Fra Brenner til Trento, En rejse i Sydtyrol, Thanning & Appel
Fra Brenner til Trento (”From the Brenner to Trento”) is a modern travelogue which takes the reader from the Austro-Italian frontier in the Alps, through the German speaking Italian region of South Tyrol, to Trento and Rovereto, the northernmost really “Italian” cities of the peninsula. And through more than 2000 years of Central European history.
Along the way stops are made at a series of charming medieval towns in the Val d’Isarco/Eisacktal, at the classic belle époque spa city of Merano/Meran and at Bolzano/Bozen, described by Wallpaper guru Tyler Brulè as one of the hottest (and coolest!) cities of Italy. A chapter is also devoted to the magically beautiful plateau of Renon/Ritten.
Thomas Harder mixes his personal anecdotes (memorable meals, a new year’s party at his family’s favourite mountain hotel, a funeral at the monastery of Novacella/Neustift, having his camera stolen in Bolzano and the subsequent visit to the local carabinieri station …) with a wealth of solid information about the region’s dramatic history.
The book contains a lot of practical information for travellers.
Armchair-travellers will find stories about e.g. wizards and witches and whip-cracking herdsmen; about Teutonic knights, German emperors, and century-long feuds between neighbouring villages; about a curious, 500 years old symbiosis between wealthy urban holidaymakers and local peasants and about llamas and elephants; about an SS officer who tried to save Mussolini’s life in 1945 by hiding him in a remote mountain village, Nazi war criminals on the run aided by local clergymen, and hidden treasures; not to mention narrow-gauge railways, ropeways, and the generally good life enjoyed by the Mercedes-driving, green-hatted, blue-aproned, inhabitants of one of the wealthiest regions of Europe.
The Danish-German newspaper Der Nordschleswiger praised the book for its wealth of information and for the light style in which it is presented. “This is not a guidebook, in the narrow sense of the word, but it makes one want to get to know South Tyrol, its history and its fascinating landscapes.”
Thomas Harder quotes from the diaries etc. of Michel de Montaigne, Hans Christian Andersen and Sigmund Freud. It would be fairly easy to add quotes from other more or less famous travellers from other countries, if a foreign publisher should so desire. The book is illustrated with photos taken by the author and by local commercial photographers. Since publication Thomas Harder has added a couple of hundred photos to his stock and it would thus be easy to add more photos.