Bolzano is the capital city of the province of South Tyrol in northern Italy. Bolzano is considered a bridge between Northern Europe and Southern Europe due to the three spoken languages in South Tyrol (Italian, German, and Ladin) and the confluence of Italian and German-Austrian culture.
Immersed in a unique cultural mix. Here, north and south, Mediterranean and Alpine meet, creating an irresistible and unique combination. The allure of South Tyrol lies in its variety and the harmony of opposites, the Dolomites and cultural diversity, mix between Mediterranean landscape and Alpine peaks, deeply rooted tradition and cosmopolitan.
Bolzano is a place where the traditions of the past intertwine with the challenges of the future. Bolzano is a clear reflection of the meeting and exchange of different cultures. In art, for example, Giotto’s paintings and works of the Gothic school coexist, while in architecture, the unique contrast between the old town and the new town, separated by the Talvera river, is quite obvious.
Follow in the footsteps of history with a wide range of cultural events. With parks, museums, castles and many other events, there is fun for families too. Be enchanted by the different architectural styles that are colourful and soft and, as soon as you turn the corner, become imposing and square.
Bolzano’s archaeology museum is famous worldwide as the home of the alpine iceman “Ötzi”. It is also known as the Italian Capital of Christmas thanks to its characteristic Christmas market, in the Christmas period in the historical centre take place other markets too: the ‘Handwerksmarkt’ in the Municipal square and the Christmas market of solidarity in some streets of the historical centre.
In the 2020 version of the annual ranking of quality of life in Italian cities, Bolzano was ranked joint first for quality of life alongside Bologna. Taste the perfect combination of Tyrolean cuisine and Mediterranean flavours in the many restaurants in the city streets. Combine traditional dishes with wines from the many wineries in the valley. Marvel at the sparkle of the traditional and modern shop windows. There are plenty of ideas for taking home a unique souvenir. Don’t miss the numerous events that enliven the gateway city to the Dolomites in every season.
Stroll along the acardes, the commercial heart of the old town over 300 metres long, listening to the mix of languages that characterise our city and immerse yourself in the sounds of nature by walking along the many promenades that climb the sunny slopes. Get on your bike and explore more than 50 kilometres of cycle paths through Bolzano. The cable cars from the city centre to reach the surroundings of the South Tyrolean capital in just a few minutes, including Colle, an oasis of peace, and the Renon plateau.
Bolzano was probably founded as a Roman military statio in 15 B.C. under the name of “Pons Drusi”. In the following centuries it was invaded by Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Huns, Lombards, Saracens, Normans and Hungarians up to the Counts of Tyrol in the 13th century.
Bolzano has been a trading point since its foundation owing 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. The city was a cultural crossroads at that time.
The Portici street, built in the 12th century, was the first street in Bolzano and is still today the heart of the commercial city. Outside the city walls stood the early Christian church, which later became today’s cathedral.
In 1363 the county was handed to the Habsburgs, who ruled until 1806 when Tyrol became part of the Kingdom of Bavaria, then allied with Napoleonic France. In 1814 the Tyrol returned to Austria and in 1919 the southern part of the Tyrol (South Tyrol) was annexed to Italy by the Treaty of Saint Germain.
In the 20th century, there’s a new urban plan, which from 1935 radically changed Bolzano’s appearance, expanding it southwards into the new “Semirurali” districts and the industrial area where previously there had only been vineyards and orchards. In the 1960s, Bolzano went from being a predominantly commercial city to a tourist boom that has never left it.
Over the years, Bolzano’s history, culture and traditions have defined the city’s character: lively, multilingual and always changing. Today, Bolzano is a city of mercantile, which can be seen in the central area, the oldest, with the characteristic arcades or the fair district. Tourism, cultural, business and excursion, is also very important.
Bolzano is a clear reflection of a place where different cultures meet and intercultural exchange takes place. In art, for example, paintings by Giotto and works by the Gothic school coexist, while in architecture, the unusual contrast between the historic town and the modern one, divided by the Talvera river, is quite obvious.
Discovering the peculiarities of the fusion between Mediterranean and central Europe, the city’s artistic and cultural treasures: churches, monuments, historical streets and squares, museums and castles. Walking through the old town center, visit its churches or the Archaeological Museum where Ötzi, the famous Similaun mummy, is kept.
