The Valle dei Mocheni, also called “Bersntol” is a German linguistic area in Trentino.
Only a few km away of Trento, near Pergine di Valsugana, the Valle dei Mocheni starts. The locals who live there call it “Bersntol”. This valley is quite famous because of its German roots of the 14th and 15th century. The small river “Fersina” flows through the valley.
The origin of the locals can be traced back to naturalization by German overlords of Pergine. The first settlers in the Valle dei Mocheni digged for copper and silver, later on more and more they lived from agriculture and were travelling merchants.
During fascism it was tried to eliminate the old German language respectively to assimilate the locals who had German roots. The Option of 1939 as well as the emigration because of little economical possibilities are guilty for the reduction of the locals who spoke their original language. Today there are only about 2.000 people who still speak this old German language.
The linguistic idiom of the Valle dei Mocheni is a combination of an Alemannic and Bavarian dialect with Tyrolean influence. During the last years the regional policy did quite a lot to stop the decrease of this special old language. And today the idiom of the Valle dei Mocheni is officially recognized as minority language like Cimbrian and Ladin. The villages where these old languages are still common are Roveda, Frassilongo, Fierozzo and Palù di Fersina.
Those who want to discover more about the Valle dei Mocheni, the history and the locals, is invited to visit the “Bersntoler Kulturinstitut” at Palai. For more information you can phone +39 0461 550073.