Difference between revisions of "Bolzano"
Revision as of 16:34, 27 December 2009
Bolzano (Italian) or Bozen (German), (Ladin: Balsan, Bulsan)  is the capital city of South Tyrol, the German speaking region in the northern part of Italy. Bolzano is the largest city in the region. Its archealogical museum is famous worldwide as it is the home of the alpine Iceman "Ötzi". It is also known as the Italian Capital of Christmas thanks to its characteristic Christmas market. Bolzano's population is around 100,000 (140,000 including the metropolitan area ). 25% of inhabitants speak German as their mother tongue, which is much higher in the non-urban parts of the province (up to more than 90% in some areas), making the city and province officially bi-lingual.
Together with Innsbruck, Bolzano is officially the capital of the Alps because there is the operative seat of the Alpine Convention located there.. Also the world famous Museum of Archaeology with the Iceman and the Messner Mountain Museum's main seat make Bolzano a world city of mountaineering history and culture.
The city is administratively composed by 5 districts with a district mayor and council. These are:
For tourism we can divide the city into 6 tourist areas:
Initially inhabited by the Rhaetians, the area was settled by the Romans in 15 BC, by general Nero Claudius Drusus, to whom referred the name of the first settlement in the area (an army camp with a bridge by the river Eisack-Isarco). The nearby founded village was called Bauzanum. The region of South Tyrol is historically settled by ethnic Germans and Ladins.
Bolzano has been a trading point since its foundation, due to its location in between the two major cities of Venice and Augsburg. In 1262 it was elevated to a Stadt (city). In 1363 Bolzano became part of the Habsburg monarchy as part of the county of Tyrol. Four times a year a market was held and traders came from the south and the north. The mercantile magistrate was therefore founded in 1635. Every market season two Italian and two German officers (appointed from the traders who operated there) worked in this office. The city was a cultural crossroads at that time.
After World War I in 1919 Bolzano was annexed by Italy against the will of the native population who had opted to join the new German Republic of Austria. After the rise of fascism, starting in 1926, the region's ethnic Germans were subjected to a policy of forced italianisation. The fascist dictatorship encouraged the moving of many ethnic Italians to the city from other parts of Italy (primarily from Northern Italy) in an attempt to italianize the whole region. After World War II, Bolzano was once again assigned to Italy but this time the German-speaking population demanded self-determination and afterwards accepted the autonomy statute which is ensured internationally. After decades of tension particularly in the 1950s and the 1980s, (which included minor terrorist plots), Bolzano now is a multilingual European city open to the future which hosts students from all over the world and therefore has a lot of interesting cultural events. For this reason Bolzano is ready to become a candidate as European Capital of Culture in 2019.
Bolzano is constantly among the top-ranked cities in Italy when it comes to quality of life. It has one of Europe's lowest unemployment rates, excellent services and a wonderful landscape. Also, many Italians affirm they would like to live in Bolzano. People recognize that the city is a bit expensive, though.
Bolzano has many peculiarities. It's an Italian city with an Austrian flair. In the city centre you will hear people speak mostly German or its local dialect. Nowadays, however, Italian and German-speaking people are living together in bilingual Bolzano. Generally "Bozner" or "Bolzanini" are friendly and helpful. All German-speaking people can speak some Italian, but not all Italian-speaking people can speak German. Nevertheless, many young people can also speak English and a few can speak French too. In South Tyrolean schools the learning of the second language (Italian for German and vice-versa) and of English is compulsory.
Template:ClimateCelsius Local tourist guides often say that Bolzano has an incredible Mediterranean climate. That is not true. Bozen's/Bolzano's climate is continental with very hot summers and very cold winters. In autumn and spring blows often the Föhn, a wind that comes from the northern part of the Alps. Whereas in Innsbruck it is a warm wind, in Bolzano there are moments when it's relatively warm and strong, and then the temperature may fall suddenly. The coldest month of the year is January (min -6.2°C/20.8°F, max 5.0°C/41.0°F, average 0.0°C/32.0°F), the warmest is July (min 15.1°C/59.2°F, max 29.4°C/84.9°F, average 22.0°C/71.6°F). The annual average is 11.6°C/52.9°F. The extreme records go from -17 to +40.
