Today let's meet at the castle

The initiatives making the Buonconsiglio museums into a welcoming home

"I want the Castello del Buonconsiglio to become a place where young people meet to spend the afternoon together, a friendly space, where you go whenever you want because you feel it is yours. Living in a place so full of beauty makes you a better person, it activates synapses in your brain that can lead to new ideas, new ways of seeing the world. It is an investment in the future".  

Here, Samuela Caliari, director of initiatives for the public at the Castello del Buonconsiglio Museum, summarises the role the museum should play in society. 

Not an exclusive place reserved for enthusiasts, and not a place only for tourists, that you visit once in your life, but a familiar place, where you feel welcome, at ease. Where sharing art and history becomes a pleasure, accessible to a diverse audience of all ages, cultural backgrounds and interests. In short, an inclusive place. A welcoming home. 

We spoke about this with Samuela Caliari and Alessandro Casagrande, the communications manager at the Castello del Buonconsiglio Museum.  

We did this in March 2024, a year to remember for the Buonconsiglio, because it is celebrating one-hundred years since its museum was established. It is celebrating with many different initiatives, including a great exhibition on Albrecht Dürer in the summer (link). Because the Castello del Buonconsiglio is a castle, but also a museum - in fact, lots of museums - which we invite you to explore

BELOW: detail A. Durer, Adoration of the Magi, Florence, Uffizi Gallery | Credits © Ufficio Stampa Museo Buonconsiglio

What to do and what to see at the Castello del Buonconsiglio

The art of engagement

The Castello del Buonconsiglio is both a treasure trove of precious archeology collections and artistic masterpieces, and, first and foremost, a magnificent monument. Its frescoed halls, tapestries, gardens, and balconies and loggias looking over the city make it a place that would be worth the price of the ticket even without its exhibits. However, this great strength also sets a considerable challenge. How can we make sure that visitors cross the thresholds of the castle not only to see the castle itself, but to discover all the rest? 

This is where the museum staff come in, putting in place many initiatives to engage the public, welcome them and bring them back over and over again. From temporary exhibitions to involving young people in the museum's decisions; from presentations of the castle's masterpieces to a packed calendar of events open to the public: these are some of the most interesting new initiatives for 2024. 

But first things first...  

what to do in Trento in two

Initiatives to engage the public 


A museum that speaks to everyone 

Engaging diverse audiences, bringing people closer to art, making the museum feel like a friendly place where it is nice to spend time. These are the goals of the many initiatives that the museum staff organise throughout the year.  

They are all united by historical, artistic and scientific rigour, but made more engaging by a new form of narration that brings together different worlds. The goal? Suggesting to the audience that there is not only one way to interpret a work of art, and there is not only one source of knowledge to draw from in order to understand it, because art is by nature inclusive. It speaks to everyone. 

To better understand this idea, you can take part in one of the museum's Ti presento l'opera events. 

Every second Wednesday of the month, in the castle's Sala Vescovi, one piece selected from the museum's collection, normally not on public display, is presented. 

As well as being explained from a historical and artistic perspective, the work is also narrated in other languages: music, poetry, theatre, dance, cinema, and also psychology and artificial intelligence.  

The event finishes with an opportunity to socialise on the Venetian loggia, the castle's panoramic viewpoint, which offers an enviable view over the city of Trento at sunset. This aperitivo is an opportunity to meet the curators and speak to them in an informal context. 

What to do and what to see at the Castello del Buonconsiglio

From spring 2024, evening opening hours are planned for the museum at various points, to allow people who work to visit the museum at the end of the day. 

It will not be possible to visit all of the castle during evening opening hours, but from time to time, access will be offered to areas of the museum that are usually not open to the public for safety reasons, visitable only in small groups. 

For example? In the Sala Scarlatti, in the Magno Palazzo, there is a small door now covered with a panel, which leads to an intimate wood-panelled study. Once, this was the private room of Bernardo Clesio, from which the cardinal spied on the mass taking place in the museum chapel through a hole with a direct view of the altar, in order to listen to the mass in solitude and see without being seen himself. 

Among the other initiatives planned for the spring are meditation sessions in the hushed atmosphere of the castle's garden, during the Trento Film Festival (26th April - 5th May). After this, everyone will have breakfast together in the castle cafe, which has recently been renovated. To start the day surrounded by beauty. 

