Rich and diverse
The Alps are home to a wide variety of languages and cultures.
In addition to the four main Alpine languages used in ALPARC, namely French, German, Italian and Slovenian, the Alps are home to a very diverse linguistic heritage. Languages range from Slavonic to Germanic, with Alemannic German, Bavarian and the Walser dialect still being spoken in some regions, to the Rhaeto-Romance languages (Romansch, Ladin, Friulian) and Gallo-Romance and Italo-Western dialects. Many of these languages and dialects are now only spoken in remote areas and are gradually dying out.
Traditional agricultural and pastoral activities have shaped the farmed landscapes in large sections of the Alps for over a thousand years and are a significant factor in maintaining biodiversity.
Architecture, food, traditions and craftsmanship...
The architectural heritage also bears witness to the diversity found in the Alps. It is fascinating to examine both the differences and also the similarities in the solutions used to cope with the steep gradients and harsh climate.
The same is true of the culinary heritage, costumes and traditions, not to mention the skills of local craftsmen and artists...