From the Duomo to Piazza Walther, from the Ötzi Museum, the mummy found in the ice, to the Renon and the earth pyramids. A medieval village protected by walls, dating back to the year 1000, built on a vineyard expropriated from the friars of Tegernsee, and which in the seventeenth century. it had 16 mills, a hundred trades and an infinite number of cellars.
In the Piazza Walther. Here there are numerous shops and bars with outdoor tables and, opposite, the Cathedral, the symbol of the city. Built in red sandstone on the site of an early Christian basilica between 1280 and the early fifteenth century, it is a jewel of Romanesque and Gothic art, with a green-gold polychrome roof and a finely worked bell tower from 1517. Do not miss the Museion, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, and the Civic Museum, with one of the richest historical-artistic collections of its kind in South Tyrol.
In the Archaeological Museum, which houses Ö tzi, the mummy of the Copper Age (over 5 thousand years ago) found on 19 September 1991 by a couple of German hikers, between the Tisa and Hauslabjoch yoke, at 3210 meters, on the Similaun, in Val Senales. His DNA and internal organs are intact, as well as his equipment to survive in the high mountains, which is fully exhibited inside the museum.
The Duomo and its bell tower are the symbol of the city. Built in red sandstone on the site of an early Christian basilica between 1280 and the early fifteenth century, it initially had Romanesque forms, on which Gothic elements were superimposed. The Porta del Vino opens on the right side, with bas-reliefs of vine shoots, so called by virtue of a privilege granted to the parish in 1387 for the pouring of wine.
Walther Square. Pedestrian heart of Bolzano, it takes its name from the medieval troubadour Walther von der Vogelweide, the greatest German poet of the Dark Ages and whose statue stands in the center of the square. Opened in 1808 by decision of King Maximilian of Bavaria, it is the pleasant living room of the city.
The Dominican Church, the oldest place of worship in South Tyrol. Built in 1272 in Gothic style and rebuilt after the bombing of the Second World War, it has tall and narrow side chapels and the remains of frescoes by fourteenth-century authors who were well acquainted with Giotto’s work. The cloister of the convent has been preserved, documented as early as 1308, with ribbed vaults and a series of frescoes painted between the 14th and 15th centuries.
At the northern limit of the historic center (in via dei Francescani), the large Franciscan Church, in Gothic style and contemporary with the Cathedral, has an impressive fourteenth-century cloister. It preserves frescoes from the Giotto school. The wooden altar is one of the greatest treasures of gothic art in Bolzano.
Among the treasures of Bolzano are the many churches and monasteries, which are scattered along the main streets and in the most hidden corners. The history of Bolzano is also told through the cloisters, arcades and frescoes of the various architectural styles that have contributed to the development and beauty of the city, to the extent that they still fascinate tourists and Bolzano residents today.
The church dedicated to Maria Assunta is the co-cathedral of the Bolzano – Bressanone diocese and the most important Gothic church in the region. It stands on the site of an early Christian, early medieval and Romanesque basilica consecrated in 1180, later modified by Lombard workers and completed by Swabian workers at the end of the 14th century. The 65-metre-high bell tower is the work of the Swabian architect Hans Lutz von Schussenried (1519). Outside, on the north side, there is a crucifix of the Veronese school with a votive image of the pilgrim Ulrich being struck by a bell and the “Porticina del Vino”, also known as “Porta della Sposa”, where wine was sold according to an ancient privilege. On the west side, the Romanesque portal with prothyrum and lions, the rose window restored after the bombings of World War II, the bronze door by Defner and the fresco attributed to Friedrich Pacher of the Madonna and Child (1475).
In the interior, three naves of the same height, the Gothic pulpit carved from sandstone by Hans Lutz von Schussenried, the Baroque polychrome marble altar (1720) by Ranghieri and Allio from Verona, the Crucifix (1420), the Baroque chapel of the Graces added in 1745 with frescoes by Karl Henrici (1771), on the altar the venerated statue of Maria Lactans of the Veronese school from 1200. Archduke Rainier of Austria, who died in Bolzano in 1853, is buried in the crypt under the main wing. On the southern parvis of the building is the monument to Peter Mayr, commander of the Schützen, who supported the rebellion against French rule and was shot on 20 February 1810. It was designed by Georg von Hauberrisser of Munich.
