The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe. They have become a popular tourist and holiday destination.
The Alps stretch approximately 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) across eight Alpine countries: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia, and Switzerland. The Alpine region has a strong cultural identity. The traditional culture of farming, cheese-making and woodworking still exists in Alpine villages. The Alps are one of the more popular tourist destinations in the world with many resorts such Oberstdorf, in Bavaria, Saalbach in Austria, Davos in Switzerland, Chamonix in France and Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy recording more than a million annual visitors. With over 120 million visitors a year, tourism is integral to the Alpine economy, with much of it coming from winter sports, although summer visitors are also an important component. This is a collection of DW's content on the Alps.
Earlier this month the authorities of the north Italian region Valle d'Aosta raised the alarm: Planpincieux, a glacier on Mont Blanc was on the verge of collapsing. There was concern that round 250,000 cubic meters of ice were about to slide into a nearby valley. Experts say it could be the beginning of the end of glaciers in the Italian Alps below 3,500 meters. Angelo van Schaik reports.
Last October, a fierce storm uprooted more than 14 million trees in the Italian alps, affecting the 'Singing Woods'. This is where, 400 years ago, Antonio Stradivari found the right wood to use for his violins and it's still used today. According to experts climate change was the cause of that storm. So is a traditional industry threatened by more extreme weather? Angelo van Schaik reports.