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Bolzano (German: Bozen; Ladin: Bulsan; ) is a city and comune in the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol region of Italymarker. Bolzano is also the capital of the province of Bolzano-Bozen.

The South Tyrol Museum of Archaeologymarker in Bolzano is where the ice mummy "Ötzi" is kept.

Bolzano is the seat of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, where lectures and seminars are held in German, Italian and English to remark the multilingual status of the region.

In 2008 Bolzano was one of the locations, in the region Trentino-Alto Adige, where the seventh edition of the world renowned Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art was held.

The city is also the home of the Italian Army's Alpini High Command (COMALP) and some of its combat and support units.


Inhabited by the Raetian Eisack people, a settlement was built by the Romans after the area's conquest by general Nero Claudius Drusus in 15 BC, to whom the name of the settlement Pons Drusi ("Drusus Bridge") referred. The nearby village was called Bauzanum. With the end of the Roman empire a Bavarian immigration began and the first mentioning of a Bavarian count as ruler of Bozen dates from 679. The area has been settled by German populations since than. Bozen has been an important trading point since its elevation to a town on June 24, 1190 by bishop Konrad of Trient, due to its location in between the two major cities of Venicemarker and Augsburgmarker. Four times a year a market was held and traders came from the south and the north. The mercantile magistrate was therefore founded in 1635. Every market season two Italic and two Germanic officers (appointed from the traders who operated there) worked in this office. The city was a cultural crosspoint at that time, and still is to this day.

Before World War I, Bozen was part of the Austro–Hungarian county of Tyrol. It was annexed by Italy at the end of World War I and on January 1, 1927 became a provincial capital. At the time of its annexation, Bozen was an ethnic German city, with a pre-war population of 30,000 people, 95.52% of whom were German native speakers. In the 1920s the city, along with the rest of South Tyrol, was subjected to an intensive Italianization programme under orders from Benito Mussolini. The aim was to outnumber the local German-speaking population by tripling the population with Italian immigrants drawn from the old provinces.

During World War II, Bolzano was the site of the Nazi Bolzano Transit Camp, a concentration camp for Jews and political prisoners.

Society and economy

According to the 2001 census, 73% of the city inhabitants speak Italian, 26.29% German and 0.71% Ladin as their first language. 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, steel) installed during the 1930s has now been mostly dismantled. On the downside, the local economy is very dependent on the public sector, and especially the provincial government.

Bolzano is the biggest city in South Tyrol ('Alto Adige' in Italian), which is an autonomous province in Northern Italy with a special statute. This statute preserves the rights of the German minority in Italy. This unique system has been admired by the Dalai Lama, who visited the city on several occasions to study a possible application in Chinese-occupied Tibet.

Bolzano was ranked as having the second highest quality of life of Italian cities in 2007, with neighbouring Trentomarker topping the list.

Main sights

Cathedral of Bolzano
University of Bolzano

The city's with its medieval city center, Gothic and Romanesque churches and bilingual signage give it a unique flavour of a city at the crossroads between Italian and Austrian cultures. This, and its natural and cultural attractions make it a renowned tourist destination.

Among the major monuments and sights are:

For more historical and geographical information, see Province of Bolzano-Bozen.

City districts and neighboring communities

Location of Bolzano.
City districts:
  • Centro-Piani-Rencio (German: Zentrum-Bozner Boden-Rentsch)
  • Don Bosco
  • Europa-Novacella (German: Europa-Neustift)
  • Gries-San Quirino (German: Gries-Quirein)
  • Oltrisarco-Aslago (German: Oberau-Haslach)

Neighbouring communities are: Eppan an der Weinstraßemarker, Karneidmarker, Laivesmarker, Deutschnofenmarker, Rittenmarker, Jenesienmarker, Terlanmarker, and Vadenamarker.

Other important nearby towns are Brixenmarker, Bruneckmarker and Meranmarker.

Twin cities


The city is connected to the highway A22-E45 to Trentomarker and Veronamarker and to Innsbruckmarker (Austria) and Munichmarker (Germany). Bolzano is also connected to the Railway system. Bolzano is located on the main route between Italy and Germany.

Different airlines provide flights from Bolzano Airportmarker (IATA: BZO) to Romemarker, Viennamarker, Milanmarker and other destinations.


"Druso" soccer stadium.
Soccer Teams

Handball teams

Ice hockey teams

See also


External links

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