The Dominican friars settled in Bolzano in 1272 and built a single-nave church within a monastery complex. In the adjoining cloister (entrance from Dominican Square), you can admire frescoes by Friedrich Pacher dating from 1496. The wall paintings narrate the stages of Christ’s life. From the cloister it is possible to enter the Chapel of St. Catherine, where Giotto’s 15th century frescoes are preserved. Part of the old building is now the Music Conservatory, home to the prestigious Ferruccio Busoni international piano competition, the Municipal Gallery, exhibitions and other important cultural institutions.
In the 17th and 18th centuries the church was decorated with Gothic vaults and elements. The interior houses an altarpiece by Guercino and fine examples of 14th-century Bolzano painting. The artistic jewel is the Chapel of St. John, which contains a cycle of frescoes of the Giotto school and is a splendid example of 14th-century art. The decoration was commissioned by the Florentine head of the de’ Rossi family, naturalised von Botsch. Particularly significant are the scenes from the life of St Nicholas, the Triumph of Death, the Flight into Egypt and the Torture of St Bartholomew.
Franciscan Church and Convent
Franciscans settled in the town in 1221; the present building dates back to the first half of 1300, but the original ceiling, flat and with a polygonal choir, has been replaced by fifteenth-century’s vaults. The cloister is a perfect Gothic example replacing the Romanesque style one of the first construction. There are many frescoes of different ages with examples of the Giotto school of 1600 and 1700. The church has a magnificent wooden altar by Hans Klocker of Bressanone dedicated to the Nativity (painted wood – 1500). The church choir is embellished by modern stained glass windows by Widmoser.
The church is dedicated to S. Anthony of Padua and was built around 1600 within the Castel Wendelstein estates of the Counts of Tyrol. It has a magnificent altar piece by Felice Brusasorci (1600), above the main altar, and examples of mannerism in the chapels of Maria Assunta and SS. Sebastiano and Giovanni in the first side chapel.
S. George’s Church
In Weggenstein street there’s S. George’s Church: building of Gothic shapes dating back to the beginning of the XV century hosting the Teutonic order. The elegant building is worth a visit for its collection of stems, mortuary shields, gravestones and flags of the members of the order that can be dated to between the XVI and the XIX century.
St. John’s Church
Consecrated in 1180, this small church is the jewel of the town. The simple architecture of the main body is embellished by the church bell with mullioned windows with three and two lights dating back to the first half of 1300. The interior pictorial decoration is exceptional: travelling artists of the Giotto School introduced a new plastic style and an excellent fresco technique revealing extraordinary artistic and interpretative skills.
South Tyrol has numerous castles and fortresses throughout its territory. There are as many as 400 castles, some intact some ruined, most of which can be visited and many of which are hidden in the most secluded and least accessible corners of the province. Bolzano has many castles as well, which not only represent an embellishment, but the soul of the city itself.
Situated at the beginning of the Val Sarentino, to the north of the city, the castle is easily accessible on foot via the greenbelt footpath along the Talvera River, or by bicycle along the cycle path. Built in 1237 on a rock, the castle has been extended and restored several times and houses splendid frescoes depicting scenes of courtesan life, hunting scenes, chivalric competitions and episodes of everyday life. There are also literary cues, such as the representation of the story of Tristan and Iseult and the adventures of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. It is by far the greatest and best kept collection of profane frescoes of the Middle Ages. Cultural events and exhibitions featured regularly in the castle hall and rooms are also very interesting.
The XIII century castle, situated right behind the hystoric city centre, is surrounded by fields of the fine Lagrein grapevines and has stunning views of the Rosengarten. It was renovated in the 1980s and transformed into a conference and exhibition centre. It is certainly the most interesting and exclusive complex, ideal for housing conferences, seminars, banquets, concerts, cultural events and exhibitions. The beautiful interiors, with stunning frescoes, have all the modern features and conference facilities. The view of the castle from the river walk nearby is particularly impressive.
Flavon Castle is open to the public as a restaurant and venue for parties and receptions. It can be accessed from the Aslago quarter: the road winds up the rocky point where the castle stands. Great views can be admired over the Adige Plain, the town of Bolzano and the north (Salto Plateau, Val Sarentino, and Renon). It houses precious frescoes of the 1500.
