Nestled quietly at the foot of the Italian Alps, and delighting residents and visitors alike with magnificent views of the snow-capped mountains, Bolzano is the capital of South Tyrol, a province of northern Italy. Because of its location and history, three languages are recognized for official use in Bolzano, Italian, German, and Ladin. This last one is only spoken in the Dolomite Mountains area of Northern Italy. Additionally, the town is home to The Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, where lectures are given in English, German and Italian. Because of this, Bolzano has gained the title of bridge between Northern and Southern Europe. With a bustling population of over 110,000 residents, Bolzano is the largest city in the province, as well as the home of the Alpini High Command of the Italian military forces.
During World War II, Bolzano saw a lot of Nazi activity and became the site of an infamous concentration camp where persecuted Jews and political prisoners were housed between 1944 and 1945. After that, it was liberated by Allied forces. Nowadays, Bolzano is also the host of Exhibition Bolzano, which features trade shows and conferences focused on the economy of Alpine countries. Additionally, Bolzano is also the host of the annual Italo-Germanic Business Forum, where leaders of the Italian and German economies focus on problems related to the international crisis.
Bolzano is also the home of many scientific research projects, facilities, and museums. One of the most renowned of these is the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, where the world famous mummy of Ötzi the Iceman is kept in a special refrigeration chamber to prevent decomposition. There are many other museums dedicated to specific research subjects, including the Bolzano Cathedral Treasury, dedicated to sacred art, paintings, and gold artifacts.
Bolzano has an active cultural life, hosting world-renowned festivals and events, including the South Tyrol Jazz Festival, the Bolzano Film Festival, and the Bolzano Christmas Market, which is visited by over one million people each year. Bolzano has been the birthplace of a number of notable people, including Heinrich Anton, Archduke of Austria in 1828, and more recently Carolina Kostner, an Olympic medalist in figure skating.