Alcide De Gasperi

Rediscovering the man and the statesman through the places he loved

When we think about the figure of De Gasperi, we speak of him with respect and a certain deference, but often without really understanding the real historical and political value of his life. We remember his name, and often his role as a great statesman and pioneer of the European Union, but we have almost entirely forgotten about the years when he was alive, which were crucial for Italy and foundational for Trentino.  

So let's try to retrace his history through the places in Trentino where he was born and grew up, and those that still preserve his memory.

 

The Casa De Gasperi Museum  

In Trentino, and in Pieve Tesino in particular, if you want to deepen your knowledge you can visit the Museo Casa De Gasperi. This is certainly an excellent starting point to learn about De Gasperi's education and life path.   
Make sure you get a guided tour, especially if you don't know this region on the border of Italy well. 

The museum aims to promote De Gasperi's ideas, rather than just the items he owned. Ideas that emerged from a world in turmoil in the early years of the 1900s, when modernity took over from the old established political and social structures.   
The ideals of social progress, cooperation and solidarity, also encouraged by late-19th-century socialism, attention to linguistic minorities, and the coexistence of diverse populations in a single territory, were at the heart of De Gasperi's ideas, and we could say that he embodied fundamental values that are still recognisable in Trentino communities today. 

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Museo Casa De Gasperi in Pieve Tesino
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Valsugana - Pieve Tesino - Museo Casa De Gasperi
Valsugana - Pieve Tesino - Museo Casa De Gasperi
Valsugana - Pieve Tesino - Museo Casa De Gasperi
Valsugana - Pieve Tesino - Museo Casa De Gasperi

The Garden of Europe 

Attached to the museum is the nearby Garden of Europe, which you can also visit.  
De Gasperi, as well as being the founder of the Christian Democrats and Prime Minister 7 times, was one of the most important champions of the European Union after the Second World War, a firm believer in collaboration between countries. 
As was also done for the homes of the other founding fathers of United Europe (Konrad Adenauer, Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman), it was decided to create a garden in 2009. 
At the entrance to the Arboreto del Tesino, the garden has a semicircular shape, to resemble a symbolic parliament, and it is integrated with the rest of the natural environment, filled with over 50 species of plants that flower at different times, offering colours and beauty from spring to autumn.    

 

The Fabbrica dell’Europa trail  

Another interesting part of the Arboreto del Tesino is the trail dedicated to the Fabbrica dell’Europa. It is a pleasant 4-kilometre walk scattered with figures, panels and information promoting the ideas for integration and collaboration between the populations that form a United Europe.  

Pieve Tesino - Centro Storico | © Fotografo: Videonaria
Borgo Valsugana Centro Storico | © WDStudio
Pieve Tesino - Punto panoramico | © Fotografo: Videonaria
Valsugana - Val di Sella - Arte Sella
Pieve Tesino Panorama | © Christian Kerber
Pieve Tesino Giardino D'Europa | © Fotografo: Videonaria

The Garden of Europe

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In Valsugana

De Gasperi was born and lived for a few years in Pieve Tesino. After that, he continued his studies in Trento, Vienna and Innsbruck, later becoming a member of the Reichstag with a seat in the Government of Tyrol.  
His political activity continued in Rome, once Trentino and Alto Adige became part of the Italian territory. De Gasperi often returned to Trentino, and in particular to Valsugana. In fact, his wife Francesca was originally from Borgo Valsugana and the family spent their summer holidays in Val di Sella

Val di Sella 1948 estate  - Alcide De Gasperi - Passeggiando tra i prati di casa  | © FONDAZIONE TRENTINA ALCIDE DE GASPERI

Val di Sella and Arte Sella

The house where De Gasperi spent his family holidays is not visitable, but it is certainly worth seeing the place where Arte Sella was created - one of the most beautiful exhibitions of artworks in nature.  There are two routes that weave through the woods and around Malga Costa, full of works that are always diverse, evocative, and blend into the forest, made from wood and natural materials that are subject to natural decay.  

Alcide De Gasperi, a global citizen from Trentino 

Arte Sella

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In Trento

Another place that remembers the great statesman is found in Trento: the monument to De Gasperi. This is an interesting piece, because it expresses - also aesthetically - the period when it was created by sculptor Antonio Berti, in 1956. It is imposing, giving great emphasis to De Gasperi as an orator, the reconstruction after the Second World War, progress and social justice, celebrating a leader who promoted the democratic process and was able to interpret the common good
Come and find it in the Piazza Venezia park in the centre of Trento. 

Spazio De Gasperi

In Via Belenzani, in the heart of the historical centre of Trento, there is another place where you can learn more about the Trentino politician, especially if you don't have the opportunity to see the Casa Museum in Pieve Tesino. Spazio De Gasperi collects together many objects, texts, notes, tickets, unrestored original photos, and - a rarity - an original copy of the Constitution.    

The film footage is also interesting - both institutional, from the Luce Institute, and amateur - putting people in closer contact with the man and the atmosphere after the Second World War. The exhibition was created thanks to a donation from Maria Romana De Gasperi to the Municipality of Trento and the Fondazione Museo storico del Trentino.  

Published on 17/06/2024