Located at the southern-western outskirts of Bolzano/Bozen, this castle is considered one of the emblems of South Tyrol. The original name “Formigar” stems from the Latin word “formicaria”. During the second half of the 15th century Duke Sigismond, Count of Tirol, bought it and transformed it into the biggest and most prestigious of his castles naming it Sigmundskron (Sigismonds’ crown). At the present date it has become the Mountain Museum of Reinhold Messner MMM Firmian.
The city’s museums focus on nature, local customs, religious cults and modern and contemporary art. A number of museums have sprung up in the city of Bolzano to preserve, organise and promote an inestimable cultural heritage that had remained in the shadows for centuries.
South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology
Since 1998 home of Ötzi the Iceman, the famous natural mummy. Besides the 5300 year old body, his original clothes and equipment, the museum displays numerous topics providing new insights in life at copper age, research findings, the criminal case and curiosities surrounding the man.
Since 24 November 2011 the Municipal Museum in Bolzano has been displaying part of its collections in six rooms situated on the first floor and on the top floor turret. This temporary display, with viewing restrictions, is intended as a first step towards returning to the museum in its entirety to the city. Approximately 200 art works from the VIII to the XX century are displayed.
Museum for Natural History
The palace, which houses the South Tyrol Museum of Natural History today, was formerly the administrative office building of Emperor Maximillian I. The variety of natural landscapes in South Tyrol, and in particular the origins of the Dolomites, are exhibited in an area of 100mq. The marine aquarium is the main attraction and the suggested itineraries are also particularly interesting.
Museion – Museum for modern and contemporary art
The building, designed by Architect’s studio KSV Krüger Schuberth Vandreike of Berlin, is intended as a centre of contemporary culture and aims to take centre stage in the museum landscape in Italy. The museum exhibits young artists and pushes the boundaries of international mainstream art. At the same time Museion represents a point of reference for local art and endeavours to represent different art forms such as architecture, movies, performance or theatre.
The museum is housed in the Mercantile Palace, already a centre of the prestigious Mercantile Magistrate, established in 1635. The museum chronicles the economic history of the city of Bolzano. The exhibits are in chronological order and show meeting rooms, the chancellor’s room, and Hall of Honour with original furnishings, archive documents, objects of art and paintings.
The Collection of the School Museum are presented in a new guise and in a new location, a Renaissance palace also known as the former Agnello and formerly the ‘old Rencio school’ in Bolzano. At the School Museum of the City of Bolzano it is possible to get to know, through the many aspects of school life, the particular characteristics of an era: visitors can reconstruct the historical experience of the three cultures that inhabited this land (Italian, German, Ladin) with the help of didactic materials, photographs, report cards, documents, furniture and posters.
The museum houses a splendid collection of sacred artworks from the Baroque epoch in South Tyrol. As well as the precious liturgical robes and flags painted by famous artists, the museum stands out for its collection of stunning XVIII century goldsmith work.
Messner Mountain Museum in Firmian castle
Firmian castle is clearly the centre stage of the extraordinary Mountain Museum project by mountaineer Reinhold Messner. The museum collection is exhibited in the turrets, rooms, and courtyards and offers the visitor a complete vision of the mountaineering world and the special relationship between man and mountain. Exhibits range from pictures, relics and natural objects that tell about this relationship, the link with religion, the greatness of the most famous peaks, and the history of mountaineering until modern day Alpine tourism. Each year the journey is enriched with a temporary exhibition.
The Museum informs about movie- and television tecnology of the local cinema’s history. It presents projection machines of the past, video cameras, editing machines, flatbed editors, projectors, films etc. as well as historic documents, posters and documentary films. It proposes also film festivals, conferences and didactic activities, castings.
Museum Eccel Kreuzer
Josef Kreuzer, late judge, businessman and art collector of Bozen/Bolzano, donated in January 2017 in his testament his building in the historical city center with a collection of more than 1.500 artworks of about 300 artists of South Tyrol, Tyrol and the Trentino to the Autonomous Province of Bozen/Bolzano. On the ground floor of the building is situated the Art Space Eccel Kreuzer, a place for temporary exhibitions.
Bolzano Theatre; the new city theater was opened in 1999 according to the plans of the architect Marco Zanuso. For a long time the city had no city theater, because the old one was destroyed in World War II. It is seat of the United Stages Bolzano (VBB) and has 2 halls. The theater features performances in Italian and German.
Concert Hall Bolzano, was also opened in 1999 and is the seat of the Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento. Every two years the famous Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition is held in the auditorium.
