South Tyrolean History
Schenna is regarded as a real pearl by the South Tyrolean tourist board. Situated in beautiful landscape, surrounded by vineyards and orchards just below the Ifinger mountain, it’s a little Mediterranean, but also high-Alpine. With its magnificent sunny climate at the southern side of the Alps, Schenna is the flagship for many in South Tyrol. However, this has not always been the case.
About 50 years ago, Schenna was a simple farming village where the inhabitants lived mainly from agriculture. The entire South Tyrolean region was threatened by impoverishment and cultural appropriation.
People like Sepp Innerhofer (the founder of Hotel Innerhofer) and others stood up against this dilemma. The orchard farmer from Schenna was involved in the foundation of tourism in Schenna right from the start and also became active politically.
Since the mass rally at Castle Sigmundskron in 1957, he fought with many others from South Tyrol for autonomy and independence. The night of 11th June 1961 lead to international attention for the matter, which went down in history as the ‘night of fires‘.
Sepp Innerhofer held lectures at the hotel, in schools and at other events, and told about his experiences throughout the highly explosive tensions of times gone by.
After the annexation of South Tyrol by Italy in the Autumn of 1919 and another further two decades of dictatorship, the people of South Tyrol had truly had enough when the 50’s arrived. Additional reasons included extensive unemployment and cultural impoverishment. In 1957, this led to a country-wide protest at Castle Sigmundskron, which was the starting point for South Tyrol’s drive into autonomy. However, it also turned into an armed resistance struggle by a group called ‘Liberation Committee of South Tyrol‘, which spoke out against the politics of the former Home Secretary and hardliner Mario Scelba.
During the ‘Night of Fires‘ from 11th to 12nd June 1961, resistance fighters blew up dozens of power lines and fascist relicts. As a reaction, still in the same year, UNO took a closer look at the situation in South Tyrol. On 20th January 1972, an ‘autonomy package‘ came into force, which meant the start of recovery and prosperity. Until now, this political process and the debate about future developments have not been completed.