Bolzano - Bozen, Province of Bolzano, Trentino-Alto Adige

Bolzano (Bozen) is the capital of the mainly German-speaking, autonomous province of Bolzano. Today 3/4 of the city's inhabitants speak Italian as their first language, while the remainder speak German.
Bolzano is one of the richest cities in Italy and enjoys a very high quality of life. The economy is based on high-quality intensive agriculture (including wine, fruit and dairy products) and advanced services. Its germanic character, the narrow cobblestone streets, Austrian-style churches and bilingualism give it the unique flavor of a city at crossroads between Italian and Germanic cultures. This, and its natural and cultural attractions, make it a renowned tourist destination.


  • Population: about 107,000 inhabitants in 2018
  • Zip/postal code: 39100
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0471
  • Patron Saint: Maria Assunta, celebrated on 15 August, St. Arrigo from Bolzano on the monday after Pentecost
  • Demonym: bolzanini
  • Frazioni & Localities: Bolzano has no Frazioni, but is divided into 5 "circoscrizioni (districts), Centro-Piani-Rencio (Zentrum-Bozner Boden-Rentsch), Oltrisarco-Aslago (Oberau-Haslach), Europa-Novacella (Europa-Neustift), Don Bosco (Don Bosco-Neugries), Gries-S.Quirino (Gries-Quirein).

History - Antiquity and the Middle Ages

Initially inhabited by the Rhaetians, the area was settled by the Romans in 15 B.C., by general Druso, who gave the original town its Roman name, Pons Drusi. Bolzano or Bozen has been a trade city since its foundation, thanks to its location between the two major cities of Venice and Augsburg.

Four times a year a market was held and traders came from the south and the north. Every market season two German and Italian officers (appointed by the traders who operated there) worked in this office. The city was a cultural crosspoint at that time.

History - The 20th Century

In 1918, after World War I South Tyrol and Bozen were occupied by Italians and thereafter annexed. During fascism many Italians were moved to the city from southern Italy and, after a pact between Hitler and Mussolini, the majority of habitants of Bozen who spoke German had to choose between moving to Germany or assimilation (the so-called 'Opzione' or 'Option').

After World War II ethnic tensions resurfaced, culminating in a wave of terrorist acts during the 1960's. After the implementation of a treaty between Italy and Austria, the province of Bolzano was given wide autonomy from the central Italian government and ethnic clashes have subsided.

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Provinces of Trentino-Alto Adige
Trentino-Alto Adige region
Surnames in the Provinces of Trentino-Alto Adige