Trento is a city in the northern region of Italy, situated on the Adige River, in the Adige Valley. As the capital of the Trentino region, the city has a population of 117,000 and is considered one of the richest in the country. Furthermore, citizens here enjoy a high quality of life and standard of living.
In ancient history, Trento was occupied by the Etruscans, Gauls and Romans. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the city became part of the Lombard Empire and was also ruled by the Habsburgs in the Middle Ages. Today, the city has a thriving economy and is a major transportation hub for northern Italy.
Due to its long history and its ties to various empires and rulers, Trento is home to a number of beautiful historic buildings, such as the Cathedral and Castro del Bunoxiglio. In addition, the city has many fine museums and galleries, as well as some great shopping. Alternatively, thanks to its location in the Northern Alps, Trento is close to many high-quality ski resorts for the adventurous.
Let’s explore the best things to do in Trento:
1. Castello del Buonconsiglio
This stunning castle complex was once the home of the prince-bishops who ruled Trento and surrounding areas in the 13th century.
Due to its long history, the castle has added several different design elements at various stages of its history.
Surrounded by an impressive series of jagged walls, the complex features a circular tower that dominates the skyline.
Much of the original stonework and decoration still exists, and in the inner courtyard you can see some beautiful colourful frescoes and frescoes.
From the top courtyard, you can enjoy stunning views of the valley and surrounding mountains.
It is possible to visit the castle, which has a series of beautifully decorated rooms inside with a large amount of Gothic art.
2. Trento Cathedral
Located in the heart of Trento’s old town, this cathedral is the city’s main religious building and was the seat of the Bishop of Trento until 1802. This old building was built in the 11th century and has been renovated and remodeled. A stunning series of Renaissance frescoes were added to its interior during the 1990s and 14th century.
In front of this cathedral is a huge circular rose window and a decorative arched doorway.
In addition, there are two large Gothic towers on the outside, one of which has an onion dome.
The aforementioned frescoes in the aisles of the cathedral depict St. Julian, along with a series of decorative stone figures.
3. Museo Diocesano Tridentino
Located in Cathedral Square, you’ll find the Pretoria Palace – this gorgeous building has a rich history, but inside the palace is a fantastic museum.
Dedicated to the religious history of Trento, this museum houses a fine collection of artifacts and artifacts from the 9th century to the present day.
Divided into several different categories, the museum exhibits paintings, wood carvings, tapestries, treasures and manuscripts.
The paintings date back to the Middle Ages, while the wooden sculptures feature some truly magnificent details and designs.
Each collection is beautifully presented, and the entire museum helps depict the history of Trento Cathedral, as well as the various techniques used to make religious artifacts.
4. By Berenzani
Accessed directly from Piazza del Duomo, Via Belenzani is one of the central streets of the old town, with some fine architecture and a variety of shops and restaurants.
The street is home to a series of historic buildings covered with beautiful colourful frescoes dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries.
Walking on this street, it seems to have traveled to another era.
Notable buildings include the Thun Palace, the Municipal Palace and the Gremian House.
Each building features a range of motifs from classical, historical and mythological – despite the age of the building, the details are still superb and the colours are vibrant.
The MUSE complex, known simply as the Science Museum, is a wonderful building and a huge attraction for all families.
The museum is located on the banks of the Adige River, about a 20-minute walk from Piazza del Duomo.
The building in which the museum is housed has a modernist design and is as interesting as the collections in it.
Inside the interesting building is a series of interactive and beautifully displayed exhibits – exhibits that showcase the local natural environment, as well as geological information, taxidermy, and natural phenomena such as avalanches.
If you are looking for a detailed and interesting insight into the Italian Alps, this museum will provide it!
6. Church of the Virgin Mary
Sometimes overshadowed by cathedrals, the Church of the Virgin Mary remains a beautiful building worth a visit in itself.
You can find this charming church just northwest of the cathedral, easily accessible on foot.
The church’s exterior design is similar to that of a cathedral, with a large circular rose window at the top and an ornate triangular pediment.
Also, the doorway contains some delightful stucco details, with a large clock tower behind it.
There are numerous decorations inside the church, one of the notable features is the magnificent Baroque altar.
7. Aviation Museum
The Aviation Museum is another fantastic museum in the area around Trento, located at Trento International Airport.
From the city center, it is about a 15-minute drive to the museum.
In this old hangar, there are collections of historical aircraft from different periods.
The collection includes a series of Caproni-designed aircraft, a Fokker D. VII and even a Lockheed F-104G starfighter.
