Trento is a city in Northern Italy in the region of Trentino – Alto Adige. The city is located in a picturesque valley at the head of the Adige River at the foot of the Alps between Verona and Bolzano. Not far from Trento there are beautiful lakes – Garda, Caldonazzo, Levico and Toblino.
The old city of Trento is an interesting historical and cultural monument, an ancient castle, churches and palaces. In recent years the Old Town has been extensively renovated. Also Trento is a city that can offer not only monuments, palaces and castles with a rich history, but also a relaxing atmosphere, interesting cultural program, cuisine and excellent opportunities for outdoor activities.
History of Trento
The history of Trento begins around the 4th century BC. Many researchers believe that the city was founded by the Celts. In the 1st century B.C., Trento was conquered by the Romans and became part of the Roman Empire. Thanks to its favorable location, the city was of great strategic and commercial importance.
Old Town of Trento
Firstly Trento developed as a military settlement: on one side the city was bounded by the river Adige, on the other three sides by walls and moats with square towers and powerful gates. The main entrance to the city was protected by two big round towers. The layout of the city was strict and orderly.
Trento in winter
In the 4th century, with the collapse of the Roman Empire, Trento fell under the power of the church. In the sixth century Trento was conquered by the Goths. Further the city and the region were conquered by the Langobards, later the Franks and the Bavarians, who made continuous raids on the territory of Trentino – Alto Adige.
At the end of the 10th century, Trento was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire. In the middle of the 11th century, Emperor Conrad II created the bishopric of Trent, to which he granted significant land holdings in South Tyrol and the status of a principality.
Over time, the city’s importance declined and it came under the influence of the counts of Tyrol. In the 16th century, the bishopric fell under the protectorate of the Austrian Habsburgs, who effectively subjugated the bishopric. Nevertheless, Trento maintained formal independence until the Napoleonic Wars. The principality included quite extensive territories in South Tyrol, on both banks of the Adige River.
During the Napoleonic wars (late 18th and early 19th centuries) the city was occupied by the armies of Bonaparte. After this period the city was returned to the Austrian Empire. Trento became part of the Austrian district of Tyrol and lost its autonomy. In the 19th century Trento became part of Italy.
Streets of Trento
Since the mid-20th century, Trento and the region have experienced an economic and cultural boom thanks to its wide autonomy.
When is the best time to visit Trento?
It all depends on your preferences and what period of the year you prefer. Trento is beautiful in winter – snowy peaks of the Alps, winter sports, in spring when everything is in bloom, in summer it is fresh and cool and in the fall – beautiful nature and good weather. The smallest number of tourists here in April, October and November.
Cuisine and Catering
There are many food outlets in Trento with both local and Italian cuisine as well as fast food outlets.
Among the dishes and drinks we recommend trying the local wines and cognacs, cheeses (Asiago, mozzarella, Caciotta, Robiola, Tosela,Vezzena, Spressa, etc), sausages and cured meats, polenta, apple strudel.
Cathedral Square (Piazza Duomo) is the main square of the historical center of Trento with interesting architecture and beautiful historical buildings.
Piazza Duomo in Trento
The following landmarks are located here:
- The Square Tower (Torre Civica), an ancient 12th century stone tower decorated with a clock and bell tower. The tower is 46.5 meters high.
- Neptune Fountain – one of the most important monuments of the city in the 18th century, topped with a statue of Neptune.
- Fountain of the Eagle – a small fountain in Piazza Duomo, topped with a stone sculpture of an eagle.
- San Vigillo Cathedral – the main church of the city, which was built in the thirteenth century on the site of an ancient church dedicated to San Vigillo, the patron saint of Trento. Most of the bishops of Trento are buried in the cathedral.
- Around the square there are various historical buildings and palazzos, historical monuments.
The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore is an ancient church from the 16th century.
Church of Santa Maria Maggiore
Palazzo delle Albere is a Renaissance style mansion, built in the mid-16th century. It is a fortified building, which is a square fortification with four corner towers.
Palazzo delle Albere
The Castello del Buonconsiglio in Trento is one of the main attractions and symbols of the city, a magnificent castle from the 13th century. The castle was built for defensive purposes on a rocky hill. Its present appearance is the result of centuries of additions and alterations.