The city of Bolzano is in the Bolzano bowl at the confluence of three rivers (Talfer, Eisack, Adige) and extends about 6 km north-to-south beeline as much as east-to-east and it's 3/4 surrounded by mountains. The historical centre is in the north-eastern part on triangle formed by the Talfer stream on the west side, the Eisack river on the south-east and by the Mount Hörtenberg to the north-east. The modern areas (including the trade and industry area) are located to the west and to the south. Most of the towns and villages of the metropolitan area are located south of the city where the Bolzano bowl extends further. The Adige river flows through the most western suburbs.
Bozen Tourist Office Waltherplatz 8 (+39 0471 307000, email@example.com) - The Bozen's Tourism Board has an information office right in the Walther square on the right. You can get information about the city and the neighbouring areas and also take some free brochures and maps of the city (ask also for the free cityguide). The tourism board's web site has been recently renewed and now it's a well-designed web site which provides a lot of useful information. On the web site is possible to download some brochures and the city map.
If you are looking for the whole metropolitan area consider to check the web site of the Bolzano Surroundings Tourist Association  with information about the city and Southern South Tyrol (the holiday region promotes in English under the name 'South of Südtirol' on logos and 'South of South Tyrol' on written publications).
Passes and discounts
Those who stay three or more nights in a hotel in Bozen or Jenesien mountain village receive a free Guest Pass with a free guided tour of the city and some discounts in museums, castles and swimming pools.
If you want to visit all Bozen's museums and the Runkelstein Castle you can buy the MuseumCard (€ 2.50), with which you have discounts in all the entrances (you can save up to € 16.50).
If you want to visit Bolzano and discover the surrounding area of Southern South Tyrol you can get the South of Südtirol Card for EUR 1.50 and you will have discounts in visiting museums or in sport activities.
Magazines, events calendars
BM - Bolzano Bozen Magazine the Tourism Board publishes this trilingual (English, German, Italian) magazine with a lot of information about the city. You can find it in the tourism office, in the railway station and hotels. Free.
Inside - events in south tyrol  bilingual (German, Italian) pocket calendar with all events in Bozen and in South Tyrol. The index is written in English. You can find it everywhere. Free. Also online available.
The South of Südtirol Magazine is published yearly by the tourist association of the Bolzano metropolitan area which useful including events also in the surrounding area. You can find it in tourism offices and in hotels for free.
Everyday local newspapers in German (Dolomiten, Neue Südtiroler Tageszeitung) or Italian (Alto Adige, Corriere dell'Alto Adige) publish all the events, theatrical performances, films at cinema and other useful (if you understand German or Italian) information.
Bolzano is born because it is on the crossroad between Northern and Southern Europe.
Bolzano is well-connected, possessing a small international airport and forming a major hub of the railway system in Central Alps.
ABD Airport Bolzano Dolomites  (BZO), recently expanded, has multiple domestic and international charter connections. If unable to fly to Munich directly, travellers can get to Innsbruck or Verona and then take a train or a bus connection or get to Rome and reach Bolzano by air.
After the decision (2008) for downsizing of the airport of Milan Malpensa in order to focus on the hub of Rome Fiumicino, no flights from/to Milan are longer available. Air Alps, which operates flights for Alitalia, has been also involved but the flights from/to Rome has been increased. The Bolzano airport's society is planning scheduled flights from/to other important hubs in Europe (notably Frankfurt am Main and Vienna).
Currently the terminal is quite small but there is a snack bar and three car rentals - and also a ticket information point.
Scheduled flights summer 2009:
Charter flights summer (normally one per week end):
From Bolzano to other destinations
for more information contact a travel agency.