Other models include the Breda Ba.19 (aerobatics), Ansaldo A.1 (Italian fighter) and Reggiane Re.2005. Each aircraft is beautifully maintained and has some details about its history and use.
8. Head to the slopes of Mount Paganella
To the northwest of Trento is the massive Paganella Mountain.
Famous for its skiing and winter sports opportunities, this mountain range is a great place to visit for those looking for adventure and Alpine scenery.
If you want to try skiing, Paganella has numerous ski resorts, including the ski lifts of Andalo-Doss Pela, Teresat, Salare Conca and San Antonio.
Near the top of the mountain is Rifugio la Roda, which provides shelter, warm food and supplies.
The scenery here is truly breathtaking, and besides skiing, the opportunities for photography and hiking are endless.
9. Underground Roman Trident
You won’t know just by looking at it, but beneath the city of Trento lies a completely buried ancient Roman town.
The city of Tridentum was built and inhabited during the Roman conquest of this part of Italy in the first century BC.
As the Roman Empire expanded, the Trident developed and became an important military and trading post.
Today, you can see multiple excavations of the ancient city, revealing parts of some of the original walls and wonderful Roman roads.
In addition, there are still some remains of houses with mosaics.
The site provides an interesting insight into the ancient history of the area.
10. Explore Lake Garda
Trento is about an hour’s drive from the northern edge of the huge Lake Garda.
This lake is the largest in the whole of Italy and is known as one of the most beautiful regions of the country.
It is one of the main resorts in Lombardy thanks to the lake’s impressive scenery, charming towns, and the variety of activities and sights you can see here.
A recommended day trip from Trento to this spectacular area has a lot to do and see.
Special attractions include the majestic Mount Bardo, the charming Cape Sirmione and the delightful seaside town of River Garda.
11. Cesare Battisti Mausoleum
On the west bank of the Adige River you can find the land of Dostronto covered in beautiful woodland.
On top of this hill is a wonderful monument dedicated to Cesare Battisti.
In the early 1900s, Battisti was an important figure in Italy and was executed by the Austrian army during World War I. The monument itself has a circular design with a series of large stone columns – the design looks almost Roman or Greek.
From here you have a wonderful view of the main part of Trento and the river.
In addition, there is a collection of old military howitzers and a historic alpine museum.
12. Visit the village of Mezzano
This small village is located west of Trento, about 50 minutes’ drive away.
With a population of only 1,600 people, Mezzano is located in the middle of the Dolomites valley.
The village’s main square is tree-lined, with a chapel and a war memorial.
Mezzano is surrounded by a series of hiking trails that meander through mountains and dense forests.
For those who love the outdoors and little adventures, this area is the perfect place to explore.
For a day trip from the city of Trento, Mezzano is an excellent destination and you will find yourself falling in love with this quaint mountain village.
13. Enjoy quality Italian food at Locanda Margon
Although a bit out of the way, Locanda Margon restaurant offers extremely high quality food and a wonderful dining experience.
The restaurant is located on a hillside south of Trento, surrounded by acres of vineyards and small farmhouses.
You can sample some local wines with your meal and there are plenty to choose from.
The menu features a selection of authentic Italian dishes, meat courses and seafood.
Every meal was perfectly presented, with several dishes served on professional plates.
Consider dining at Locanda Margon for a fantastic evening of food and wine.
14. Cathedral Square
Piazza del Duomo, located in the center of the old town, is one of the main squares of Trento.
This magnificent square is home to a fantastic array of buildings and often thrives on local events.
Notable buildings include the aforementioned Trento Cathedral, the medieval Pretoria Palace, and the charming Barduni House.
Also, in the center of the square is the ornate Neptune Fountain, with statues of the water god and his trident.
In addition to these structures, the other buildings on the square are painted in countless bright colors that really bring this area to life.
Consider taking a look at the architecture, or sitting outside for a coffee or meal at the cafe.
15. McCartney Di Natale
You might not think of Italy as a major destination for Christmas markets, but Mercatini Di Natale is one of Trento’s main events, held every year in Piazza di Fiera.
This delightful square is just a short walk from Piazza del Duomo and is partly surrounded by one of the old medieval defensive walls.
From November 18th to January 6th, the square is transformed into a winter wonderland.
Here, you’ll find a wide variety of stalls and food stalls selling a wide variety of Christmas delicacies.
The atmosphere here is amazing and the colours, smells and views create an unforgettable experience.
Where to stay: The best hotels in Trento, Italy
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