Difference between revisions of "Bolzano"
Revision as of 14:59, 10 January 2014
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 archaeology museum is famous worldwide as 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 bilingual.
Together with Innsbruck, Bolzano is officially the capital of the Alps because the seat of the Alpine Convention is there.. 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 of 5 districts with a district mayor and council. These are:
Initially inhabited by the Rhaetians, the area was settled by the Romans in 15 BC, by general Nero Claudius Drusus, who gave his name to the first settlement in the area (an army camp with a bridge by the river Eisack-Isarco). The village founded nearby was called Bauzanum. The region of South Tyrol was historically settled by ethnic Germans and Ladins.
Bolzano has been a trading point since its foundation owing to its location 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) held this office. The city was a cultural crossroads at that time.
In 1919, after World War I, Bolzano was annexed by Italy against the will of the native population who had opted to join the new German Republic of Austria. Starting in 1926, after the rise of fascism, the region's ethnic Germans were subjected to a policy of forced italianization. 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 is now a multilingual European city open to the future, hosts students from all over the world and therefore hosts a lot of interesting cultural events. For this reason Bolzano is hoping to become 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. Many Italians say they would like to live in Bolzano. However it is recognized that the city is a little expensive.
Bolzano has many special features: it's an Italian city with Austrian flair. In the city centre you will mostly hear people speak German or Austro-Bavarian. Nowadays, however, Italian- and German-speaking people are living together in bilingual Bolzano. Generally "Bozner" or "Bolzanini" are friendly and helpful. Most German-speaking people can speak Italian but Italian-speaking people are unlikely to be able to 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-speakers and vice-versa) and of English is compulsory.
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 the Föhn often blows from the northern 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 maximum and minima are -17 and +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 and the same west to east and it's 3/4 surrounded by mountains. The historical centre is in the north-east in triangle formed by the Talfer in the west, the Eisack in the south-east and Mount Hörtenberg in the north-east. The modern areas (including the commercial and industrial area) are to the west and south. Most of the towns and villages of the metropolitan area are south of the city where the Bolzano bowl extends further. The River Adige flows through the westernmost suburbs.
Bozen Tourist Office Waltherplatz 8 (+39 0471 307000, [email protected]) - 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. (FYI, no one in Bozen knows what this "3 day pass" is all about) 3 day pass that includes all public transport and admission to museums and castles costs 28 Euro per person. It does pay for itself, but is NOT included in a 3 night stay.
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 €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 on the crossroads between Northern and Southern Europe. It 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) is some 5 km outside Bolzano city centre, to the south east. At the moment there are no direct transport links with the city apart from taxis. Buses 10A and 10B stop 1 km north of the terminal. A rapid-transit system is planned, which will connect the airport to the city centre.
ABD Airport Bolzano Dolomites  (BZO), recently expanded, has multiple domestic and international charter connections. From Munich travellers can go to Innsbruck or Verona and then take a train or a bus or from Rome Bolzano can be reached by air.
Since the decision (2008) to downsize Milan Malpensa in order to focus on Rome Fiumicino, no flights from/to Milan have been available. Air Alps, which operates flights for Alitalia, was also affected but the number of flights from/to Rome increased. The Bolzano airport company is planning scheduled flights from/to other important hubs in Europe (notably Frankfurt am Main and Vienna).
The terminal is to be expanded. It is currently quite small but there is a snack bar, three car-rental companies and a ticket information point.
Scheduled flights winter 2009/2010:
Charter flights summer (normally one per week end):
From Bolzano to other destinations
for more information contact a travel agency.
All trains from Germany and Austria and other parts of Italy stop at Bolzano Central Rail Station. There are connections with several cities. Useful websites are that of Trenitalia (Italian Railway Company) , Österreichische Bundesbahnen (Austrian Federal Railway Company)  and Deutsche Bahn (German Railway Company) . Once a week there is a train connection to Moscow Belorusskaya and Nice operated by the Russian Railways (with stops also in Minsk, Warsaw, Katowice, Vienna, Milan and other places en route).
