Trentino Alto Adige region includes the territory of Trent and Bolzano provinces. Its surface is equal to 13.613 square kilometres. 75% of the territory stretches above 1000 metres of altitude. It borders on two italian regions, Lombardy and Veneto and on Austria.

Within the italian legal system, Trentino-Alto Adige enjoy a special autonomy statute, like Valle d'Aosta, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Sicily and Sardinia. But Trentino-Alto Adige regional autonomy shows some peculiarities which make it unique within Italy. In fact, the territory, that is in accordance with the Italian Constitution and the principles of the State legal system, is ruled by three bodies: the Region and Trent and Bolzano autonomous Provinces. The power of the first one is above all regulatory, while the two Provinces can widely intervene in the social, economic and urbanistic field. For that, the legislative assemblies are three: the two provincial Councils of Trent and Bolzano - composed of the regional councillors elected within the two provinces - and the regional Council. Also the "Governments" are three: the regional and the two provincial Boards. This legal and institutional system is in force since 1948, with an amndment made in 1971 following the autonomy statute review, according to which many regional competences were transferred to the autonomous Provinces. Right after the end of the Second World War there was the ratification of the act establishing Trentino-Alto Adige special autonomy at international level. In fact, during the Conference of Peace in Paris, the italian Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi and the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Karl Gruber signed an agreement, that was named after them, providing for special protection and autonomies for the Germans living in Alto Adige. This agreement - that was assimilated by the Conference of Peace - brought about the autonomy of this singular boundary region. This autonomy is based on the "tripolarity" of powers and is provided for the statute that was sanctioned by the constituent Assembly in February 1948 and amended by the constitutional law in November 1971. This "tripolarity" reflects the historical and liguistic features of the population living together in the regional territory. Substantially it is the result of a political agreement of pacification among the groups which, after periods characterized by difficulties and tension, started a wider mutual understanding and society. Within the regional territory, in Bolzano province, the population is made up of a majority of German people living together with a strong minority of Italian people. The population livign in Trent province is italian and in the two provinces there is another linguistic minority, the Ladin population of the Dolomite area. Trentino can be divided into two German linguistic areas (Luserna and Mocheni Valley) whose populations do not benefit from constitutional guarantees. According to 1991 census figures, in Alto Adige 283,503 citizens out of 440,508 said they speak German, 116,914 speak Italian and 18,434 Ladin; the remaining 17,657 speak other languages. In Trentino population counts 449,852 units 8,621 of them live in the ladin district of Fassa Valley. The population's social and economic life is influenced by history and obviously by the region mountainous environment. In fact, Trentino lies in the heart of the Alps and is crossed from north to south by the millenary connection road between Europe and the Mediterranean area, through the Brenner Pass and then through the valley of the river Adige. The environment is widely mountainous. It is enough to think that 75% of the surface - that is equal to 16,613 square kilometres - is over 1000 mt of altitude. But if on one hand that obviously influences the way of life, on the other hand it offers those environmental and naturalistic features which make Trentino-Alto Adige one of the most suitable places for the develpment of entertainment and tourist economy, also thanks to the presence of many natural parks such as, for example, the group of Brenta, the group of the Ortles with the Stelvio, the Dolomites (which are mostly in Alto Adige), Garda massifs, the boundary alpine ring, the big tablelands in the area between Bolzano and Merano. Inside this territory there are innumerable lakes - considered real gems - among which there is a reach of Garda, the largest italian lake. In the large valleys ploughing the territory agriculture and tourist economy join in harmony. Vineyards and orchards are the main growings, while the summer mountain pastures allow valuable cattle-breedings. In Alto Adige a quite peculiar contribution to the local agriculture development is offered by the school for fruit and vine-growing of Laimbourg and by San Michele all'Adige Agricultural Institute in Trentino. Both these schools are engaged for professional qualification and new techniques and knowledge introduction. Adige valley, with the most important centres - Bolzano and Trent (both count about one hundred thousand inhabitants) - boosts industry besided agricultural economy. in fact, there are production settlements with medium-small manufacturing firms. Important lines of communications - like Brennero railways and national road, and the motorway - cross the territory from north to south and smooth connections with the peripheral valleys run into them: that allows an adequate mobility of men and things which is indispensable for tourist and productional activity. As far as job activity is concerned, the regional population is divided into the three big economic classes. In Alto Adige agriculture gives job to 12.5% of 196,100 working people, industry employes 28.6% and the tertiary industry (public administration, trade and tourism) 58.2%. In Trentino, 4.9% of the 187,104 working people works in the field of agriculture, 28.6% in industry and 66.5% in the tertiary system. Within production and economy there are four peculiar wealths to be pointed out, which are present in the regional territory. First of all the environmental one, that has originated a flourishing winter and summer tourist-sport industry. With this regard it is important to notice that Trentino-Alto Adige cableway plants represent 40% of all those present on the national territory. Secondly, woods which, besides their fundamental ecological and environmental function, provide for about 12% of timber italian production, and for that this region is at the third place in Italy. Thirdly, hydro-electric power: watercourses utilization, even by building artificial watersheds, allows to supply about 20% of hidro-electric power produced all over the national territory. The fourth peculiar wealth is porphyry mining activity. This material is material is widely used in buildings and marketed in Italy and abroad. Besides natural and economic wealth there are the historical and cultural ones. During the last millennium history, the present Trentino-Alto Adige has been caracterized by Trent and Bressanone Bishops' Rules self-governments, by the respective populations' joining to Tyrol between 1802 and 1918, by the free communities - like, for example, Fiemme Magnificent Community - ruled in accordance with their own statutes. These self-government and local powers are at the bottom of these populations' spirit of autonomy. The local civilization - linked to the rest of Europe - has created the architectonic monuments and town planning. With this regard, an excellent example is Trent Buonconsiglio Castle (the Bishop Rule see), with the Renaissance urban organization wanted by prince bishop Bernardo Clesio (1514-1539), in order to make the city more suitable to host the Council that was named after it (1545-1563). Other examples to mention are Trent Romanian Cathedral, Bolzano fifteenth-century church and Bressanone precious Cathedral. The Region valleys are rich in castles, among which there is the Tyrol Castle in Alto Adige and Beseno Castle in Trentino. Besides, there are series of frescos in Rendena, Non and Sole Valleys, at Vipiteno as well as in Novacella abbey in Alto Adige. The present cultural life is characterized by the influence of Trent University and its research institutes, by Bolzano Conservatory and civic Theatre, by Trent Festival of the mountain film. Valuable museums, both in Alto Adige and in Trentino, keep evidence of a past with a great worth heritage.

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Regione Autonoma Trentino Alto Adige