A rich mix of history, art and culture
Rovereto has always been on the front line: between northern and southern Europe, between Trentino and the Venetian Republic, and between the Hapsburg Empire and Italy. The result is a rich and fascinating heritage – and some superb modern museums.
MART is the reason most visitors come to Trentino’s second largest town. And no wonder. Housed in an elegant building, flooded with light, it’s one of Italy’s leading museums of modern art, and includes paintings by Kandinsky, de Chirico, Picasso and Morandi in its collection of 20,000 works. A vigorous programme of temporary exhibitions adds to the allure.
But there’s a lot more to be seen here than striking and memorable art. Rovereto played a key role on the Italian front during the Great War, and it’s home to two important monuments commemorating the conflict.
First is the Museo Storico Italiano della Guerra, which is housed in Rovereto’s imposing 13th century castle and has recently been completely refurbished. Second is the magnificent Memorial Bell on Miravalle Hill, overlooking the city. Cast from artillery pieces used by both sides in the war, it’s the largest bell in the world and tolls 100 times every day at sundown. It’s asking us not only to remember the dead, but give thanks for the peace and reconciliation of our own age.
Make time for the Renaissance streets of the Old Town, too. It’s here that you’ll find the Depero House of Futurist Art, as well as lots of delicious things to eat and drink – courtesy of the wine and chocolate shop Exquisita, the Grigoletti wine shop, and restaurants such as Novecento and the Osteria del Pettirosso. Rovereto is also home to a new coffee museum, at the Bontadi coffee company, where the sacred bean has been sold since 1790.
Food for mind, body and soul: it’s an impressive achievement for a town of just 38,000 inhabitants.