce vita’ have come to merge into one in South Tyrol’s capital. Many contrasts may be seen between the various cafeterias and small shops on Waltherplatz square. They cast their shadows across the paving stones while the sober figure of the Walther von der Vogelweide statue looks on.
Churches with filigree domes. Museums containing contemporary art or the most famous glacier mummy in the world. Castles, fortresses, residences. There are so many things competing for visitors’ attention in Bozen-Bolzano. Those preferring to go on more active tours instead of absorbing culture, will find Bozen-Bolzano the ideal base. The heights of the Ritten, Kohlern and Jenesien plateaus may be reached in no time by means of regular cable cars.
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