Haus der Kultur Walther von der Vogelweide (Culture house Walther von der Vogelweide), is a theater that presents a majority of performances in German. It is located in the center of the city and can accommodate about 500 people.
Teatro Cristallo, is located outside the center in Dalmatienstreet. Most of the performances are presented in Italian.
Stadttheater Gries (City theater Gries), located in the district of Gries-Quirein and can accommodate 371 people. Performances are presented in German and Italian.
Theater im Hof (Theatre in the courtyard), is located on Obstplatz and dedicated to the children and youth theater. An additional focus of the small theater is the topic of “women in and at the theater”.
Carambolage: in this venue improvisational theater and other forms of cabaret are offered. It is located in the center of the city.
Batzen Sudwerk: below the 600-year-old brewery is a cultural workshop in the basement. There are offered often performances in the form of cabaret.
Teatro Cinema Rainerum; at the Rainerum Institute in the Don Bosco district there is a theater for about 400 people.
Filmclub Bolzano (Movie club Bolzano), is a cinema with 3 rooms and also shows several films of regional directors and actors. The Filmclub is also the venue of the Bolzano Filmfestival. The cinema is located in the old town of Bolzano.
Cineplexx, was opened in 2009 and offers a majority of films in German. In addition to films in German and Italian, other films are also available in English. The cinema has 7 rooms.
UCI Cinema, opened in 2015 and is located in the shopping center “Twenty”. Most of the 6 halls offer films in Italian. Also in this cinema are occasionally shown films in English and German.
Casa della Pesa: A beautiful building dating from 1634, on whose side part of the old masonry can be seen, it was the site of the public weighbridge until 1780. Today, after restoration work, it houses several of the city’s cultural associations, the Euregio headquarters and the Waag Café. Opposite, a plaque commemorates the church of St. Andrea (demolished in 1785) and in front of it you can admire the picturesque Piazza del Grano, embellished with beautiful shops and restaurants, once the site of the market for wheat and other agricultural products. This is the first urban centre of Bolzano with the castle of the Prince Bishops of Trento, who founded the city.
Piazza Municipio is enclosed by the charming town hall palaces to the south (in neo-baroque style with interesting frescoes in the sala del Consiglio – 1907) and by Casa Amonn to the east (façade decorated with rococo style stuccoes and fresco decorations on the remaining buildings), represents the beginning of the Arcades and is often centre for exhibitions.
Once the heart of the medieval village, they have kept this characteristic to date with their seamless continuity of shops, some typical and traditional, others chic and modern. The façades are a joyful sequence of different architectural traits: erker (murals), stucco decorations, pastel colours, the balcony of palazzo Mercantile, arcades alternating in various heights and decorations. The Old Townhall arcades, now centre of the Archivio Storico Comunale, are particularly beautiful with their pointed arches and fresco decorations. The back streets linking parallel roads are also of interest as they show the architectural sequence of buildings and the various uses of living spaces (shops, stores, cellars, halls, laboratories are some examples).
Joseph Streiter street
Via Joseph Streiter was named after the poet, jurist and mayor of Bolzano in the second half of the XIX century. It corresponds to the north moat of the medieval village and the buildings on the south side correspond to the buildings of the north side of the arcades. The first part of the street is very attractive, especially in the summer: an open-air bar, shops, restaurants and decorations next to the fish stalls create a unique atmosphere. Many arches running through the street give it a medieval character. Number 25 was the entry to the old Townhall.
Via Bottai is one of the most characteristic streets of the town centre with its beautiful ironwork signs, inns and the historical hotel Luna Mondschein. The Natural Science Museum (see museum route) is situated at the end of the street in what used to be the administrative office of Massimiliano I, Emperor and Count of Tyrol (built in 1512). The old inns “Cavallino Bianco” and “Ca’ de Bezzi”, a favourite destination for many artists, are right next to the Museum.
Via Argentieri: parallel to the Arcades, used to be the south moat. From here you can clearly see the entry to the Mercantile Museum of the palace with the same name, then Casa Troilo, with its fresco and angular turret and a narrow link to the Arcades.
