Bolzano (Italian: [bolˈtsaːno] or [bolˈdzaːno]; German: Bozen [ˈboːtsn̩] , formerly Botzen; Bavarian: Bozn; Ladin: Balsan or Bulsan) is the capital city of the province of South Tyrol in northern Italy. With a population of 108,245, Bolzano is also by far the largest city in South Tyrol and the third largest in historical Tyrol. The greater metro area has about 250,000 inhabitants and is one of the urban centers within the Alps.Bolzano is the seat of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, where lectures and seminars are held in English, German, and Italian. The city is also home to the Italian Army's Alpini High Command (COMALP) and some of its combat and support units.In the 2020 version of the annual ranking of quality of life in Italian cities, Bolzano was ranked joint first for quality of life alongside Bologna.Along with other Alpine towns in South Tyrol, Bolzano engages in the Alpine Town of the Year Association for the implementation of the Alpine Convention. The Convention aims to promote and achieve sustainable development in the Alpine Arc. Consequently, Bolzano was awarded Alpine Town of the Year 2009.
Bolzano is considered a bridge between Northern Europe and Southern Europe due to the three spoken languages in South Tyrol (Italian, German, and Ladin) and the confluence of Italian and German-Austrian culture.