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Trentino Alto-Adige

Italy Regions
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About the Region


When most people think of Italy they think of ancient roman antiquity, renaissance living or even lush beaches. What most people donít realize is that Italyís border regions, especially its northern most region, are filled with majestic alpine mountains, thick forests, glaciers, rivers, lakes, wild life and a clash of cultures. Encompassed by the Alps a big attraction for this region is its variety of recreational sports, especially skiing because six months of the year it is covered in snow.

Trentino-Alto Adige is an Italian region with two cultures. As you might guess from its name, this region was at one time two smaller regions. Itís composed of the Italian speaking Trentino and the heavily German populated Alto Adige or Sudirol. Today if you venture into this region you may hear more German than you do Italian, all of the signs are in both languages and even the cuisine is more bratwurst than it is sausage. It makes for a very interesting experience.

The numerous mountain ranges and valleys that lie in between create a large discrepancy in climates (cool summers and snowy winters). This region has villages with more characteristics of a German mountain village than an Italian one.

Typical alpine home

Often called Italyís gateway to Europe, Trentino-Alto Adige borders Austria and Switzerland, and is a quick ride through Austria to Germany (in fact it seems as though it has been for thousands of years). In 1991 the body of a 5,000 year old traveler was discovered in a melting glacier. They found the man with leather boots and a copper ice pick. Theses same paths were later utilized and more frequently traveled when the Romans used them to access the rest of Europe during the world conquest. Many of the cities and towns were founded by Romans using them as rest stops along their way from Rome to Europe. Then later the Counts of Tyrol, Germanic rulers from the borders of Austria, built a series of castles, and colonized much of the area, infiltrating the Roman influence with the still prevalent Germanic one. The Tyrolean style buildings and mountain houses, with their wood balconies and timber roofs over hanging to protect them from snow give Trentino-Alto Adige a unique look and feel found nowhere else in Italy.

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