Alto Adige


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Indeed, between the Renaissance and the 19th century, the whole area, originally populated by Latins from the time of the Roman Empire, experienced a great deal of Germanization. In the centuries before Napoleon, only the Dolomite's area of the western part of the present province of Bolzano (especially the Val Venosta near Merano) remained Romance-speaking. Furthermore, immediately after WWII, about 65% of the population spoke German as their mother tongue, while about a third spoke Italian and about 5% spoke Ladin (but in the 2011 census the percentages were: 62. 3%, 23. 4% and 4. 1%, while another 10. 2%, or 51,000 people, were immigrants from outside Italy, whose mother language was neither German nor Italian). According to the 2011 census, 74% of the population of Bolzano (79,000) is Italian-speaking. Four comuni have an Italian-speaking majority: Laives, Salorno, Bronzolo and Vadena (18,000), eight have a Ladin-speaking majority, and 103 have a German-speaking majority. According to the 2011 census, 50. 47% of the resident population of Merano spoke German as their mother tongue, 49. 06% Italian, and 0. 47% Ladin.

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