Population - Unusual Casting: Central Europe meets the Mediterranean
Approximately 500,000 people live in this autonomous province, which is Italy largest. And just like the region itself is colorful mix of culture and history, so too is its communication: 64% of the population is German-speaking, some 25% is Italian-speaking, and 4% still speaks Ladin. This Rhaeto-Romanic language is heard primarily in the Dolomite mountains and valleys. Regardless of whether you come to South Tyrol for business or pleasure, the language proficiency of the South Tyroleans is always a great help: most of the population is fluent in at least two languages. Schools teach both German and Italian in their basic curriculum, and English is a required subject in all schools, giving the younger generation yet another language advantage. This linguistic flexibility is also manifested in the infrastructure of the province. All street signs and almost all informational signs are in German and Italian, and in the Ladin-speaking areas also in Ladin. The idea that language also expresses an attitude towards life is particularly evident in South Tyrol. Here, just south of the Alpine main ridge, different cultures and ways of life have been able to live side by side and assert themselves over the years. Due to their special history and the long tradition of the tourist industry in the area, South Tyroleans have a lot of experience with people of other nationalities and cultures. This relatively small area offers unique insight and perspectives to Europe.