Five Reasons To Visit Trento Now

Trento

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The city of Trento, capital of the Trentino province of northern Italy, is not well known to tourists. However, according to a recent article by Forbes, it is one of the five most underrated Italian cities, and they advise you to visit before it is discovered by everyone else! So why should you visit Trento, and what makes it special?

1. A Renaissance City

Like many towns in Italy, Trento is primarily a Renaissance city. The historic centre is full of grand buildings, churches and piazzas. Wandering the streets is a voyage of discovery, assisted by information panels outside the buildings detailing their history and architectural periods.

Outside of house with fresco and arched windows
Frescoes on a building in Trento

But what makes Trento special among Italian cities is the quality and quantity of its frescoes. These adorn many of the palazzi, and can be seen in abundance in the magnificent Castel Buonconsiglio. The frescoes have led to Trento being known as “The Painted City”. Read more about Trento the Painted City

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2. The Long History Of Trento

Trento was prominent during the Renaissance, and is probably best known for the Council of Trent, convened by the Catholic Church in 1545 in response to the Protestant Reformation. However, its history goes back into antiquity. The Romans established the city of Tridentum here, and today you can explore the remains of the ancient city. Read more about Roman Trento

You can also see remnants of the medieval city. Most prominent is the 13th century cathedral, but there are other churches from the era, and the Castel Buonconsiglio also traces its origins to the Middle Ages. There is a section of the medieval city wall in Piazza de Fiera, and one of the original city gates at the Porta di Santa Marguerita.

Medieval city wall with mountains in the distance
The medieval wall in Piazza de Fiera

Throughout its history Trento has been subject to both German and Italian occupation. Today this is evident in the mixed cultural heritage, especially in language and food.

3. Food And Wine

The relative lack of tourists means that the restaurants can concentrate on traditional Italian cuisine, often with a German influence. I enjoyed some of the best pasta I’ve had anywhere, with lots of fresh vegetables and excellent olive oil. Then there were the local specialities, like spinach dumplings and polenta with mushrooms.

Wine bottle and glasses filled with red wine
Red wine from the Cavit Winery

The desserts can be typically Italian, or more hearty German offerings (I had apple strudel one night). My favourite was an unlikely sounding but delicious asparagus semifreddo. And, of course, there are the local wines – mostly white, but you’ll find red and sparkling as well. Look out for the Trentodoc appellation.

The best meal I had was at La Cantinota on Via San Marco. It looked a bit touristy, but the food and service were excellent. I also enjoyed Ristorante al Vo, apparently the oldest restaurant in Trento.

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4. Natural Attractions

Trento is surrounded by mountains and a river, so there is plenty to explore without going far from the city. For many visitors a trip on the cable car to the village of Sardagna is a must. There are great views over Trento and the surrounding countryside, and Sardagna itself has footpaths where you can walk through woodland or beside vineyards.

Vineyard with houses and mountains in distance
Vineyards in Sardagna

Another possibility is the dramatic Gorge of Ponte Alto, a few miles from Trento. Here you will find a deep gorge with two artificial waterfalls. Read more about the Gorge of Ponte Alto

5. Exploring Trentino-Alto Adige

The Trentino-Alto Adige region is popular for winter sports. But the Dolomite mountains are also beautiful in the summer, and Trento is an ideal base for exploring the area.

Old street with market stalls piled up with fruit and vegetables
Market stalls in the old town of Bolzano

Local train services give access to historic towns like Rovereto or Bolzano (where you can visit the majestic Castel Roncolo). But you might wish to hire a car to explore the region more fully. This is a major wine-growing area, and many of the vineyards are open to visitors. And there are hundreds of medieval castles – some with impressive frescoes, all with spectacular locations. The Italian Lakes are also within easy reach, and the lakeside town of Riva del Garda is just 40 km away.

Pinnable image of Reasons to Visit Trento Now, showing the main square with mountain backdrop, and typical balconies
Pinnable image – Five Reasons to Visit Trento Now

How To Get To Trento

The nearest international airport is at Verona (frequent trains between Verona and Trento take around an hour). But there are several other airports within easy reach, including Bologna, Milan and Innsbruck. Long distance European trains also pass through Trento.

Trento makes for an ideal day trip from Verona.

This article is available as a mobile app. Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.

About Bewitched by italy

Bewitched By Italy is owned and managed by Karen Warren.

I have been writing and travelling for many years (almost 70 countries at the last count), but Italy remains one of my favourite destinations. This website is my attempt to inform and inspire other travellers, and to share some of the things I’ve discovered along the way. Read more…

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