The oldest part of the castle is in Romanesque style with original elements of the old castle of the thirteenth century, which was rebuilt in 1440 and completed a large round tower.
In the early 16th century the castle was rebuilt in Renaissance style, later in Baroque style.
Castle in Trento (Castello del Buonconsiglio)
Cesare Battisti Mausoleum on Doss Trento – located on a high hill (308 meters) on the right bank of the Adige. Here are the remains of an ancient early Christian church from the 4th century AD.
The mausoleum is 16 marble columns 14 meters high on a round pedestal.
Mausoleum of Cesare Battisti on the hill of Doss Trento
Interesting towers of Trento :
Wang’s Tower is an early 13th century tower built by Bishop Federico Wang. Designed to protect the hill of Doss Trento.
The Green Tower is a mid-15th-century stone tower.
Green Tower in Trento
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Trentino is a region with autonomous status in northern Italy. Administratively the region is divided into two provinces – Bolzano and Trento, and the center of the region is the city of Trento with a population of over 100 thousand people.
Geography of the region
The region of Trentino is located in the farthest north of Italy. Trentino borders Austria to the north, the Veneto region to the east and south, and Switzerland and Lombardy to the west.
Trentino is dominated by an Alpine climate with cold and snowy winters, rainy autumns and winters, and cool summers.
The region’s main river is the Adige, which originates in the Alps and carries its violent streams into the Adriatic Sea.
History of Trentino
The first people to settle in Trentino were Celtic and Etruscan tribes. In the second century B.C., the Celts were driven out of the region by the Romans, who were very interested in capturing this strategic area.
The Romans also founded the first cities in Trentino – Bolzano and Trento, and built a network of roads, linking the area with other parts of Italy. Today in Trentino you can see many remains of Roman structures, such as villas, which belonged to noble Romans.
During the Middle Ages, Trentino was attacked by barbarian tribes. The area was divided into two parts – the southern part went to the bishopric of Trento, which was under the influence of the Italian states, and the northern part to the bishopric of Bressonone, which was in the zone of Austrian interests.
Development of the region in the Middle Ages
At the beginning of the 13th century iron ore deposits were actively exploited in the area, attracting settlers from Austria and Germany to the region.
In 1543-1563 the Council of Trento was held, one of the major events in the history of Europe in the 16th century. It was an Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church that was a reaction to the Reformation movement that had begun in Europe. The Council of Tresden confirmed the basic tenets of the Catholic Church as well as the primacy of the Roman Church. The decisions of the Council of Trentin formed the basis of the program of the Counter-Reformation.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, Trentino was part of Austria. In 1805-1815 the region was part of the Kingdom of Italy. After the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the region again became part of Austria-Hungary, under the name South Tyrol.
The area joined Italy only after the First World War.
Attractions in Trentino
On the territory of the region there are many monuments that belong to different historical eras. It will be especially interesting to visit the cities of Bolzano and Trento.
Stelvio National Park
Stelvio National Park
However, the main attraction of the region is nature. In the very north of Trentino is the Stelvio National Park, one of the largest in Italy. The park is located in the mountain massif Ortles, the highest point of which is 3,899 meters. The park is extremely beautiful and picturesque.
The Stelvio Park was founded in 1935 to preserve the unique flora and fauna of Trentino. It has preserved forests of oak and chestnut, fir and pine trees. The park also has alpine meadows.
Nature in the Stelvio Park
Trentino has numerous upscale resorts that attract many tourists literally all year round. In summer and fall you can stay at the resorts of Lake Grada, which is famous for its mild Mediterranean climate, or visit the Stelvio National Park. In winter and spring, the ski resorts of Madonna di Campio and San Martino di Castrozza are available for ski lovers.
Madonna di Campiglio ski resort
Trentino also has excellent conditions for mountain climbing. The Dolomite Alps are literally made for this extreme sport.
Economy of Trentino
The economy is based on the production of electricity, which is the subject of exports, both abroad and to other areas in Italy. The area is also developed tourism and construction, as well as agriculture and animal husbandry.