Locations: Polarizing Perspectives in the Heart of Europe
South Tyrol is a region of contrasts. Contrasts which enrich, complement and stimulate one another. Soft valleys rise up to rugged mountain peaks and ridges. Small, quaint villages stand in contrast to colorful cities. Awareness of tradition and affinity with nature encounter innovation and progress. Industry and manufacturing respect nature and protected landscapes, which make up approximately 40% of the surface area of South Tyrol. Geographically-speaking, South Tyrol is located in the heart of Central Europe, and is a long-standing and frequently used transit region. Austria borders to the north and the east, and the Swiss canton of Grisons (Graubünden) borders to the west. Heading south from Bolzano are the neighboring provinces of Belluno (Venetia), Sondrio (Lombardy), and Trentino. After an hour’s drive is the popular Lake Garda, a paradise for windsurfing, biking and climbing. Two hours further and you are in world-famous Venice. To the north, a 45-minute drive will take you to a totally different world: high up to the eternal whiteness of South Tyrol’s year-round glacial ski region. Although South Tyrol is a much sought-after holiday destination all year long, there are still countless quiet little spots to find tranquility for the mind, body and soul, and for unique camera perspectives. With a total surface area of 7,400 km2, two-thirds South Tyrol’s surface area is situated above the 1,600 meter mark in alpine and high-alpine elevations. And just 4% of the population inhabits these areas. Almost half of all South Tyroleans live below the 500 meter mark. But this is still no reason to consider it a densely inhabited region: the population density of South Tyrol is 67.9 inhabitants per square kilometer. Compare this to Bavaria, where there are 245 inhabitants per square kilometer, and in Tuscany, 161. Let’s have a look now at the “cast list” for South Tyrol. There are eight regional communities, 116 local communities and eight real cities: Bolzano, Bressanone, Brunico, Glorenza, Chiusa, Laives, Merano, and Vipiteno. Again and again, the contrariness in the region is evident. While the population of Bolzano is over 100,000, the small town of Glorenza is home to only 900 people. Similar polarities are also found in another dimension: Bolzano and the surrounding areas are just about at sea-level. South Tyrol’s highest mountain, the Ortler, peaks at 3,904 meters, close to the, for Alpinists, ever-important 4,000 meter mark. These opposites, high and low, mountains and valleys, characterize the entire landscape of South Tyrol and provide unique insights and spectacular views depending on where the cinematographer looks through the lens. In the Etsch, Eisack and Rienz valleys you will find manufacturing and agricultural trades, modern living and highly frequented traffic connections. And far away in the backdrop, the partially glacial high-mountain landscapes. But even up on high, among granite, the Dolomites, ice and snow, South Tyrol has a lively story to tell. The high-valleys and mountain pastures have been cultivated for centuries. Accessible anticlines and mountain passes serve as connectors for mountain enthusiasts in this scraggy but beautiful hinterland. Moving landscapes for moving pictures.