The process of building of a regional identity can sometimes present some of the features of a national phenomenon. That means that borders between symbols and political strategies supporting nationalism and regionalism can be very thin. This essay aims to analyse and compare two local cases of region-building systems that go back to national ones: the cases of Valle d’Aosta and the one of South Tyrol. First the European context referring to the relationship between nationalism and regionalism is shortly provided. After that the case of Valle d’Aosta is introduced, drawing the pattern of its building-process. However, the main topic is the explanation of the example of South Tyrol. In this province the political elites of the German minority have focused so far their strategies on elements which are typical of nationalism: the common language, common heroes, the sense of unity and a strong catholic faith are just some of the features of their identity.