Trento Travel Guide
Nestled in the Italian Alps, Trento is a place that is so much more than the mountains that surround it. Don’t get us wrong, as there are magnificent sights to behold from town and on day trips, but this place has some serious culture, too.
From an imposing Romanesque cathedral to an art gallery/history museum in an old road tunnel, there’s a lot to see here.
Begin your time in Trento with a visit to Buonconsiglio Castle. It has stood since the 13th century, and served as the home of Trento’s ruler until the 19th century. In addition, the building also served as barracks and jail until being converted into a museum in the 1920s.
Despite some minor decay, this castle retains much of its charm. On the outside, its ramparts offer excellent views of Trento, and inside, its marvelous frescoes will impress. However, the castle may still have secrets. Rumour has it a tunnel exists between the castle and Trento’s top church, but this claim has never been verified.
That church is none other than Cattedrale di San Vigilio. This Romanesque beauty dates from the 13th century, but the history of Catholicism here stretches back even further. According to archaeologists, this cathedral was built on the foundations of a church that dates to the 4th century.
While the structure is impressive enough on its own, there are a couple of highlights that stand out. Its bells, eight in total, cover the entirety of a diatonic scale. That means when these bells ring, their harmony is spectacular. Also, check out the crypt in the basement, as it contains stone relief and frescoes.
Art lovers will not want to miss Le Gallerie di Piedicastello. You’ll find this museum in a unique place – a disused highway tunnel. Inside, admire murals and exhibits that bring Trento’s history to life.
Lastly, fans of airplanes will want to include Museo dell’Aeronautica Gianni Caproni in their itinerary. This museum was one of the world’s first dedicated towards aviation, as it opened in the 1920s. Here, you’ll get to check out 20 planes, as well as two flight simulators.
Outdoor lovers visiting Trento will want to make a day trip out to Orrido Di Ponte Alto. This attraction features two waterfalls, which plunge into a spectacularly narrow canyon. There is also a bit of history here, as one of the world’s oldest flood guards was built here in the 16th century.
To make the most of your visit, we recommend hiring a guide. With their knowledge, you’ll learn more about the geology, ecology, and human history of this attraction.
If the weather isn’t cooperating and you need a place to take the kids, why not pay the MUSE Science Museum a visit? Inside this super modern space, you’ll find a variety of exhibits, from space to animals (taxidermied models and all).
In this place, there is enough to keep you going for hours on end. Per the staff, begin at the top floor and work your way down for the best experience.
Those with a love of flora will want to include the Giardino Botanico Alpino Viote in their Trento travels. As the name suggests, this botanical garden focuses on plants that grow in an alpine environment. With ten hectares to explore, green thumbs will be in their element here.
In all, there are 2,000 distinct species. But, thanks to their small footprint, you should be able to see this attraction in less than an hour.
Want to observe the locals of Trento in their native environment? If so, spend some time hanging around Piazza Duomo. But when you arrive, get your fill of photo-taking out of the way first. Along the border of the square, you’ll find numerous amazing Renaissance-era structures.
When you’re done, take a seat at a sidewalk bar or cafe, and watch the world go by.
What To Eat/Drink
Trento offers much for the ambitious traveler. But, by midday, you will likely be quite hungry. Silence the beast within by having a bowl of Bro’ Brusà. This soup, made by mixing flour with melted butter and water, is typically enhanced by adding bacon or pancetta, and salt/pepper for seasoning.
Feeling a bit adventurous? Find a place that serves Carne Salada. Carnivores that order this blind may end up getting more than they bargained for, as it is traditionally served raw. Not to worry, though, as the preparation, which involves a variety of spices, garlic, and citrus, makes the beef rump not only safe but flavourful.
By the way, you can also order this dish cooked, but where’s the fun in that?
Don’t leave Trento without ordering Risotto al Teroldego at least once at dinner. Per its name, the secret ingredient is Teroldego wine, but the onion, butter, and vialone nano rice also make this dish special.