Then there are open air cinema events in the summer, and many concerts throughout the year, including one from Caterina Cropelli on the 10th May. 


BELOW: Castello del Buonconsiglio Lorenzo Bernardi concert, photo by Marco Miori, 2018 |  Credits © Ufficio Stampa Museo Buonconsiglio

What to do and what to see at the Castello del Buonconsiglio

Discover the museum's calendar of events

Read more

Giving the floor to young people



A museum that focuses on social sustainability

Planning so many initiatives takes a lot of effort and resources, but the goal is important: to help the museum become a driver of social sustainability, opening its doors even to people who usually don't visit cultural places. Because living in contact with art and beauty makes us better people, it activates synapses in our brains that can lead to new ideas, new ways of seeing the world. It is an investment in the future.  

This is why the museum pays great attention to young people from eighteen to twenty-eight years old. With them, a focus group has been launched made up of around thirty volunteers, who have given their opinions on the museum and made proposals. This is a way to listen to their needs and make them feel that the museum is a space for them. A beautiful place where they can spend time. 

Meanwhile, for families, play days in the museum will start in the autumn: Sundays when the whole castle will come to life with activities for children and their parents. Rather than organising workshops scattered throughout the year, the museum preferred to concentrate all activities for families into a few special days when the whole castle will be dedicated to children. 

To improve the museum's accessibility, from mid-June there will also be a lift that will help people to access the Marangonerie Conference Room, to allow the museum to take part in Trento's biggest events. 

Again starting in June, the garden will be expanded with a new space, where Pallacorda court tennis used to be played long ago. 

What to do and what to see at the Castello del Buonconsiglio

the app


At work on the new app

The museum plans to launch a specially-made app that will accompany guests as they visit the castle, providing them with multimedia content and in-depth information. The real strength of the app is in its versatility, however, which allows it to be enjoyed by diverse audiences: adults, children, and also people with specific needs. 

The museum is also working on digitalising its enormous collection (around 120,000 works). This is a huge task, which the museum team has been working on for months. 

What to do and what to see at the Castello del Buonconsiglio

what to see



Must-see artworks

We can't speak about museums without mentioning their most iconic pieces - the ones that are worth the entry ticket all on their own. 

The Castello del Buonconsiglio houses the wonderful Ciclo dei mesi - Cycle of the Months, a neo-Gothic masterpiece that you can admire in the Torre dell’Aquila (by appointment, with audio-guide). This is an absolute must-see piece. 

Then there is the Venetian Loggia, a romantic balcony looking over the rooftops of Trento. And there are the beautiful frescoes that decorate the castle, the work of artists such as Romanino, Dosso Dossi and Fogolino. 

Then there are precious works in the museum collections, such as a piece of Murano glass from the 16th century that is one of only two in the world, or the late-Gothic statues, altars and doors from erstwhile masters, or the portraits by Gianbattista Lampi, a great Trentino portraitist who won over the courts of Europe in the 18th century, finally becoming the official portraitist of Catherine the Great. 


ABOVE: Giampattista Lampi, Portrait of Sofia de Witt |  Credits © Ufficio Stampa Museo Buonconsiglio
BELOW: The fresco by Dosso Dossi in the Romanino loggia |  Credits © Ufficio Stampa Museo Buonconsiglio

What to do and what to see at the Castello del Buonconsiglio

Then there is one piece that demonstrates the castle's relationship with the history of Trentino more than any other. It is a fresco by Dosso Dossi at the top of the stairs leading to the Romanino Loggia. It shows Bernardo Clesio being presented by St. Vigilius to the Virgin Mary, who is holding baby Jesus in her arms. The artist depicts the baby leaning towards Trento's Prince-Bishop, as if he were longing to be held in the bishop's arms.  

This detail says a lot about the personality and ambition of Clesio, who may have been egocentric, but was also greatly cultured, and thanks to this, the castle and the city of Trento still preserve their unique beauty today, as the fruit of the fortunate meeting between the cold beauty of neo-Gothic style and the warmth of Renaissance and Baroque art.   

Castello del Buonconsiglio

Castello del Buonconsiglio

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Published on 28/05/2024