Bolzano and environs: the melting pot
Melting pot of cultures
South Tyrol is a melting pot of cultures and opposites. Germans, Italians, Ladins and “incomers” live here side by side. Even if the geraniums in the farms in the villages are in complete opposite to the monumental Italian buildings of Bolzano, and even if the German card game of choice is “Watten” while the Italians play “Briscola”, the lifestyles of the peoples have more and more cross-overs. It is not unusual to see fashion- and lifestyle-conscious German speaking South Tyroleans and Italians wearing German dirndls and lederhosen. Regardless of the mother tongue, people meet up on the Italian “Piazza” for an “Aperitivo lungo” and a “cappuccino”, and order a German “Speckbrettl”, a ploughman’s lunch with Speck dry cured ham, washed down by a glass of Vernatsch on the Alpe. At Christmas the traditional Zelten Christmas cake is eaten as much as the Italian Panettone. Village fêtes, Sacred-Heart fire, Törggelen, throwing rice at weddings and the easy-going lifestyle appealed to both sides. Today we South Tyroleans love living in both cultures and switch easily from one language to the other.