In the Bolzano Central Rail Station stop all the train from Germany and Austria and from Italy. There are many connection with several cities. Useful websites are that of Trenitalia (Italian Railway Company) , Österreichische Bundesbahnen (Austrian Federal Railway Company)  and Deutsche Bahn (German Railway Company) .
Bolzano is very well connected by bus with Central Europe. Bus connections are frequent from/to Germany, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Romania. Traveling by bus is cheaper than by train, especially from Eastern Central Europe. Gross  organizes up to 22 bus connections every month between Bolzano and Munich (one-way ticket for € 20). Almost every important city in Poland is connected with Bolzano through international bus connections - normally arrival is in Genoa. The Polish travel agency Wikel  is the most known for this cheap connections. If you are coming from Romania your reference could be the Romanian CentroTrans  travel agency which has also offices in England. Coaches from Romania stops in Bolzano but also in Brixen. In the Romanian website about bus stations  you can find arrivals and departures from Romania/to South Tyrol at the Bolzano bus station. Connections with Slovakia from/to Bratislava are operated by the Eurolines  agency in Bratislava. Connections with the Czech Republic are operated by the Tourbus  agency (web site also in English available) with buses from Prague or Brno and other places. Prices are cheap - a return ticket from Brno to Bolzano costs EUR 94. Tourist connections are also available from Germany - this connections are operated by the German travel agency Südtirol Tours .
Bolzano is also the major regional bus hub and all the main regional bus routes have their end station in the capital. For information about regional connections check on the regional bus company SAD  web site.
Highway A22 (Autostrada del Brennero/Brennerautobahn ) from South and from North lead to Bolzano, however they get congested during the Christmas market and especially during the ski season. Highway has two exits in Bolzano, normally if you're coming from the North it's better to choose the Bolzano Nord/Bozen Nord (North) exit, while from South it's better the Bolzano Sud/Bozen Süd exit. Follow the direction on the signs in order to reach the city centre or your accommodation. If you're coming from Meran you the better way is taking the MeBo freeway - there are two exits in Bolzano (Eppan/Appiano exit for West Bolzano and Gries, and Bozen Süd/Bolzano final exit for Bolzano South and the city centre). For day trips to Bolzano it's probably better to leave your car in the Parking "Centro BZ Mitte". Normally every hotel has its own parking.
The city centre is not big and so it can be discovered by foot. The best way to discover every corner of the city is by foot but in order to reach other areas inside the city using the public system is a good idea - also because the public transport system is efficient and the means of transporting run on time and are clean.
By bus, train and cableway
Bolzano has an excellent public transport system, which includes buses, cableways and commuter rail. Within Bolzano itself, you can get a single trip ticket (including a second trip, if within 45 minutes after the printing) for the bus for EUR 1.00. If you want to use the bus many times and/or with other people, you can buy the "Value Card" ("Wertkarte" or "Carta Valore") for EUR 5.00, 10.00 or 25.00. In city buses the trip will cost just EUR 0.65 and you can use this card on all types of transport system in South Tyrol: on the interurban buses, on the cableways of the SAD System, on the "Mendelbahn" and on all the trains from Innsbruck to Trento and on all urban buses in 12 other towns (Meran, Brixen, Schlanders, Bruneck, Laives/Bronzolo/Vadena, Mals, Toblach, Kaltern, Algund, Lana, Eppan, Sterzing and Sand in Taufers) and in Innsbruck (here you have to stamp your ticket at the green stamping machines at the train station). Tickets can be bought at the grey machines (yellow in some areas) in major stops (also in Walther square) or in general shops like bakeries, bars, restaurants, supermarkets, other retail stores and in the tourist office too. All dealers have identification stickers. Look at the official site  for more information and a complete list. Most of the times you can't buy the ticket on the city bus - if at the bus entrance you don't see any signs (Non si effettuano vendite a bordo) on your right you can buy a single trip ticket for EUR 1.00 at a ticket machine.
