Few countries in the world can compare to Italy. It is a country where you can find a mix of history, art, architecture, gastronomy, fashion and natural beauty. Italy is divided into 20 regions. Each region is divided into Provinces, and each province is divided into municipalities. The Italian areas are essential because many customs and cuisines are regional and there is a lot of diversity among them.
Trento is the capital city of the province of Trentino. It is a lovely place just two hours from the Austrian border. The city is culturally Italian with a hint of Austrian influence.
History of Trento
Trento was founded in the Roman Age at the foot of the Doss Trento, a rocky outcrop on the right of the Adige with the Dolomites rising in the near distance. If you walk from Piazza Battisti, you can walk through Roman ruins: gates, roads, and houses. Trento was a roman town of some importance, and after Goth, Lombard and Carolingian rule, it passed from Emperor Conrad the Salic to the Bishop Princes. Bishop Princes’ rule lasted until the year 1801. Monuments include the Duomo, built in the 12th-13th Century are dating to various periods.
In the Middle Ages, it moved to the opposite bank when a robust set of walls enclosed it. Trento was fully developed in the Renaissance period. It is a city of art that has a strong Renaissance mark, which characterizes it for its colors, its buildings and makes it unique in the entire Alpine region.
Trento is and has been an important religious center. The Council launched the Counter-Reformation movement there. Recalling church history, Trento’s medieval cathedral hosted the Council of Trent (1545-1563), which, by laying the theological groundwork for the Counter-Reformation, sought to check the successes of that radical German monk, Martin Luther. Later, and until the end of World War I, Trento was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The city experienced a second Golden Age in the 16th century thanks to Bishops Bernado Cles and Cristoforo Madruzzo. The Gothic cathedral was a place for all the formal meetings of the Trento, and it is located in the Piazza del Duomo, the monumental heart of the city.
Churches in Trento
If you walk through the center from Piazza Duomo towards Via Cavour, you will see Chiesa di San Francesco Saverio, the Jesuit Church, in front of you. Then, you can continue to San Lorenzo’s Abbey in Piazza Dante. The abbey is a magnificent example of Romanesque architecture dating from the 12th century. Another beautiful church is the Chiesa di San Apollinare in the Piedicastello part of town. The church was built between the 12th and the 14th centuries on the site of a chapel from the Barbarian era. This amazing church is whole in Romanesque style with buttresses, rounded archways, an impressive portal, and bell tower. It has some Gothic influence in its soaring structure. Furthermore, there is the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in the city which is covered in red marble, and its origins belongs to the 16th century.
The Duomo is one of the most beautiful churches in Italy. Piazza del Duomo is ranked amongst Italy’s most beautiful, mostly because Adamo d’Arogno’s masterpiece, which was built in the 13th century. There’s a small square dedicated to the architect at the back entrance of the cathedral. The cathedral was built mainly in Romanesque style but had Gothic influences on its façade, which with its large portal and with its 14th Century lunette is a wonderful sight.
The castle is one of the top attractions in Trento, and it is located in the town. It is one of the biggest castles in Italy and is made up of many different styles. The oldest part of the castle dates back to the 13th century. One of the highlights of the castle is the Torre dell’ Aquila. You should not miss that sight if you are visiting Trento.
Abbey San Lorenzo
This is one of the most beautiful churches in Trento. It dates back to the 12th century, and was one of the most frequented churches during the period of the Catholic Council. The church is surrounded by a beautiful garden, which adds to the church’s beauty.
This museum is housed in a 16th century vaulted rural building and contains around 3,000 copper objects dating from the Renaissance to the 20th century. The exhibitions include 16th-century wash-basins, embossed barrels from 1542 and 1650, a 16th-century Venetian lantern, pails, basins, goblets, and molds for sweets and puddings.
Palazzo Geremia, with its frescoed facade, is one of Trento’s most beautiful buildings. The frescoes depict the scenes that took place in the one-time Via Larga (now known as Via Belenzani) when some an emperor stopped in Trento on his way to Germany. In one fresco you can see the arrival of Maximilian of Austria, who lived in Palazzo Geremia between 1508 and 1509. Below that, between the scenes of Muzio Scevola and Curzio Romano, there’s an illustration of a rather animated discussion at a table where you can spot the Venetian ambassadors in their red gowns.
Museum of Natural Science
Trento is rich in paleontological flavor. Several of the castles and churches that held these counter-reformation activities of the Council of Trent are composed of fossil-rich marble, mined from the surrounding Alps. Every street and sidewalk in Trento is composed of this rose or white colored marble, and everywhere you step, you are bound to walk on the remains of Jurassic ammonites. Even Trento’s castle has walls composed of ammonite-rich limestone.
The Trento Museum of Natural Science is located near the large castle and contains paleontology, geology, mineralogy, zoology, insectology, and botany exhibits. Many interesting local fossils and even a surprising dinosaur footprint can be seen here.
Walking in Trento
The city offers a lot to the keen visitor from its many historical to artistic aspects. From the underground archaeological site of the Tridentum dating back to the Roman period to the Cathedral. Furthermore, walking amongst Renaissance palazzos, churches, and the Castello del Buonconsiglio, home for many centuries to the Princebishops of Trento. As you walk through the city, you can get an insight into the various architectonic styles, from Gothic and Roman to Baroque.
Resorts around Trento
The best-known and best-equipped resorts include Cortina d’Ampezzo, San Martino di Castrozza, Ortisei, Selva di Val Gardena, Canazei, Moena, and at the foot of the Brenta group of mountains, Madonna di Campiglio.
Trentino offers cultural and natural resources as well as a journey into its history. Likewise, in Trento, there is very clean water, pure air, and beautiful surroundings. Trento the magic of an Alpine renaissance city reflects the harmony of nature and culture, men and environment, well being and hospitality. This is an Italian city you should visit at least once in your lifetime.