Trentino-Alto Adige (Trento) - Northern Regions

"Trentino-Alto Adige (Trento) - Northern Regions" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 28th April 2011

The name Trentino refers to the southern part of the region and its capital Trentino (ancient Tridentum). The name Alto Adige belongs to the northern territory of the region with the higher part of the river Adige ("alto" means "high").

Area: 13 609 (5257 sq.miles) (4.5%), population: 924 000 inhabitants (1.5%), density of population: 75 inhab./

The territory of Trentino-Alto Adige is characterized by not rich mineral resources, plenty of water, beauty of nature, not mild climate, poor agricultural land. Intervention of human being in this territory was lead in intelligent and careful way, so now this region is one of the best organized and rich in Italy.

Trentino-Alto Adige was populated already during the Bronze Age by local people, and subsequently by Celts and Etruscans. In 1 century b.C. it was occupied by Romans, because of the strategic position of the territory. As always the consequence of Roman colonization was construction of roads, fortifications, cities (Bolzano and Trento), embankments of rivers, etc. During the decline of Empire and barbaric invasions improvement of territory organization was interrupted.

In the Middle Ages was formed the actual ethnic-cultural conditions reflected in subdivision of the population in two groups: Italian and German, and the special autonomy status given to this region by the Italian Constitution.

In course of past decades two important changes took place in Trentino-Alto Adige; the first one is industrialization of the territory around Trento and Bolzano, favored by the wealth of hydroelectrical energy, and the second one is development of tourism especially in Alto Adige thanks to the beauty of mountains and healthy climate.



Man and Territory Economy and Resources

Archeology and Art


During the prehistoric period the valley of Adige was inhabited by peoples of the same ethnic group as Ligurians; later came Celtic peoples. Introduction of breeding. The pre-historical rests prove the presence of Celts (palafitte constructions in Ledro) and Ligurians (menhir from Termeno on the Strada del Vino in Bressanone).

Roman Epoch
(from II century b.C.)

In times of Augustus this territory was occupied by Romans. Transformation of the territory with construction of bridges, embankments and roads. Foundation of Trento (Tridentum). Numerous rests of the public (amphitheatre in Trento; basilica in Bolzano) and private (villas in Trento) constructions.

Middle Ages
(V - XV centuries)

The valley of Adige was invaded by barbarians, the side valleys remained more protected. During the feudal period barbaric invasions stopped and the region was divided between two feudatories: the bishop-count of Trento, who maintained his lands under the Italian influence, and the bishop-count of Bressanone, influenced by Austria. During XIII-XIV centuries the presence in region of iron minerals and silver made a lot of immigrants of the German origins come here. Considerable building activity under the government of bishops of Trento and Bressanone: Castelroncolo, Castel Forte.

(XV - XVI centuries)

Between 1545 and 1563 Trento hosted the important council of the catholic Church destined to study the measures against the Protestant reformation extending in Europe. The excavation and reproduction of minerals continues: silver in Pergine, copper in Valsugana, copper and iron in val di Fiemme; increases the consumption of wood from the local forests. Reconstruction of the castle of Buon Consiglio in Trento.

Modern Epoch (XVII-XVIII)

The whole of the regional territory is under the domination of Austria. The manufacturing activities keep on spreading all over the region; a particular type of property named "maso chiuso" is affirmed; introduction of maize and potato. Trentino: the art influenced by Lombardy; Alto Adige: artistic taste of southern Germany.

XIX - XX centuries

After being a part of Italian kingdom founded by Napoleon, in 1815 Trentino-Alto Adige was joined with the Austrian southern Tyrol with the capital Innsbruck and only after the First World War the whole region was united with Italy. Very quickly appeared the problems between Trentinians (Italians) and Altoadigians (close to Germans). Thus on February 28, 1948 the region Trentino-Alto Adige was recognized as an autonomous region with the special status. In 1859 the railway of Brennero making part of the line Verona-Bolzano was opened. Begins industrialization of the territory. The most isolated valleys tend to be depopulated.  

Trentino-Alto Adige (Trento) Map

trentino map


January: 0.4 C

July: 21.1 C


Trentino-Alto Adige is located on the extreme north of Italy, bordering on Austria (north), Veneto (east and south), Lombardy (west) and Switzerland (short length).


The region is dominated by Alpine climate with cold  and snowy winters, cool summers, rainy springs and autumns. Some dells of Adige valley have milder climate. Because of very little intervention of man in the natural landscape of the region, it conserved its original beauty, flora and fauna.


The most of the territory of Trentino-Alto Adige is occupied by mountains. Administration and inhabitants take great care of the nature and try to do everything to save the original look and state of the landscape.


plain: 0%

hill: 0%

mountain: 100%


Total: 50 900 000


foreigners: 40%


Because of its particular position, Trentino-Alto Adige is the main point of transits between Italy and central- eastern Europe. The passageways of Brennero with the highway and railway leading to Austria; of Dobbiaco leading again to Austria; of Resia connecting with Austria and Switzerland.

Agriculture and breeding.

The agriculture of the region is divided in two sectors:
1.existential agriculture, destined to provide feeding and other needs of the countrymen families (cereal, potato, forages). This type of agriculture is concentrated mostly in the highest  and poorest zones of Trentino-Alto Adige.
2.specialized agriculture, destined for export, insuring high incomes; it is developed in the lower zones open to sun. Here produce wine grape, apple and pear; breeding of cattle and production of wood.


agriculture: 10%

industry: 27%

tourism: 63%



44 000 000 kWh

Trentino-Alto Adige:

8 870 000 kWh



128 000 000 kWh

Trentino-Alto Adige:

60 000 kWh


The most important  industry in the region is production of hydroelectrical energy exported first of all to adjoining Veneto. The other products of regional industry is aluminium (Bolzano, Trento), some chemical  and mechanical products (Trento), paper, tobacco (Rovereto) and alcoholic drinks (beer, bitters, grappa). Thanks to a great demand of growing touristic sphere, the construction industry is very well developed as well.


As it was already noted above the population of the region consists of two ethnic groups: Italian  (Trento) and German (Bolzano). There are two official languages: Italian and German. From time to time the tensions between them take on particularly acute forms. The third ethnic group on the territory of Trentino-Alto Adige is Ladino, which conserved itself thanks to very long in time period of isolation. Ladins live in some valleys of Dolomits. In the province of Trento the population tend to abandon little living centers and move close to Trento, but in Bolzano province migration is much less active. The reasons for the latter phenomenon is blooming tourism industry permitting to live well even in the smallest settlements and cultural and property traditions keeping families together and firm on the land of their ancestors.

Births (per 1000)

Italy: 9.9

Trentino-Alto Adige: 10.4

Deaths (per 1000)

Italy: 9.3

Trentino-Alto Adige: 9.3


Italy: 0.6

Trentino-Alto Adige: 1.1

Inhabitants per car

Italy: 2.0

Trentino-Alto Adige: 1.9


Trentino-Alto Adige takes the 4th place in classification by the gross income per inhabitant. It is first in Italy by the number of banks in relation with the number of inhabitants. The product per head increases every year. The level of reported crimes is extremely low and participation of population in actions of Civil Protection in emergency cases is very intensive. Being a region with the special status determines the possibilities of the local administration to manage in better way not rich resources of the territory.

Provinces and communes.

The territory of the region is divided into two provinces: Trentino and Bolzano/Bozan. They are also subdivided into 339 communes.

Monthly income

per inhabitant

1 534 000 It.Liras 

(767 US Dollars)

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