The South Tyrolean Transport and Fare System offers a 7-days-validity card called Mobilcard  for EUR 15.00 which permits to use freely all city buses in Bolzano and the bus lines of Bolzano's hinterland. A card for all South Tyrol also exists - 3 days validity for EUR 15.00 and 7 days validity for EUR 25.00.
For all information about costs and tickets on the South Tyrolean Integrated Transport and Fare System web site  (also complete in English). About timetable and bus maps of Bolzano's/Bozen's city transport service on the SASA  web site (Italian and German) and of South Tyrol region on the SAD  web site (at the moment only in Italian and German available).
In Bolzano there are 17 bus lines (generally 6AM - 9PM) and three of them have also a night service (bus lines 153 -journey of the day lines 1, 5 and 3-, 2 and 10A) from 9PM until 1AM. On Saturday a night bus called 'Nightliner' is in service between midnight and 3:30AM which connects the city centre to the southern hinterland neighbourhoods of Laives and Bronzolo passing throughout most of the city and the southern part of the city in which the discos are located ('Nightliner' fare: EUR 4.00 - valid for the whole night). Buses pass very frequently - you will not wait more than 10-15 minutes between two buses of a single line. Buses run always on time.
Stamp your ticket at the start of its first use (there are green - on new buses yellow - stamping machines on the buses or near the entrances to the stations). You have to buy another ticket if you stop and you catch a bus after 45 minutes after the printing (only with single trip ticket or spent value card). Payment is by the honor system and inspectors check for valid tickets. If you don't have one, it's an instant EUR 25 fine (plus the fare you were supposed to have paid). All timetables and bus maps you can find free in the tourist offices or in the bus station.
All urban buses stops are request stops (exept end of the line): If you want to get off press the red (in some buses blue) button, while if you want to get on a bus you have to wave your hand. Especially if you are alone at the bus stop or generally in South Bolzano (Fair Quarter) and in the night you should signal well in advance.
Bolzano also has two small urban rail stations (Bolzano South-Fair Quarter and Sigmundskron-Ponte Adige). Also here you can use the "Value Card". A single trip ticket from the Central Station to the Bolzano South-Fair Quarter costs EUR 1.50 (0.65 with value card).
You have to stamp your ticket in the rail station's entrance at the green stamping machines. On the Bolzano-Mals regional train you can also buy and stamp your ticket on board.
Bolzano is also connected with three mountain villages around the city by three cableways. If you want to go to Ritten/Renon or Jenesien/San Genesio you can use the "Value Card": a one-way ticket for Ritten costs EUR 2.50 (EUR 2.28 with Value Card) and for Jenesien costs EUR 2.00 (EUR 1.90 with Value Card). On the Ritten there is also a trolley car which brings from Oberbozen at the cableway station to Klobenstein which is the main place on the plateau. A one-way ticket from Bolzano to Klobenstein (cableway+trolley car) costs EUR 5.00 (EUR 3,90 with Value Card).
If you want to go to Kohlern-Colle you have to buy an extra ticket - trips every 30 minutes from 07:00AM until 07:00PM in winter and 07:30 in summer during the week (08:00AM-19:00PM in winter and 08:00AM-19:30PM in summer with a break 12:00-1:30PM in winter and 12:00-1:00PM in summer).
In Bolzano taxis are not so common, but sometimes at night getting a taxi can be difficult because there is no bus service and everyone will use them. Taxis will park in front of the railway stations, on Walther Square, Gries Square and other major squares and places. Taxis are only on call available. Bozen's taxi service is powered by Radio Taxi Funk  24h24 calling 0471 98 11 11. Taxis in Bolzano can be very expensive (Airport to City Center: about EUR 30).
In Italy the city has one of the most developed bike trail system with about 30km composed by 8 main trails. Guided tours are available. Maps are available in tourist offices and online .
Rentals are available in the following places:
The service  is available from 4 April until 31 October 7:30AM-8PM (October until 7PM) and it's very cheap: €1 for 6 hours, €2 for more than 6 hours. On bail: €10.
