I have just returned from a week's holiday in South Tyrol. It was the third time and besides beautiful landscapes, good food and wine, I always notice one thing: the people here are very, very hard-working and make this region by far the most successful in all of Italy (e.g. in terms of gross national product per capita).
A short history: since 1919 South Tyrol belongs to Italy, before that to Austria, 70% of the inhabitants are German speaking.
South Tyrol is characterized by family businesses, many of them in agriculture. Thus a large part of the apples sold in Europe come from here. A classical farm has only 3 hectares of land (with apples or wine). In Germany and elsewhere, you could not live on that in any case! Here, however, the yield per hectare is very high and, above all, the families always have at least one other source of income: guest rooms, their own restaurant in summer ("Buschen-Schank") or work as a ski instructor in winter.
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