CULTURAL URBAN TREKKING IN TRENTO AND ROVERETO
Walking through the centre of Trento, you have to stop at the iconic Piazza Duomo, with its Romanesque cathedral, the Neptune’s fountain, and the “painted” Renaissance palazzos. And from the MUSE museum, you can head in the direction of Rovereto, a leading innovation pole
Trento and Rovereto are ideal destinations for a spring break. From iconic places like Piazza Duomo in Trento and the MART museum in Rovereto, everyone can find the tour that best suits their tastes, following an interest in history or culture, or just immersing themselves in nature, just outside the city centre.
A tour of Trento must necessarily start in Piazza Duomo. Here, the scenic effect is surprising: frescoed palazzos of the Renaissance era and Palazzo Pretorio, with the high Torre Civica. At the centre, the Baroque Neptune Fountain, and, behind it, the cathedral dedicated to San Vigilio (Saint Vigilius), a masterful example of Romanesque-Lombard style. You can then travel along Via Belenzani, the old “contrada larga” (wide quarter), a series of Sixteenth century buildings, and then turn right onto Via Manci - “contrada longa” (long quarter) - which offers other Renaissance and baroque architectural treasures, until you reach the typical “Cantone” (corner). From here, in a few minutes you can reach the Buonconsiglio Castle. Together with Piazza Duomo, it is one of the city’s symbols, and between 1225 and 1803 it was the residence of Trento’s Prince-Bishops. It is home to the provinces art collections, as well as temporary exhibitions. The heart of the city’s life rotates around the “Giro al Sas”, an ancient neighbourhood torn down in the 1930s to make way for Piazza Cesare Battisti. Beneath the square’s pavement you can visit the oldest part of the city, the ancient Roman “Tridentum”. The roads forming the four sides of the square surrounding this area are today the traditional place where locals take a stroll, shopping in the numerous historical shops and boutiques and enjoying the typical Italian way of life.
Also from Piazza Duomo, crossing the university area, in a few minutes you can reach the new district of Le Albere, designed by Renzo Piano. Here is the seat of the MUSE, the Science Museum. Inside the glass and steel sustainable structure, an original exhibition route uses the metaphor of the mountain to tell the story of life on the planet and develop the theme of biodiversity, also through a very interactive experience.
But just a few kilometres from the historical centre, you can find yourself surrounded by a truly impressive place, which recently reopened. It is the Orrido di Ponte Alto - a deep canyon dug by the waters of the Fersina stream - a natural work of art, which encloses all the beauty of a wild place, the excitement of the height and the drop, as well as a valuable scientific and historical heritage. Two ancient weirs create spectacular waterfalls, more than 40 metres high, which make their way through layers of red rock, creating spectacular light effects. Comfortable to reach by car or bus, the Orrido can be visited with a guide (Info: firstname.lastname@example.org). Trento’s Tourist Office has also created 15 Urban Treks with different themes. These are itineraries to be covered on foot through the historical centre or between the city and the suburbs on the hills, to discover places linked with history and culture: The Roman Tridentum, the Council of Trento, the Renaissance City, and evidence of the Great War.
And after having walked, it is finally time for an aperitif: in the bars on Piazza Duomo, along the Giro al Sas, or climbing by cableway (just a few minutes on foot from the historical centre) to Sardagna for a spectacular view of the city from above, while you sip a cocktail or a stem glass of TrentoDoc spumante, a glass of wine or a mug of craft beer.
Cycling among the flowers
If you want to reach Rovereto, you can also follow the Valle dell'Adige cycling path. It is for cyclists and pedestrians only, and it follows the side of the Adige river: 99 kilometres from the border with the Province of Bolzano to the border with the province of Verona. Along the 25 flat kilometres of the route you can meet two “Bicigrills” (snack points), ideal for a refreshing stop. And after the visit to Rovereto, you can continue towards the small, enchanted district of Borgo Sacco, where the path splits: the main route continues along the Valle dell'Adige towards Verona. The other branch heads in the direction of Mori, skirts past the Lake Loppio Biotope, and then descends towards Torbole and Riva del Garda.
In the City of Peace
Reaching Rovereto from the north, you follow Corso Bettini, the sight of which is not very different today from what it was when a young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart visited it (and, a decade later, Johann Wolfgang Goethe), arriving from the “Via Imperiale”. What really makes it special is the beautiful row of Eighteenth century buildings and the historical Teatro Zandonai, the oldest theatre in Trentino. Among these buildings, above a circular piazza, rises the steel and glass dome of the MART - the Museum of Modern Art of Rovereto and Trento, designed by Architect Mario Botta. Similar to a spaceship suspended above the Baroque buildings, it sums up the city’s current image, attached to its past and a long tradition of culture, but also projected towards a reality made of innovation and advanced research, in the two hubs of the Mechatronics Pole and the Green Innovation Factory, incubators for several start-ups.
At the MART, until 2 April, you can still visit the Realismo Magico (Magical Realism) exhibition, dedicated to this artistic trend of the early twentieth century in Italy, involving artwork by Carrà, de Chirico, Severini, Cagnaccio, Campigli, Donghi, Funi, Martini, Marussig, Morandi, Oppi and Sironi. From 21 April, on the other hand, you will be able to visit the new exhibition entitled Viaggio in Italia. I paesaggi dell’Ottocento dai Macchiaioli ai Simbolisti (Voyage through Italy. Nineteenth century Landscapes from the Macchiaioli to the Symbolists). The landscapes of the Bel Paese - a favourite destination among European travellers engaging in the traditional Grand Tour - are the leading characters of this exhibition dedicated to nineteenth century art.
From the MART, in a few minutes, you can reach the historical centre of the city on foot. From Piazza Rosmini to Piazza Battisti, and on to Piazza del Podestà, you walk through alleys and narrow lanes lined with lots of historical shops. Raising your head, you can recognise the architectural mixtures and the Venetian influence in the façades of churches and buildings, proof of past Venetian influence over the city. A symbol of this period is its stunning castle, currently the location of the Museo Italiano della Grande Guerra (Italian Museum of the Great War).
On the way to the castle, it is worth visiting the Baroque church of San Marco - where a very young Mozart held his first Italian concert in 1769 - and the Casa d’Arte Futurista Depero, the only museum in the world founded by a futurist artist, Fortunato Depero. These are a few of the 15 city tours emcompassing art, history, culture, and a few gourmet breaks, to be downloaded for free through an app on your smartphone.
Add a delicious touch to your visit with a tour of the Museo del Caffè (Coffee Museum), a unique exhibition of about 300 instruments used for coffee production and processing.
Or reach the Sacrario Militare di Castel Dante (Castel Dante Military Memorial) and the Campana dei Caduti (Bell of the Fallen) by car: a bell made of the molten bronze from the cannons of the countries involved in the First World War. Every evening, it tolls to remember those who have lost their lives in all wars. A symbolic place, responsible for Rovereto’s internationally renowned image as the “City of Peace”.
Trento and Rovereto: all the culture (and much more) with one card
To experience and discover the cultural offer of Trento, Rovereto, and the surrounding areas, there is the Museum Pass. The card can be purchased for 22 Euro at all museums, at the Tourist Offices in the two cities, or online (www.museumpass.it).
In addition to priority access to the museums, castles, and archaeological sites, it also allows you to use urban and extra-urban bus lines, as well as regional trains on provincial lines, free of charge for 48 hours.