The city of Trento: the unique charm of a renaissance alpine city, where history is art.
Trento is a city rooted in art and history, where the Italian and Mitteleuropean cultures meet. Unique amongst the alpine cities, the City of the Council (1545 - 1563) still keeps its precious monuments as tokens of its rich artistic and historic heritage. Built in the elegant renaissance style, they have been enhanced by recent refurbishing works.
Special mention goes to the Castello del Buonconsiglio, the Castle for several centuries residence of the Prince-Bishops of Trento; the Duomo, the Cathedral of Trento dedicated to San Vigilio, its gorgeous piazza and fountain dedicated to Neptune, the frescoed houses and Council churches as well as the museums and exhibitions which make the city of Trento a true landmark of alpine arts, culture and traditions.
Concilio di Trento (Concilium Tridentinum)
The Council of Trento, held between 1545 and 1563 in Trento and Bologna, was one of the Roman Catholic Church’s most important ecumenical councils. Prompted by the Protestant Reformation, it has been described as the embodiment of the Counter-Reformation.
Castello del Buonconsiglio (Buonconsiglio Castle)
The Castello del Buonconsiglio is the largest and most important monumental complex of the Trentino Alto Adige region.
It was the residence of the Principi Vescovi (Prince-Bishops) of Trento from the 13th century to the end of the 18th century, and is composed of a series of buildings of different eras, enclosed by walls and positioned slightly higher than the city:
- the Castelvecchiois the oldest part, dominated by an imposing cylindrical tower
- the Magno Palazzo is the 16th century expansion in the Italian Renaissance-style as commissioned by the Prince-Bishop and Cardinal Bernardo Clesio (1485-1539)
- the Baroque-style Giunta Albertiana dates from the end of the 17th century
- at the extreme south of the complex is the Torre Aquila, within which is conserved the famous Cycle of the Months, one of the most fascinating secular pictorial cycles of the late Middle Ages.
Also of exceptional interest are the extensive cycle of frescoes commissioned by the bishops to decorate the interior walls of the Castle, mainly in the late Middle Ages to the Renaissance period. After the end of the Episcopal principality (1803) the castle was used as a barracks; following its restoration in 1924, it became the National Museum, and since 1973 it belongs to the Autonomous Province of Trento.
Duomo di Trento (Cathedral of Trento)
Trento’s Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Vigil and has ancient origins.
There are in fact records that indicate the first church was built on the burial ground of this saint, martyred in the fifth century. It was then enlarged, whilst its present appearance is owed to Bishop Federico Vanga, who entrusted the redesigning of the cathedral to Adam d’Argogno in 1212. The position of the church is the result of his plan.
The construction, continued over the centuries by d’Arogno’s descendants, underwent various changes with respect to the original project due both to the churches needs and the changes in construction techniques. The contrast between the Romanesque style and the height of the vaults recalling gothic cathedrals is extraordinary. Two climbing staircases built into the lateral walls lead up to the two bell towers, in the opposite direction to the altar. Amongst the numerous works of art it is worth noting the worshipped wooden statue of Our Lady of Sorrow, some of the altars, a series of canvasses, the Romanesque sculpture (credited to Adam d’Arogno) called the Madonna of the Drowned, at whose feet the bodies of people who drowned in the Adige or the irrigation channels that flowed through the city and funeral monuments of numerous famous political and religious characters were placed.
In the southern aisle the Alberti Chapel can be found. This contains a large crucifix, in front of which, on 4 December 1563 at the end of the Council, the decrees of the counterreformation were promulgated.
The high Altar with a baroque canopy above, erected in the middle of the eighteenth century with the annulment of the citizens vote during the French siege of 1703, holds the urn with the relics of Saint Vigil.
The frescoes, created between the 13th and 15th century, can be attributed to painters from Venetian, Lombardian and late gothic schools and depict classic Christian themes.
The palaeochristian basilica can be entered from the northern transept, which an excavation campaign lasted several years made accessible.
Trento offers visitors its richly historical and artistic heritage all year around. Visitors can admire its beauties while strolling around the city centre’s alleys, enjoying shopping or visiting the city’s museums.
Museo del Castello del Buonconsiglio
The castle has numerous art and archaeological collections that were first assembled in the mid-19th century within the Civic Museum of Trento and include objects that date from prehistory up to the first half of the 19th century documenting the historical and artistic events of Trento and its surrounding territory.
For more information, please see the dedicated website.
MUSE, Museo delle Scienze (MUSE, Science Museum)
MUSE is a place of constant change, from the main exhibitions, up to date with the latest developments, to special projects, with prestigious national and international collaborations, and finally to MUSE Lab, where the most advanced experiments in the field of new technologies take place.
The exhibition of Muse uses the metaphor of the mountain to describe life on Earth.
You start from the top: the terrace and the 4th floor allow us to encounter the sun and ice, and from there you descend to investigate the issues of biodiversity, sustainability, and evolution, until you reach the basement and the wonder of the tropical greenhouse.
Museo dell’Aeronautica "Gianni Caproni" (Aeronautical Museum "Gianni Caproni")
The Aeronautical Museum "Gianni Caproni", founded by aviation pioneer from Trento Gianni Caproni, boasts the first aeronautical collection existing in the world, dating back to the 1920s.
Since the beginning of his career, Gianni Caproni decided to keep some of his main aircrafts in his garages rather than dismantling them to use them as spare parts for new projects. This choice led, in 1927, to the creation of the Museum. The Aeronautical Museum "Gianni Caproni" was reopened in Trento in 1992, and was later integrated into the network of science museums headed by MUSE, Science Museum.
At present, the Museum aims at the diffusion of the history and culture of aeronautics to the general public by organizing permanent and temporary exhibitions, specific activities for schools, cultural events and scientific publications.