South Tyrol (German and Ladin: Südtirol, Italian: Sudtirolo), also known by its Italian name Alto Adige, is an autonomousprovince in northern Italy. It is one of the two autonomous provinces that make up the autonomous region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. The province has an area of 7,400 square kilometres (2,857 sq mi) and a total population of 511,750 inhabitants (31.12.2011). Its capital is the city of Bolzano (German: Bozen; Ladin: Balsan or Bulsan).
The majority of the population is of Austro-Bavarian heritage and speaks German. Around a quarter of the population speak Italian, mainly concentrated to the two largest cities (Bolzano and Merano) and a small minority have Ladin as their mother language.
South Tyrol is granted a considerable level of self-government, consisting of a large range of exclusive legislative powers and a fiscal regime that allows the province to retain 90% of most levied taxes.
In the wider context of the European Union, the province is one of the three members of the Euroregion of Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino, which corresponds almost exactly to the historical region of Tyrol.
The Dolomites (Ladin: Dolomites; Italian: Dolomiti; German: Dolomiten; Venetian: Dołomiti: Friulian: Dolomitis) are a mountain range located in north-eastern Italy. It is a part of Southern Limestone Alps and extends from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley (Pieve di Cadore) in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley and the Sugana Valley (Val Sugana). The Dolomites are nearly equally shared between the provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol and Trentino.
There are also mountain groups of similar geological structure that spread over the River Piave to the east – Dolomiti d'Oltrepiave; and far away over the Adige River to the west – Dolomiti di Brenta (Western Dolomites). There is also another smaller group called Piccole Dolomiti (Little Dolomites) located between the provinces of Trentino, Verona and Vicenza (see the map).