Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy

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Interactive Map of Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy

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Trentino-Alto Adige, also known as Trentino-South Tyrol, is the region of Italy in the far northeastern area of the country. It is a completely inland territory that borders Austria to the north and Italian regions Veneto and Lombardy. The Trentino-Alto Adige region of Italy covers a moderately large area of 5,253 square miles.

Cities as Seen on a Map of Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy:

  • Trento
  • Bolzano
  • Merano
  • Brixen
  • Arco

Quick Facts:

  • Population = 1.07 million
  • Language = Italian, German (primary language); Ladin, Lombard (minority languages)
  • Ethnicities = Italian, German, Austrian, Roman, Bavarian
  • Capital = Trento


The History of Trentino-Alto Adige

In 15 BC, the Romans gained control of the region, where it remained under Roman control until the fall of the Roman Empire in 476. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Germanic tribes conquered the region, where it divided among the various groups of Germanic tribes of the area.

In the 11th century, part of the region that contained the Puster Valley was controlled by the Holy Roman Empire. The Puster Valley is a valley in the Alps that separates East Tyrol from South Tyrol. Just north of Salorno, a territory in South Tyrol, the region was controlled by the Germans.

By the 1800s, the region had become Napoleon’s ally, as it was absorbed into the Kingdom of Bavaria. In 1809, the Tyrolean Rebellion took place. Natives of South Tyrol did not want to remain under the rule of France and Germany, so they rebelled against the forces in the area. The mission was unsuccessful, and the region stayed under Napolean’s control until he was defeated. When Napolean was defeated in 1815, the region returned to Austria’s control.

In 1918, the Austro-Hungarian presence collapsed in Italy, allowing Italy to occupy the region. This movement officially gave Italy the region as it was declared during the signing of the Treaty of Saint-Germain. This was when Italy catapulted its presence with Germany and what would be known during World War II as the Axis Powers. 

By 1938, Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi party in Germany, and Benito Mussolini, the fascist leader of Italy, agreed that the people living in the area who spoke German should be transferred to Germany or placed throughout Italy. 

During this time, thousands of German-speaking Italians had joined the Nazi party. The Nazi regime finally ended in the region in 1945, restoring the region to Italy. The region was granted autonomy in 1947, and both Italian and German were the primary languages of the region.


Because of Germany’s involvement in the region throughout history, Germany is as prominent as a language in the area as Italian. Smaller groups of people, such as the Lombard and Ladin people, likely speak their native languages of Lombard and Ladin throughout the region; however, the two main languages that are most likely to be heard and spoken are Italian and German.


Roman Catholicism is the primary religion in the region, as the Ancient Roman Empire once ruled the territory until Germanic tribes entered the region. While Roman Catholicism is the primary religion, it should also be noted that there are Pentecostal, Evangelical, and a Church of Scientology within the region. These denominations are secondary to the primary Christian denomination of Roman Catholicism, but they do have a presence in the region.


Because Trentino-Alto Adige is an inland territory in northern Italy, most of the region is surrounded by mountains. Most of the region is mountainous, with the remainder of the area filled with forests and grasslands. 

The geography of Trentino-Alto Adige makes the territory suitable for tourism, providing a way-of-life for those who currently live in the region. Before tourism spiked, the region was known for wine, dairy products, and timber. Those agricultural opportunities are still available, but they have also been met with industrial and tourism opportunities.


Today, the relationship between Germany and Italy is personified in the Schuhplattler folk dance. This dance encompasses both Bavarian traditions with the region of Tyrol in Italy, signifying the coexistence that these two cultures shared. 

Migration Patterns

Northern Italy thrived more than southern Italy during the Italian Unification of the 1960s. During this time period, 12 to 13 million Italians emigrated from the country in search of employment, as Italy was struggling with poverty and overpopulation. Some of the Italians from southern Italy emigrated to the northern territories and neighboring European countries, while other emigrants fled to the western hemisphere. Because of this, immigration to northern Italy is higher than in territories to the south. 


People who have a connection to the Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy region likely have a connection to Italian, German, Bavarian, Austrian, and/or Roman ethnicities. This means that someone who has physical characteristics of a German or Austrian (blonde hair and blue eyes) may be classified as having genealogy from the Trentino-Alto Adige region of Italy. Alternatively, the Italian characteristics of dark complexion and dark hair and eyes can confirm a person’s idea that they have ancestors from Italy. 

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Caleb Pike
About the author

Caleb Pike is an avid hiker and nature lover, with a passion for exploring the great outdoors. He's a writer, photographer, and adventurer, always seeking new trails to blaze and peaks to conquer.