This is one of five Italian regions to enjoy a special autonomous statute. The area includes the Adige and Isarco Valleys and the surrounding mountains. The Adige Valley, at the southern exit from the Brenner Pass, has always been easy of access and much used for traffic. Though deep, it opens out towards the sunny south and it is fertile.
Cereals are grown on the flatter areas of the valley bottom, with vines and fruit trees on the lower slopes and pastures above. Avelengo in the vicinity of Merano is well-known for its breed of horses. Bolzano and Trento where there is some industrial development, are the regional markets.
The highly eroded, limestone massif of the Dolomites extends across Venetia and Trentino-Alto Adige.