The culture of Südtirol stills conceals many secrets; not readily grasped, it must be experienced. The three national languages, Ladin, German and Italian, are written and spoken; in addition, there are the individual dialects and their variations; 800 fortresses, castles and estates are to be found in Südtirol; thousands of churches and chapels; over 2,000,000 documented cultural artefacts; hundreds of societies concerned with culture; umpteen theatres; daily cultural events; close to one hundred museums; dozens of exhibitions each month and, above all, over half a million people living here.

It is normal for the South Tyrolese to be served Knödel (dumplings) and spaghetti in restaurants and pizza-houses as part of their culinary culture; they also put these dishes on their tables at home. The man who came out of the ice – named “Ötzi” – is part of this culture, too, as he grew up near Feldturns in the Central Eisack Valley. The discovery of his body in the icy glaciers of the Schnals Valley opened up completely new aspects of our prehistory. Tirol Castle gave the country its name and still rises majestically over the entrance to the Vinschgau Valley. With the strength of the sun, which shines 300 days a year, the water and the different types of soil, unique varieties of grapes have been grown here for almost 3000 years. Millions of years ago corals formed in the primeval Tethys Sea, they became petrified and are considered to be the most beautiful mountains in the world today: the Dolomites! 10000 hill farmers live and work in almost inhospitably steep places. Religious life is omnipresent, owing to the large and important monastery complexes. The towns have often preserved their medieval character, first and foremost Glurns, the smallest city in the Alpine region! The richness of the “Fugger” town of Sterzing is due to the mines in Südtirol. They are the highest in Europe and the miners enter the mountain at a height of almost 2500 metres.

Many other things have moulded the culture of this country, including the “Stairways to Heaven”: Romanesque wall paintings in Graubünden and in Trentino-Südtirol are among the most unique cultural treasures from this epoch in Europe.

Information: Holiday region Ferienregion Obervinschgau in South Tyrol, St. Benediktstr. 1, 39024 Mals,
Tel. +39 0473 831190, Fax: +39 0473 831901, www.ferienregion-obervinschgau.it, info@ferienregion-obervinschgau.it