A beautiful day in Bolzano

South Tyrol, Italy

I have been to Bolzano (Bozen) several times in my 7 years living in Austria. Day trips and even overnights for Törggelen; but that’s for another post. However, since I am not really a city or urban photographer, I never really get motivated or excited that easily within a city setting. 

Well, this time I kinda did a “detour” and ventured off, away from the old city center (Altstadt) and walked closer to the river. And then I became extremely happy that I had my camera back pack with me. We had a beautiful day in Bolzano. Scroll down!

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Since I am still learning how to shoot in cities, I tried to “limit” myself to two lenses. The 18-105mm and the 70-300mm. 

Well technically my tele-lens is more of a 105-450mm since it’s a full frame lens, mounted with an adapter to my half-crop mirror-less Sony a6500. And yeah, I do think I should get the e-mount version of that for better clarity and focus / focus speed.

While in Bolzano, one can catch a glimpse of the Dolomites. This is the Rosengartenspitze (Cima Catinaccio). Bolzano is the capital city of the province of South Tyrol in northern Italy. With a population of 107,436, Bolzano is also by far the largest city in South Tyrol and the third largest in Tyrol. 

The metropolis has about 250,000 inhabitants and is one of the urban centers within the Alps. long with other Alpine towns in South Tyrol, Bolzano engages in the Alpine Town of the Year Association for the implementation of the Alpine Convention. 

The Convention aims to promote and achieve sustainable development in the Alpine Arc. Consequently, Bolzano was awarded Alpine Town of the Year 2009.

The honorary title Alpine Town of the Year is awarded annually by the general meeting of the association’s members at the recommendation of a jury. The jury examines the projects and proposals of the candidates on the basis of ecological, social and economic criteria. Every town in the area covered by the Alpine Convention can apply for the award.

During the Alpine Town Year, there will be at least three international events, and two sustainable projects will be realized. The award and the cooperation across linguistic and geographical borders put the participating towns into the limelight, give wide publicity to their efforts for sustainable development and strengthen the links among the participating towns.

Nothing is known of a settlement at the site before the Middle Ages. Held by the counts of Bavaria from 680, Bolzano was given with the rest of the diocese to the bishop of Trent by Conrad II in 1027. Because the city lay along the important trade route from Verona and Trento north to Austria, it was fought over by the bishops of Trent and the counts of Tirol until it was ceded to the counts in 1531. 

It passed to Bavaria with the rest of the Tirol in 1805 and was united to Austria in 1809 as a result of the rebellion led by the Tirolean patriot Andreas Hofer. Bolzano belonged to the Austrian Empire from 1813 until Italy acquired it in 1918 at the end of World War I. By this time the city’s inhabitants had long been largely German-speaking. 

In the interwar period Italy’s fascist government attempted to Italianize the city and provincia by bringing large numbers of Italian settlers into the area, but Bolzano’s German-speaking majority continued after World War II to demand either annexation by Austria or more cultural autonomy within Italy; the Italian government granted the latter in legislation in 1947 and 1969.

Bolzano was heavily bombed during World War II but was afterward restored, and it preserves its Austrian architectural character. Notable landmarks of the old town include the cathedral; the 14th- and 15th-century parish church; the former Dominican monastery with a frescoed cloister and chapels; and the 14th-century Franciscan church. The 13th-century Mareccio (Maretsch) Castle (with five later towers) houses the municipal archives, and the Roncolo (Runkelstein) Castle contains murals of chivalric subjects from about 1400. There is a music conservatory and a civic museum.

A tourist and commercial center, Bolzano has electrometallurgical and engineering industries and manufactures vehicles and textiles. Other industries include winemaking and the processing of fruits and other food products grown in the adjacent floodplain. Pop. (2006 est.) mun., 98,657.