Placed on the main axis linking Northern to Southern Europe, Trentino has always been open to dialogue and exchange between different cultures that over the centuries left major testimonies on the territory in terms of architecture, works of art, traditions and customs. Witness to its past and geopolitical role are around 200 castles, with some real gems like Castel Thun and Castel Beseno, in addition to Castello del Buonconsiglio, hosting a wealth of collections and art masterpieces, together with noble mansions in many historical old towns.
However, the territory also tells a more recent history that involved on a large scale the people themselves: the Great War, fought here a hundred years ago, that not only reunited Trentino to Italy, but left countless signs on the territory, many of which have now become places to witness that tragic epic and make everyone aware of it. With its network of 19 museums, the widespread presence at any altitude of fortifications, trenches, passages, tunnels and other military engineering works starkly telling the events of a century ago, Trentino today can be considered a true “Memorial Park”.
Exhibition displays straddling tradition and the modern world are proposed in the most prestigious museums: Museo degli usi e costumi della gente trentina (Museum of customs and traditions of the people of Trentino) in San Michele all’Adige, with one of the richest ethnographic collections in the Alps; Mart, the Contemporary Art Museum in Rovereto, one of the best known in Europe, designed by architect Mario Botta; Muse, the Science Museum designed by Renzo Piano, a masterpiece of green architecture with its immersive and interactive display of nature.
In each one of them it is possible to visit major temporary exhibitions throughout the year, but especially in summer. On the whole, the museum network in Trentino counts about 90 museums, both large and small, and just as rich is the panorama of important events, thanks to the numerous international festivals. Castles, forts, museums: these three territory networks are at the heart of a cultural proposal that becomes a qualified tourist offer, the core of an integrated promotion project.
Special tools were created for the promotion and fruition of each network. We refer in particular to “Il Trenino dei Castelli” (The Little Castle Train), accompanied this year by a number of holiday offers directly developed by the tourist offices of the territories involved - Trento, Val di Non and Val di Sole - and to the “Museum Pass”, which allows guests to create personalised art and culture itineraries in Trentino, moving freely on sustainable public transport means – train and buses – to access museums, castles and festivals in Trento and Rovereto.
One outstanding cultural event is the “I Suoni delle Dolomiti” (Sounds of the Dolomites) festival, where nature and music meet in an ideal embrace, with performances of distinguished figures from classical music, jazz, world music and famous singers-songwriters. Extraordinary places and extraordinary concerts become entwined in summer on the mountains that Unesco elected World Natural Heritage Site.