Bozen-Bolzano is the home of the main campus of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. Its buildings are located right in the heart of the city centre.
The city dates back to Roman times, of which the Drusus Tower is testimony. In the Middle Ages the city became a crossroads for trade across the Alps and became an important trading centre, thanks also to its geographical location.
In the last two centuries its annexation to the Austro-Hungarian empire, then to Austria and then to Italy have contributed to the creation of a diverse and vibrant city: Bozen-Bolzano is at the centre of a colourful mix between the Italian and German cultures: a heritage that is evident to everyone who visits or lives in the city.
There are around 100,000 people who live in the city, mainly divided between the three language groups present in South Tyrol: German, Italian and Ladin. In the whole of South Tyrol the German-speaking group makes up about 68% of the local population, the Italian group about 27% and the Ladin group about 4%. In the city of Bozen-Bolzano the proportions are almost the opposite with about 73% of the population belonging to the Italian-speaking group, compared with only 27% who belong to the German-speaking group (the Ladin group in the city is only 0.79%).
The city unites the traditional with the modern. Young people and fashionable shops throng the city centre where ancient mercantile buildings are an attractive backdrop to a city that is in continual growth. To the south there is the industrial and manufacturing area with prosperous small and medium sized businesses active in every economic sector. As a multilingual city and a cultural centre Bozen-Bolzano still has a lot to offer today. Its plethora of theatres, concerts with special programmes, cinemas and museums, combined with a series of trendy night spots that create local colour make Bozen-Bolzano a city that is beginning to cater for its increasingly demanding student population. And if you fancy a very special experience, go and visit the city’s favourite and most famous resident - “Ötzi”, the Ice Man of Similaun, housed in his very own refrigerated room in the recently opened archaeological museum.
Bozen-Bolzano and its surroundings are an El Dorado for sports lovers: jogging on the grass alongside the River Talfer/Talvera, walks to Jenesien/S. Genesio and on the nearby Schlern/Sciliar plateau, excursions and mountain climbing in the Dolomites, swimming in the numerous nearby lakes and, last but not least, skiing and snowboarding in the surrounding ski areas.
Bozen-Bolzano is divided into “coloured zones” that are different according to the different areas of the city. Street parking is only possible if the car has the correct coloured parking permit; otherwise cars must be parked in one of the public car parks scattered across the city. Most of the city centre is not accessible by car. Further information from Bozen-Bolzano City Council.
The carpooling and car sharing initiatives are a good alternative if you want to get around by car.