Bike rental around the year also at Bolzano Tourist Board for EUR 5.00 a day.
In the fahrradfreundliches Bozen / Bolzano città della bicicletta (bike friendly Bozen, the bike's city) there are specific road signs that help the city biker. A lot of big table maps are placed in many parts of the city. On the bike trail #1 after crossed the Talfer river direction city centre is placed an electronic table which obtains the number of passed bikes. On the city website  there is a map which can be helpful for reaching specific places.
Driving inside the city has no sense - the public transport system is more than enough for traveling inside Bolzano. In the rush hours traffic is intense. However the main streets for car circulation are ring road along the Eisack river in the South, the Drusus road from West to the centre, the Italy avenue, the Freedom avenue, and the Rome street in the new city.
Circulation in the historical centre is forbidden and the city centre is forbidden for the EURO 0 cars. In winter (from November to March) the whole city is forbidden for the EURO 0 cars in order to prevent from air pollution. In cases of high concentration of polluted substances the streets are forbidden also for EURO 1 cars. On the web site of the City of Bolzano there is a map of the interested areas  and other infos (only in German and Italian).
There are a lot of parkings with fee in the city and parkings for people with disabilities have special signs. However it's important to remember that in Bolzano the public parkings on white-striped streets are ONLY FOR RESIDENTS in that area which have a special coupon. Non-residents can park their cars there free only from Saturday at 1:00PM until Monday at 08:00AM. Fares for covered parkings are around EUR 1.00 per hour. If you are coming from the surrounding areas it's better to park in the city outskirts - parking e.g. in the Milan street (only EUR 0.30 per hour) or at the Fair Quarter.
In Bolzano car sharing is also a possibility for long stays in the city. The annual fee is of EUR 150 and in addition to this one hour costs EUR 1.80 and every kilometer EUR 0.34. There is a web site  (Italian only). For car pooling check the web site  with the offers (German and Italian).
Car rentals like by Inchirieri Masini in the Galvani street, 1, Hertz , Europcar ,Autonoleggio  Maggiore  or Primustrans which are all at the Airport (Maggiore has a branch also in the Garibaldi street, 32), and Buchbinder in the Schlachthofstraße, 29. Other local rentals also throughout the city. The average price for a day rental is about EUR 60.00 for the cheapest car.
Museums, Galleries, and Memorials
For more information please see district articles
For more churches please see district articles
Palaces and Castles
For more information please see district articles
For more squares please see district articles
Parks and Promenades
For more parks and promenades see district articles
Alpine City of the Year 2009
The Alpine Convention selects every year a city of the Alps from France to Slovenia that can hold for a year the title "Alpine City of the Year". In 2008 the Bolzano bid was chosen for 2009. Bolzano is seat with Innsbruck of the permanent secretariate of the Alpine Convention, so it's commonly thought to be co-capital of the Alps, though.
During 2009 special exhibitions and events will be hold.
Theater, Opera, and Music
Bolzano has a long fair tradition and it host an important and modern fair quarter, which is in South Bolzano.
During the year there are 18 fairs and a lot of meetings, having a congress centre and a four-star Sheraton Hotel.
Here the most important trade fairs are listed:
The Showtime Agency  is the most important events organizer in the region - every year Bolzano host a big number of concerts with groups or singers from Italy, Austria or Germany and internationally known artists. For tickets information please contact the agency.
Top events 2009
In Bolzano there are 3 movie theatres with a total of 11 screens:
Bolzano is the ideal place if you want to study both German and Italian, or German or Italian after having studied one of the two.
Bozen is a congress, financial and business centre. School of languages and institutions could look for English teachers/speakers and new minds are requested in some technical sectors. If both German and Italian are known everybody can find a job in a restaurant, shop or hotel if it had some job experiences.
For single shops see district articles
Every district has its own shopping area but the shopping paradise is the historical centre. Bolzano is the city in which the small ceramics sculptures Thun are made. You can find Tyrolean and Italian fashion in the same place and local delicatessen have to be chosen.
