Customs and festivals in
South Tyrol

The northern Italian region is a cultural mix of German and Austrian influences that are reflected in the traditions and customs of the region. Folk music, traditional costumes, bacon and cosiness are very important here! Combined with the Italian "dolce vita", South Tyrol has an extraordinary culture and tradition

Firecrackers, traditional costumes and brass bands

A loud bang at 5 o’clock in the morning may wake you up in South Tyrol! Firecrackers are still fired in the region on weddings and holidays, especially on Corpus Christi and the Feast of the Sacred Heart. At wedding celebrations, firecrackers are traditionally fired at 5 o’clock for the bride and at 6 o’clock for the groom.

Traditional costumes can be seen in South Tyrol at the farmers’ market and in church on Sundays. At church festivals, at the Kirchweih, at processions and the many pilgrimages, the brass band and the marksmen gather. Even the bright blue apron is still a part of it today and is usually made with a funny slogan and of course “Made in South Tyrol.” The South Tyrolean farmer wears it.

Feasting at the Almabtrieb and Törggelen

From mid-September onwards, the danger of a change in the weather with temperatures below freezing becomes too great. So, the alpine pastures slowly empty and people and animals return to the valley. The return is duly celebrated! Autumn is welcomed with dressed-up traditional costumes, decorated animals, brass bands and holiday meals. Today, the Almabtrieb is a tourist attraction in many places and locals and visitors celebrate together.

Törggelen has almost become a synonym for the culinary South Tyrolean way of life! The name itself comes from Torggel, the wine press.

 So, every year in autumn on the heights, the new wine is tasted directly at the winegrower’s place and crowned with delicious specialities. In the traditional “Buschenschanken,” you can stop for wine tasting and home cooking. The “Nuie,” the new wine, is often served with the “Schlachtschüssel” or roasted chestnuts, the “Kerschtn,” with bacon and “Schlutzern” and dumplings and cabbage.

Slow Food and regional culinary festivals

Naturally, the Slow Food movement has found its way into the region of Gemütlichkeit. The Slow Food organisation is all about ecological quality, regionality and enjoyment. In South Tyrol, there are currently four Presidia that bear the Slow Food logo, the vineyard snail: Ahrntal grey cheese, grey cattle, Villnösser Brillenschaf and Vinschger Ur-Paarl, the delicious flatbread rolls. All restaurants that offer Slow Food products may also advertise with the logo.

South Tyrolean communities have also embraced themed festivals for regional products, as celebrated everywhere in Italy, in recent years. The Strawberry Festival in the Martell Valley takes place at the end of June, and the Speck Festival in Villnöss in October. The many wine weeks and various chestnut festivals spread throughout the region have already been part of it for many decades.


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