The Piazza Walther, also known as the “drawing room” of the town, was completed in 1808 by order of King Massimiliano di Baviera, and initially named after him. It was later given the name of the Archduke Giovanni d’Austria (Johannesplatz) and, in 1901, it was dedicated to Walther von der Vogelweide (1170-1230), one of the great German poets and storytellers of the Middle Ages. After the annexation of South Tyrol to Italy, the square was named after King Vittorio Emanuele III and, only in the second part of the post-war period, the name of the German poet was resumed. A monument to Walther, of neo-Romanesque style, sculpted in white Lasa marble by the Venostan sculptor Heinrich Natter (1889), dominates the centre of the square.
piazza della Mostra street
Via and piazza della Mostra: with the prestigious palaces of Campofranco (corner between piazza Walther and courtyard) and of Menz and Pock, hosting the glamorous hotel and now restaurant “Zur Kaiserkron'”. The town jail, with the prison guard accommodation, used to be below the Fink inn.
Vicolo della Pesa alleys
Various alleys and through roads link via Portici with the backstreets and parallel roads, Dr. Streiter and Argentieri. Take one of these, vicolo della Pesa, and you can reach piazza del Grano, where the farmers’ market was once held. It is one of the oldest places in Bolzano, once hosting the castle of the Prince-Bishops of Trento (destroyed in 1277 by Mainardo II di Tyrolo) and the church of Sant’Andrea (destroyed in 1785). One of the most picturesque buildings of the city is situated to the north of this square: la casa della Pesa (1634), public weigh-house until 1780.
Piazza delle Erbe
The colourful and lively piazza delle Erbe, heart of the city centre, hosts the famous fruit and vegetable market daily (except on Saturday afternoon, Sunday and public holidays). The Neptune fountain, with a statue with his trident and bronze shells, by G. Mayr di Fiè (1745), is on the corner with via Portici. It has been classified amongst the one hundred most beautiful fountains in Italy and is also called “Gabelwirt” (Innkeeper with fork). On the corner with Via Museo a plaque on the façade of the neo-Gothic building, commemorates the old “Al Sole” hotel where eminent personalities such as Goethe, Herder and Emperor Giuseppe II, resided between 1783 and 1790.
A few steps in the historic center of Bolzano and you will cross the almost millennial history of a city born for trade, commerce and shopping. From the sparkling shop windows of Via Portici to Piazza delle Erbe you will find a colorful collection of Mediterranean first fruits and Tyrolean specialties. After the sitting room in Piazza Walther; continue beyond the Talvera stream to get lost in the nearby market of the new city (every Saturday) and among the boutiques under the modern arcades of Corso Libertà.
Several neighborhoods host weekly markets. The main one is on Saturday, in Piazza della Vittoria and in some neighboring streets. On Mondays the market is in Piazza Don Bosco, on Tuesdays in Oltrisarco and in via Ortles, on Thursdays in via Rovigo.
On the first Saturday of each month (except January and August) the flea market takes place along the promenades of the Talvera. With more variable frequency, but always on Saturdays, another flea market takes place in via Galvani. A third market dedicated to collectors is itinerant, and takes place mostly on Saturdays and Sundays in Piazza Fiera, but with some dates in Piazza Mazzini, Piazza Matteotti, Piazza Casagrande and Piazza Tribunale.
Markets where products are sold directly from local farms are held on Tuesdays (piazza Mazzini and viale Europa), on Fridays (piazza Municipio, via Claudia Augusta and Piazza Don Bosco) and on Saturdays (piazza Matteotti). Also on Tuesday, in Piazza Municipio, the farmer’s market is held, reserved for certified organic products.
The most famous dish in Bolzano is the dumpling, or Knödel in German, large dumpling made from a mixture of meat and vegetables and served in broth or butter. An excellent dish of dumplings can be tasted at Vogele, whose name means “little bird”. Also worth tasting are the leek soups, and tonco de pontesèl, a common dish in the gastronomy of the Bolzano valleys, made with fresh luganega cooked with toasted flour.
In the second courses of the restaurants in Bolzano triumph, then, roast rabbit, paired with yellow or black polenta, but also roe deer, venison, hare and pheasant. Among the cured meats, obviously, speck, South Tyrolean ham (which is smoked with low resinous wood, sometimes mixed with mountain pine splinters). As for desserts, there is something for everyone: ranging from the well-known apple strudel to Kaiserschmarren, a sweet omelette very common throughout the area of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, to apple pies.