The 'Christkindlmarkt' takes place every year from the last Friday of November to 23rd December in the Walther square with 80 stands. A second Christmas market called 'Winterwald' (Winter wood) takes place near Walther square in Palais Campofranco's yard with 14 stands. In the same period in the historical centre take place other markets too: the 'Handwerksmarkt' in the Municipal square and the Christmas market of solidarity in some streets of the historical centre. Occasionally we can find smaller 'Christkindlmärkte' or Advent markets in other parts of the city.
For more places please see district articles.
You can find all kinds of restaurant - cuisine, typical, Italian, international, ethnic specialties - and fast foods - typical Würstlstandln (hot dog stands), döner kebab, sliced pizza, Chinese take-away and McDonald's.
In the following list are included some of the most known traditional or important restaurants in the city center.
South Tyrolean cuisine is typically Austrian (Tyrolean) with Mediterranean influences but also Italian and other international specialties have to be found. Typical South Tyrolean products include Speck (a kind of smoked ham), a lot of sorts of bread, strudel, apples and a lot of pastries. During Christmas typical cakes are Bozner Zelten and Christstollen.
Entries include specialties such as Herrengröstl (potatoes, beef, onions, speck), Kaiserschmarrn (omelette with raisin and sugar), Gulaschsuppe, Schlutzkrapfen (a kind of dumpling with spinach or other ingredients), Spätzle (a kind of spinach dumpling), Knödel (bread balls with speck or other ingredients), pork roast with sauerkrauts.
Bolzano is an important wine producer in South Tyrol - it's included in the South Tyrolean Wine Road . Typical drink in South Tyrol is beer too - the most famous brewing company is Forst which is produced near Meran. A pub in the historical centre produces its own beer. Very popular soft drinks are Spezi (pronounce: "sh-peh-tzi") which is a cola-lemonade mix and Spuma which is an aromatic soda. If you like coffee you can drink Italian espresso or cappuccino but also Viennese or German (American) coffee.
Beer & wine gardens, halls & cellars
For the price explanation please see the "Eat" section
South Tyrolean Forst Brewing company runs a really nice restaurant with outdoor seating right in the Altstadt (Historical Centre). Good beer and food and the prices are reasonable. Try the Sixtus ale, goes right to your head. €€
Bavarian Paulaner Brewing company's first Bräuhaus in Italy. Good beer and food. €€
Here you can drink the original Bozner Bier  (Bozen's beer) and eat typical Tyrolean food. €€
Pubs are mainly full on Saturday night - the Red Bull with Vodka mix is called here Flieger and it can be red (with red vodka), black or white (EUR 3.50-5.00). Many people drink an aperitif also in the night - the most common drinka are Veneziano with Aperol and white wine (EUR 1.50-2.50) and Estivo with sparkling water and white wine. Prices go from cheap (€) to expensive (€€€). Generally not more than EUR 5 for a drink.
'Konditoreien', Cafés & 'Gelaterie'
Just 15 years ago Bolzano was known as the 'Sleeping Beauty', but in the meantime it has been transformed in the regional capital for nightlife so much that also young people from neighbouring Trentino come to Bolzano on Friday and Saturday night and the Bolzano's nightlife is known as the 'movida bolzanina', which was reported also in Italian national magazines. Now on weekend nights the historical centre is full of young and less-young people and pubs are literally crowd.
Look also on South Tyrol's portal for fun and night-life .
Mirò  Dominikanerplatz, 3b Club located in the hearth of the city. Entrance: EUR 8 to 14 (1 drink included)
Après Club  Hauptstraße, 20 - 39010 Gargazon/Gargazzone Special guests, entertainment, events. The disco is located out of Bozen, in the small village of Gargazon, between Bozen and Meran, on the statal road. 15 km from Bozen. Free entry.
Keope Disco Club  Brennerstraße, 6 - 39050 Steinmannwald/Pineta di Laives Entertainment, dj music and Cuban dance. In the outskirt of Bozen on the statal road.
