Architecture holds a special place in South Tyrol: here, local buildings in cities like Bozen show the influence of the Italian Renaissance. Quite clearly, nature plays a part when erecting a building, but to what extent? Let’s find out.
Music colours our lives and defines our destiny. We all cherish in it and we would simply not even conceive a life without music. WE all have our tastes and can swing with a good boogie, tap the rhythm of dance music or sing our loved ones heartfelt lullabies. How many of us, however, stop and wonder what musical instruments are made of?
Architecture is a fascinating tool to analyse the society it represents. Florence has its palazzi, Venice has its marvellous houses built on water, Rome is blessed with ancient antiquities mingled with modern buildings, and Alto Adige sees a new surge of talented, intelligent, modern architects.
Time to look at some key figures in the history of the Dolomites.
Even if you are not a keen climber, and may well be scared of heights, knowing what happened in the past in the region you are visiting – or intending to visit – is certainly enriching.
We have all heard of the word “Latin”. It was a language spoken at the time of Julius Caesar, used by the poet Ovid – but also until the Renaissance and beyond - and still offers an unbeatable basis if you want to learn and explore foreign languages.
“Ladin”, however, is not so widely known. It is the original language spoken in South Tyrol. Officially acknowledge in 1951, thus granting the autonomous province of Bozen three official languages: Italian, German and Ladin. 69,9% of people speaks German in South Tyrol, 26,6% speaks Italian, while only 4,53% communicates in Ladin. In the entire Dolomite range, only 38,000 people speak Ladin.This low percentage does not mean the language is forgotten; in fact, far from it.
A catholic feast to celebrate being together, joy, humour, but also to remember a world full of mystery, ancient rites and old traditions, elaborate masks and high class costumes. Carnival was already part of the Roman Saturnalia, an old festival in ancient Rome, but also in Egypt and in Babylon. As we conceive it today, Carnival and its tradition started in the Middle Ages and were always associated with Lent.
Many cities and small hamlets all over Italy organise events of various types, and South Tyrol plays its part, too: highly elaborate floats, theatre shows, wooden masks and ancient costumes. All this, and more, makes this catholic feast a superb way of celebrating happiness, whose soul has been untouched for centuries.
This may well be the most loved souvenir for tourists. It is, however, an inseparable work companion for many people from South Tyrol. Some people even say that this attire has become trendy and stylish, if worn in an appropriate way.
Not dictated by fashion, but by sheer comfort. Without that very peculiar overall, which covers them up to the knees, they feel half naked. We are talking about farmers, wine-growers, workers or retired people who take up DIY. Primarily men, but we find women, too. Over the years, this garment has become unisex, and this traditional option has become an inseparable outfit, with a retro hue. What are we talking about?
We are talking about the unmistakable blue apron, the emblem of the South Tyrol worker. It has to be noted that more and more tourists, especially coming from big cities, seem to appreciate it.
The small church of Saint Barbara, on the hills towering over the hamlet of La Valle, in Alta Badia, is set in a panoramic, picturesque location. The inhabitants of the area still remember the story of the lords of Rü: they had buried money and precious jewels in the land near the church, several centuries ago.
The day had come to an end, with the last sunrays hitting the high arêtes in the Val Badia. Toni was working late, trying to prepare all the things he would have needed to craft a new pair of shoes, which he intended to do the following day. When this was over, he stood up, walked out of the door, towards home. The following morning, he was flabbergasted when he saw that a new pair of shoes was already there. This was indeed bizarre, and the thought of this did not leave him for the whole morning.