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. On 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 €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 terminate 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 on foot. The best way to discover every corner of the city is on 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 transport 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 €1.50. 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 €5, €10 or €25. In city buses the trip will cost just €1.20 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 14 other towns (Meran, Brixen, Schlanders, Bruneck, Laives/Bronzolo/Vadena, Mals, Toblach, Kaltern, Algund, Lana, Eppan, Neumarkt, 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 ticket machine directly on the bus, which sell single trip tickets and €5 value cards. Consider that it accepts coins only if you are likely to buy a value card - and bus drivers will not change banknotes for money. Ticket can be bought also in a few tobacco and newspapers shops throughout the city.
The South Tyrolean Transport and Fare System offers a 7-day travel card called Mobilcard  for €18 and a 3-day travel card for €13 which allows the free use of all city buses in Bolzano and the entire South Tyrol transport system. There is also a 7-day travel card for one of three areas for €15. South Tyrol is divided in a western, a central and a eastern area, but the Bolzano bus network is included in all of them. If you are also planning to visit the metropolitan area, the Mobilcard for the Central area is the best option. There is a 50% young person's discount.
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. 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 stamp your ticket also if you are buying it at the ticket machine. 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 €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 €1.50 (€0.65 with value card).
You have to stamp your ticket in the rail station's entrance at the green stamping machines.
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 €2.50 (€2.28 with Value Card) and for Jenesien costs €2 (€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 €5 (€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 07:00 until 19:00 in winter and 07:30 in summer during the week (08:00-19:00 in winter and 08:00-19:30 in summer with a break 12:00-13:30 in winter and 12:00-13:00 in summer).
In Bolzano taxis are not so common, and sometimes at night getting a taxi can be difficult because there is no bus service and everyone will use them. There are taxi ranks 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 centre about €30).
In Italy the city has one of the most developed network of cycle paths with about 30km composed of 8 main routes. 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 is very cheap: €1 for 6 hours, €2 for more than 6 hours. Deposit €10.
Cycles can be rented all year round from Bolzano Tourist Board for €5 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 makes 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.
Driving in the historic 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 air pollution. In cases of high concentration of polluted substances the streets are forbidden also for EURO 1 cars. On the website of the City of Bolzano there is a map of the areas concerned  and other infos (only in German and Italian).
There are a lot of pay car parks in the city and car parks for people with disabilities have special signs. However it is important to remember that in Bolzano parkings on white-striped streets is ONLY FOR RESIDENTS in that area with a special permit. Non-residents may park their cars there free only from 1 pm on Saturday until 8 am on Monday. Fares for covered car parks are around €1 per hour. If you are coming from the surrounding areas it's better to park on the outskirts - parking e.g. in the Milan street (only €0.30 per hour) or in the Fair Quarter.
In Bolzano car sharing is also a possibility for long stays in the city. The annual fee is of €150 and in addition to this one hour costs €1.80 and every kilometer €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 €60 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.
If you want to go to underground concert (Alternative-Punk-Indie-Metal), Poison For Souls  is the right choice for you!
Top events in 2010
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, sushi, or McDonald's and Burger King.
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. €€
'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.
Local and International dj's, located within walking distance from the city center. Entrance: €12-20 (1 drink included)
Club located within walking distance (10 minutes) from the historical city center. Crowded on weekends. Entrance: €3
Club located in the hearth of the city. Entrance: €8-14 (1 drink included)
Special guests, entertainment and dj music. The disco is in the South Bolzano area. Entrance: €16 (1 drink included)
Entertainment, sometimes live music, alternative. The disco is in the South Bolzano area. Entrance: €9 (1 drink included)
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: €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 (Via Garibaldi, Piazza Verdi, Viale Trento) 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 when you will stay in Bolzano saftely.
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 but also in the City Center (expecially on Piazza dell'Erba where most of the pubs, bars and clubs are - especially on week-ends, when alcohol level is high and the inhibition threshold low pub-fights can break out, and young drunks can molest you but people usually will not harm you when they see that you are not from Bolzano.
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 wish to connect to their relatives. There are a lot of telephone boxes 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.
Internet cafes are scarce, with virtually no open WiFi connections in the centrum.
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.
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).