Baila Discopub  Boznerstraße, 5a - 39057 Eppan/Appiano Entertainment, special guests and dj music. The disco is in Eppan near Bozen. One of the most crowded places to go on weekends. Entrance: EUR 8 (1 drink includeed).
Zentis Discopub  Tannstraße, 12 - 39054 Ritten/Renon Discopub, LIVE Music, DJ Music. The Discopub is in Klobenstein / Ritten near Bozen.
Please see district articles
The city and its metropolitan area are well developed for tourism and you can find all kinds of accommodation: luxury, international, typical, big, small, cheap hotels, B&Bs, apartments, youth hostels, campings and you can spend your holidays also in a farm in the surrounding countryside. Tourist offices can help you in finding your ideal accommodation. During the Christmas market period accommodations are full in fast all the region - advanced reservation is required.
In the following list are included some accommodations in order to make an idea about hotels and others. Category is given in stars and the service corresponds in all cases to the category.
Legend (single room - B&B - for person):
Bolzano is one of the safest cities in Italy and generally tourist don't have problems.
But anyhow, beware of African migrant vendors in the streets: most of the merchandise they sell is imitation/fake luxury goods. You can get a very high fine in Italy for purchasing imitation/fake goods.
Stay away from the area around the central railway station and the surrounding area at night. Especially in the Station Park and the Garibaldi Street - drug dealers, homeless people and illegal immigrants are often seen. However, common sense should be enough.
Pickpocketing is not usual but prevent it putting your money and other values in a safe place. Beware of groups of youths in the areas of South Bolzano and the New City - especially on week-ends, when alcohol level is high and pub-fights can break out, but people usually will not harm you.
Bolzano is officially a bilingual city - That means there is most likely a German and Italian name for everything! Some tourists could have problems understanding the city's unique character. Guests interested in the (recent) history of South Tyrol are appreciated but try to stay neutral discussing this with locals and always avoid asking the German-speaking people explanations to why German is official language in a region belonging to Italy or avoid affirming to them 'But this is Italy!'. Bolzano/Bozen is a international model of bi-lingualism and multicultural understanding and major ethnic tensions are a thing of the past.
In Bolzano there are a lot of call centres which are used mainly by immigrants who desires to be connected to their relatives. There are a lot of telephone box in which you can use Italian and International phone cards. Cell phone coverage in the city is excellent. A lot of hotels offer wireless connections. The area code is 0471 (that of Italy is +39) while the postcode is I-39100.
In Bolzano there is at least one post office in each district. The two main post offices are open from M-F 8AM-6:30PM and Sa 8AM-12PM - on Sunday closed. Other post offices are open from M-F 8AM-1:30PM and Sa 8AM-12:30PM. The post office at Fair Quarter is open from M-F 8AM-2PM.
There are above 60 bank branch offices. The most important banks in South Tyrol are the Südtiroler Sparkasse  (Savings Bank), the Südtiroler Volksbank  (People's Bank), the Raiffeisen Bank  and the Bank für Trient und Bozen (Bank of Trento and Bolzano). The offices are open normally 8:05AM-12:55PM and 2:45PM-4PM to 4:30PM. Banks are closed on Saturday and Sunday (a few banks are open on Saturday). At every bank and other places you can find simply an ATM.
The majority of consulate generals are located in Milan and other nearest consulates are in Verona or Innsbruck.
United States of America , Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand all have their Consulate General in Milan.
Most of the fitness centres are located outside from the city centre. A lot of hotels have fitness centres too - notably that at Sheraton Hotel. In the Bolzano South area in the Centrum mall a new international fitness centre will be open.
Here some address for computer assistance in Bolzano:
Considering that most of DVDs are American movies and that they offer the language selection, you can virtually consider to rend a DVD. Pay attention only to the fact that the European system is different from the American (U.S. & Canada) one (if DVDs show the regional code 2 for Europe they don't work on American PCs or DVD recorders).