Posted by: Vineet Bansal
Top Things to Do in Trento, Italy
There are SO many activities to do in Trento city, a small charming town nestled in the Dolomites in the North of Italy. But how can you choose the best activities for your itinerary. In this article, I’ll tell you all about my list of the most interesting and awesome things to do in Trento, Italy.
The Trentino region in Italy will impress you with its diverse territory, rich in natural beauty while also full of cultural and gastronomic attractions. It’s a great place to visit for art, history, and culture because of its castles, old churches, and museums.
If you are already planning on visiting the city soon but you’re not sure of what to do in Trento, I will cut to the chase and suggest the best activities for your Trentino holidays:
WALK AROUND THE OLD CITY CENTER
If you don’t like the idea of following a map, I recommend joining a free 2-hour walking tour, during which you will get to see Duomo Square, Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, Buonconsiglio Castle, and more. You will get to hear historical facts as well as anecdotes and fun experiences the guide can tell you from their personal perspective.
VISIT BUONCONSIGLIO CASTLE AND AQUILA TOWER
The Buonconsiglio Castle has great importance to the city because it overlooked the road towards Germany and then became the residence of the Prince-Bishops of Trento between the 13th and 18th centuries.
Where is its appeal It is an urban fortress rich in fine architecture that mixes a Romanesque and Gothic style on its towers while being decorated with Renaissance frescoes. The castle currently holds the Museo del Risorgimento and the Museo Provinciale d’Arte as well. They have sculptures, period furniture, archaeological and ethnological collections, perfect for any visitor wanting to see some history and local art collections.On the south end is the Aquila Tower, decorated with the 15th-century Cycle of the Months, the best secular art style from the late Middle Ages. It illustrates and documents, in a rare and valuable form, the court life and outdoor activities of the times month by month.
USE YOUR CREATIVITY AT MUSE (MUSEUM OF SCIENCES OF TRENTO)
The MUSE was created back in 2013 by starchitect Renzo Piano to show and share the relationship between man and nature with visitors. The building has soaring glass walls that imitate the surrounding mountain peaks and slopes. The exhibitions include the evolution from geological formations and fossils to the natural environment of flora, fauna, glaciers, and avalanches.
You can find hands-on, multimedia, and sensory experiences that give life to the artifacts. It is a museum and dynamic introduction to the Alpine landscapes. As part of their hands-on sense of education, let’s say that it is forbidden “NOT” to touch. There are two specified journeys of “Maxi Ooh” made for children, while “Tinker Fun” is the space for adults to explore their creativity. Because the museum is only partly translated, I recommend you choose a tour in English, especially if you are going with kids.
GET IN TOUCH WITH NATURE AT THE GIARDINO BOTANICO ALPINO VIOTE
Although Viote Alpine Botanical Garden is about 7 km away from Trento, which takes a 40 to 50 minute drive along curved mountain roads, it is a destination worth the trip. It’s a great place for people interested in geology and those interested in exploring the landscapes of the Adige valley. The Geological Garden found there shows many rare rocks from the Trentino Province valleys.
TAKE A CABLE CAR TO SEE THE LOOKOUT
A great activity to do once in Trento is taking a cable car to the village up on the mountain.
You can go there at any time throughout the day to enjoy one of the best Trento views. If you like sunsets, you might want to end your day there – go to a local bar or take your own drinks. The cable car is no more than a five-minute ride but with a great view of the city while moving. Once you arrive, head over to the viewing platform for a look at the landscape.
DISCOVER THE WONDERS AT THE DIOCESAN MUSEUM
Diocesan Museum is a Trento museum hidden inside Palazzo Pretorio that holds some collections that document the development of the local artistic styles and techniques between the 11th and 19th centuries, mostly on wood carvings and sculptures. Among these rare treasures you can also find fine silver and gold work embroidered onto vestments, illuminated manuscripts, and 16th-century Flemish tapestries. Diocesan Museum is a Trento museum hidden inside Palazzo Pretorio that holds some collections that document the development of the local artistic styles and techniques between the 11th and 19th centuries, mostly on wood carvings and sculptures. Among these rare treasures you can also find fine silver and gold work embroidered onto vestments, illuminated manuscripts, and 16th-century Flemish tapestries.
TRAVEL IN TIME WHILE ENTERING THE DUOMO
The Trento Cathedral is also known as Cathedral of San Vigilio or Duomo di Trento. It was built around the 11th century and remodeled on the inside during the beginning of the 13th century, using a combination of Lombard Romanesque style and high vaulted ceilings reflecting the Gothic architecture. On the inside, you will also discover frescoes covering the whole range of styles of Venetian, Lombardian, and late Gothic forms.
RELAX AND ADMIRE THE WONDERS OF PIAZZA DEL DUOMO AND NEPTUNE FOUNTAIN
It is a great starting point for any tourist because the main attractions are within walking distance from the center. The most relevant attractions here are Palazzo Pretorio and Torre Civica that overlook the square from one end of the palace.
In the middle of the piazza, you will find the big Neptune Fountain, sculpted back in 1768. The highlight is the continuous water flowing system that the sculptor managed to include while decorating the final piece of art. Its main purpose was to bring water to the city and for that reason citizens were forbidden from polluting the water streams.
UNCOVER THE HISTORY OF THE ROMAN TRIDENTUM
Trento lies above the buried Roman city of Tridentum. There have been excavations done that have revealed part of the city wall, stone-paved streets, parts of houses with their mosaics and even workshops.
The area is not very big but it is enough to determine how Roman Trento used to be. The entire remains of the Roman city show history from different eras from the Middle Ages up to the Renaissance. You can get to see and visit the ancient Roman city remains at the SASS (Spazio Archeologico Sotterraneo SASS).
SEE THE ORRIDO DI PONTE ALTO WATERFALL
Go over to the Ravine area where you will find the Gorge of Ponte Alto and its waterfall, a magical experience found in a canyon that was carved over time by the Fersina River. You will see how two waterfalls dive into the canyon.
It was back in the 1500s that ancient hydraulic work was done to create these waterfalls that fall through the red rock cliffs leaving us speechless with light and sound effects. The modification was actually done to prevent flooding of the city, but the results are wonderful to see. The trails have been maintained and refurbished for visitors to approach the canyon walls again, but you must visit be accompanied by a guide.
BE PART OF TRENTINO FILM FESTIVAL
Trentino Film Festival was founded in 1952 and is dedicated to the mountains, adventure, and exploration. It is now a real test ground for visions and ideas about the highest lands on Earth, having a diversity of topics that include environmental and cultural issues, as well as current affairs. Every year the festival is much more varied and stimulating.
The Festival starts during the last days of April and runs for about 10 days. If you have never been to a film festival, it is a great event to meet small independent directors and producers who will share their personal experiences on how they made their movies. Just think of it as meeting the next Oscar winner.
Wine Tasting Tour at San Leonardo Estate in Trento
This tour is a chance to explore the winemaking heritage from northern Italy at the Tenuta San Leonardo winery in Trento. The 18th-century villa gardens and vineyards are now part of the estate but the property used to be a monastery. You will get a quality explanation of the traditional wine production methods and the country life around the cellars. You can treat your taste buds for 2 hours to a variety of four estate wines: Vette, Terre di San Leonardo, Villa Gresti, and San Leonardo.