Prayer bread

The bretzel or pretzel is a popular bread product worldwide in the shape of a knotted loop. It is also a popular street dish found in various countries around the world.
You can take them dry or stuffed. Here in Bolzano, they are widely consumed with beer. The sweet versions are covered with chocolate or sugar icing. You can find them in street food stalls, bakery shops, restaurants and bars.
According to one story, bretzel originated in Italy around 610. Italian monks gave leftover pieces of dough in the form of a bretzel to pupils so that they could say their prayers correctly. The bretzel therefore symbolised prayer. At that time, Christians prayed with crossed arms. It is possible that this is why the dough product was called ‘bracellae’. This is Latin for little arms. In Germany, this would be the slang word for bretzel. … This may or may not be correct. In any case, bretzel are still bestsellers here in Bolzano and by extension in the entire Alto Adige region.