There are many wonderful areas for tourists to experience in Italy. Whether it is the culture and prestige of the likes of Rome or Florence, or the beautiful rolling hills of the many wine regions that dot the landscape of the great country, there is plenty for people to see and do when they come to visit Italy.
It is truly a wine lover’s paradise, but there is much more to the country than great art and great wine. There are also a number of regions that offer experiences quite unlike any other found in the country, as is the case at Trentino Alto Adige, which combines truly wonderful wine with a skiing experience that will give you an adrenaline rush like few others in the world.
The history of Trentino Alto Adige stretches all the way to the pre-Christian era, with tecords showing that it was first conquered and inhabited by the Romans in 15 BC. Their reign in the region was gradually brought to an end as the Western Roman Empire collapsed and the territory became divided between the Bavarians, invading German tribes and the Alamannic Vinschgau. This period lasted until the creation of the Kingdom of Italy under Charlemagne, when it came back under Italian control and was divided amongst a number of different rulers.
The territory was still disputed after this era. From the 11th century, much of it came under the auspices of the Holy Roman Empire, though that were soon overruled by Counts of Tyrol and Counts of Görz. The region remained under the control of the Tyrol family under the mid-14th century, when it was ceded to the House of Habsburg. This resulted in a number of Germanic influences coming into play and the region played host to some of the more famous German poets of the era.
This period lasted until the early 19th century, when the two bishoprics that made up the Trentino Alto Adige were given wholly to the Habsburgs, though this reign was short-lived as the Austrian defeat at Austerlitz placed it in the hands of Bavaria, who were allies of Napolean at the time.
Ownership continued to be disputed amongst Napoleonic and Austrian powers for a number of years after this, before the Italian Alpini and Austro-Hungarian Kaiserjäger made it a battleground during the First World War, due to its strategically advantageous position. Eventually, the Italian troops were able to occupy the region in 1918 and it was wholly awarded to the Italians as part of the Treaty of Saint-Germain a short time later.
This period was a difficult time for the residents of Trentino Alto Adige, particularly as it still maintained a largely Germanic population that referred to the region as Tyrol. Under Benito Mussolini, a campaign of Italianization was undertaken, with the aim of eradicating all references to Tyrol, with the region instead being named Venezia Tridentina and the Germanic people being forced towards adopting Italian heritage. This period coincided with the outbreak of the Second World War, with much of the Germanic population being transferred to the Third Reich, though many found their way back to their homeland following the war.
The region briefly came under the control of the Third Reich during this period, though Italian control was once again restored following the end of the war. The region was then granted a fair amount of autonomy in 1947, with both Italian and German being made official languages
Italy and Austria negotiated the Gruber-De Gasperi Agreement in 1946, put into effect in 1947 when the new republican Italian constitution was promulgated, that the region would be granted considerable autonomy. German and Italian were both made official languages and a name change to Trentino-Alto Adige/Tiroler Etschland was implemented in 1947, lasting until 1972.
Even them, tensions existed between the Germanic and Italian populations of the region, with a number of disputes leading to fresh negotiations taking place in reference to the way the region would be run. Though none of these escalated to physical conflict, barring some bombing by German autonomists in the 1960s, they still led to an Austro-Italian treaty that was ratified in 1971 and seemed to settle many of the issues that the region was experiencing. Such tensions were further eased when Austria became a part of the European Union in 1995.
Since them, the region has continued to remain wildly autonomous and saw its name once again changed, this time to Trentino Alto Adige as we know it today. It has also become a major tourist spot, with its location allowing for people to take wonderful skiing holidays amongst stunning scenery, in addition to enjoying some truly wonderful wines that mix Germanic and Italian influences rather wonderfully. Despite all of the conflict that the region has seen over the years, it has still maintained much of this beauty and is today seen as one of the top tourist spots in all of Italy.
If you are thinking of heading to Trentino Alto Adige for a holiday, the likelihood is that the main things you will be doing are skiing and enjoying the wines that the region hosts. It has a rich history when it comes to wine, which has been a key part of the region’s economy for hundreds of years. As such, there are plenty of vineyards to explore, many of which are owned by wine companies who are more than happy to give people guided tours that explain a little more about their history and production methods.
As it is nestled amongst the snow-capped peaks of the Dolomites, the region has also become exceptionally popular amongst skiers, with many resorts now being open to the public. It is perfect for those who want to learn the sport or people who already have a lot of experience and want to take on some particularly challenging slopes that also offer views that can be seen nowhere else in the world.
Trentino Alto Adige offers a truly wonderful mix of cultures, making it a great tourist destination for so many different reasons.