Bolzano organizes the following events every year:
Südtirol Jazz Festival, is a festival that not only takes place in Bolzano but is also performed all over South Tyrol. The jazz festival lasts up to 10 days and performs 90 concerts in 50 different locations with over 150 jazz musicians. International jazz musicians such as Don Cherry, Randy Brecker, Carla Bley, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, and Collin Walcott participated in this event.
Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition, is an international piano competition and is held every 2 years. This competition was initiated by the director of the Conservatory of Music “Claudio Monteverdi” in memory of the 25th anniversary of the death of Ferruccio Busoni. The artist influenced Italian and German music art and was therefore a symbol of the South Tyrolean culture.
Bolzano Film festival; The first Bolzano film festival was held in 1987 under the name “Bozner Filmtage”. It serves as a platform for the local film scene and to create contact between filmmakers and audiences. Films in Italian and German are shown. Artists like Tobias Moretti, Fred Zinnemann, Herbert Achternbusch, Michele Placido, and Jiri Menzel participated in this event.
Bolzano Festival Bozen, is a festival that takes place every summer and offers classical music. The European Union Youth Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and the participants of the Ferruccio Busoni Competition are performing regularly.
Tanz Bozen – Bolzano Danza, is an international contemporary dance festival and is held every summer. It is a festival that shows different dance performances in different places of the city. It is organized by the Haydn Foundation of Bolzano and Trento.
Christmas market Bozen; The Bolzano Christmas Market was founded in 1990 as Italy’s first Christmas market. The stands are located in different places of the old town. With over 1.2 million visitors (2005), the Bolzano Christmas Market is the most visited in Italy.
Bolzano Short Film Festival, also collaborates with the Bolzano Filmfestival and awards prizes for the best short films without words (“No Words”). Indedpently of the Bolzano Filmfestival it also awards prizes for the best Italian short film. The festival was held in 1968 for the first time.
Bolzano is made up of numerous districts that are very different from each other and which, precisely because of this, blend together and compensate perfectly. From the old town centre to the rationalist part, from the Venetian style of San Quirino to the “popular” quarters where the “Semirurali” houses are still visible, from the industrial area, hub of companies and young start-ups, to the new Firmian-Casanova quarters surrounded by vineyards and apple orchards.
A village within a city. This is what you feel when you wander through the streets of the Gries district, as if you were in an Alpine village, but with Mediterranean characteristics. It is not uncommon to find palm trees, agaves and prickly pears. Annexed to Bolzano in 1925, Gries has been the health resort and holiday resort of many famous personalities of the Austro-Hungarian period, hosted by elegant hotels and villas surrounded by parks, gardens and vineyards. Gries can be reached by crossing the Talvera bridge from where the Victory Monument is visible, built at the behest of the fascist regime from 1926 to 1928 to a design by Marcello Piacentini. The Saturday market is held in the square of the same name, and the arcades of Corso Libertà begin, which, crossing Piazza Mazzini and reaching Piazza Gries, are home to a number of excellent shops and bars for tasty aperitifs.
Piazza Gries is home to the Benedictine Abbey of Muri Gries and the Church of St Augustine, where in 1845 the Benedictines of the Swiss Muri took over the pre-existing Augustinian monastery. The church is an impeccable example of Baroque style, embellished inside with frescoes by Martin Knoller. The keep of the former fortress, now a bell tower, houses the largest bell in South Tyrol. Near the Piazza is the old Gothic Gries parish church, which houses treasures of great value: a wooden casket altar made in 1475 by Michael Pacher, a Romanesque crucifix from 1200 and an old cemetery. Near the valley station of the San Genesio cable car is a jewel of modern architecture, the Antonio dalle Nogare Foundation Museum of Contemporary Art, which houses a selection of works from Dalle Nogare’s private collection and is animated by temporary exhibitions, workshops, performances and much more. Continuing along Via Sarentina, there’s Roncolo Castle, the illustrated manor house.
Rencio & St. Maddalena
An area with a very high wine vocation, the beautiful district is embellished on all slopes by neat rows of vines. Slava grapes are mainly grown here, mostly vinified in Santa Maddalena (named after the hill), with its famous ruby red colour. Farmsteads dot the hillside and the tidy Rencio district. Worth a visit are the curate’s church dedicated to St. Laurence (first witnessed in 1180, later remodelled, round apse and bell tower from 1712), the School Museum and the small church of St. Magdalena, situated in a panoramic position on the top of the hill, which houses a valuable cycle of frescoes from the 14th century, well preserved on all the interior walls.