Trento, is a bit of an upmarket town in the northeast of Italy. History made it a proud town, with a number of large manors outside of the town, where bishops used to come for holidays. Nowadays it is one of the most expensive towns in Italy, with the wealth from farming, wine, and high-tech industries. At Easter the fields around Trento are in bloom with apple blossoms. The town centre is more or less a pedestrian area, and walking around the historic centre you can see a number of outdoor frescos on historic buildings. In the past the river Adige flowed right outside the centre where now Torre Verde is. Apart from the council of Trento, which gathered in Trento in the sixteenth century for many periods of several years, which dominates the town centre, there is one other noteworthy historical event, related to Judaism. A little boy, named Simione, died about five hundred years ago. The event was blamed on the Jews, with stories of Pagan rituals. Fictional scenes are depicted on two plaqettes on via Roma. Therefore all Jewish men were killed, while women and children were expelled. The Jews put a ban on Trento in return. In the 1990’s relations between Trento and the Jewish community improved when the Trentini stopped (officially) honouring Simione as a martyr, and the ban was lifted. A plaquette in a little alley off via Roma commemorates this occasion.
Although off the beaten path of mass tourism, Trento offers rather interesting monuments. Its architecture has a unique feel, with both Italian Renaissance and Germanic influences. The city center is small, and most Late-Medieval and Renaissance buildings have been restored to their original pastel colours and wooden balconies. Part of the medieval city walls is still visible in Piazza Fiera, along with a circular tower. Once, these walls encircled the whole town and were connected to the Castello del Buonconsiglio. The main monuments of the city include:
- Duomo (Cathedral of Saint Vigilius), a Romanesque-Gothic cathedral of the twelfth-thirteenth century, built on top of a late-Roman basilica (viewable in an underground crypt).
- Piazza Duomo, on the side of the Cathedral, with frescoed Renaissance buildings and the Late Baroque Fountain of Neptune (Fontana di Nettuno) built in 1767-1768.
- Church of Santa Maria Maggiore (1520), site of the preparatory congregations of the Third Council of Trent (April 1562 – December 1563). It was built for Bishop Bernardo Clesio by the architect Antonio Medaglia in Renaissance-Gothic style. The façade has a notable 16th century portal, while the interior has works by Giambettino Cignaroli and Moroni.
- Castello del Buonconsiglio, which includes a museum and the notable Torre dell’Aquila, with a cycle of fine Gothic frescoes depicting the months, commissioned by the prince-bishop Georg von Lichtenstein.
- Church of San Pietro (12th century) It has a neo-Gothic façade added in 1848-1850.
- Church of Sant’Apollinare, erected in the 13th century at the feet of the Doss Trento hill.
- Church of San Lorenzo (12th century). It has a Romanesque apse.
- Torre Verde, along the former transit path of the Adige river, is said to be where persons executed in the name of the Prince-Bishop were deposited in the river.
- Palazzo delle Albere, a Renaissance villa next to the Adige river built around 1550 by the Madruzzo family, now hosting a modern art museum.
- Palazzo Pretorio, next to the Duomo, of the 12th century, with a bell tower (Torre Civica) of the thirteenth century (it now hosts a collection of baroque paintings of religious themes). It was the main Bishops’ residence until the mid-13th century.
- Palazzo Salvadori (1515).
- Palazzo Geremia (late 15th century). It has a Renaissance exterior and Gothic interiors.
- Palazzo Lodron, built during the Council of Trent. The interior has a large fresco cycle.
- Various underground remains of the streets and villas of the Roman city (in Via Prepositura and Piazza Cesare Battisti).
Trento also sports modernist architecture, including the train station and the central post office, both by rationalist architect Angiolo Mazzoni. In particular, the train station (1934–36) is considered a landmark building of Italian railways architecture and combines many varieties of local stone with the most advanced building materials of the time: glass, reinforced concrete, metal. The post office was once decorated with colored windows by Fortunato Depero, but these were destroyed during bombings in World War II. Other buildings of that time include the Grand Hotel (by G. Lorenzi) with some guest rooms furnished with futurist furniture by Depero, and the “R. Sanzio” Primary School built in 1931–34 and designed by Adalberto Libera.
An aeronautical museum (Museo dell’Aeronautica Gianni Caproni) is located in Trento – Mattarello’s Airport.
Official Website – www.museocaproni.it
The Museo tridentino di scienze naturali (Website) (Trent Museum of Nature) is a museum of natural history and science.
Official Website – www.muse.it
Trento’s surroundings are known for the mountain landscapes, and are the destination of both summer and winter tourism. The Alpine Botanical Garden, located on Monte Bondone in Le Viotte, was founded in 1938. Trento is also the venue of a Mountain Film Festival
Official Website –trentofestival.it
Highway A22-E45 links Trento with Verona and to Bolzano, Innsbruck and Munich.
Trento railway station, opened in 1859, forms part of the Brenner railway (Verona–Innsbruck), which is the main rail connection between Italy and Germany. The station is also a junction with the Valsugana railway, which connects Trento with Venice. Trento has several other railway stations, including Trento FTM, terminus of the Trento-Malè-Marilleva railway (FTM).
Bus or train services operate to the main surrounding valleys: Fassa, Fiemme, Gudicarie, Non, Primiero, Rendena, Sole, Tesino, Valsugana.
The public transport network within the city consists of 20 bus lines operated by Trentino Trasporti and a funicular service to Sardagna. The various railway stations within Trento’s city limits are integrated into the public transport network.
The best way to visit the city is by feet or by bike. The city center is closed off to traffic and small and pleasant to walk. The beautiful mountains surrounding Trento can be reached easily using public transportation (the blue busses. The bus station is between the train station and the hostel).
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