Trento [ˈtrɛnto] or [ˈtrento] listen (help·info) (anglicized as Trent; local dialects: Trènt; German: Trient) is a city located in the Adige River valley in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol in Italy. It is the capital of Trentino. In the 16th century, the city was the location of the Council of Trent. Formerly part of Austria, it was annexed by Italy in 1919.
Trento is an educational, scientific, financial and political centre in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, in Tyrol and Northern Italy in general. The University of Trento ranks highly out of Italy's top 30 colleges, coming 1st in the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research ranking, 2nd according to Census ranking and 5th in the Il Sole 24 Ore ranking of Italian universities. The city contains a picturesque Medieval and Renaissance historic centre, with ancient buildings such as Trento Cathedral and the Castello del Buonconsiglio.
Together with other Alpine towns Trento engages in the Alpine Town of the Year Association for the implementation of the Alpine Convention to achieve sustainable development in the Alpine Arc. Trento was awarded Alpine Town of the Year 2004.
Modern-day Trento is a cosmopolitan city, with highly developed and organized modern social services. The city often ranks extremely highly out of all 103 Italian cities for quality of life, standard of living, and business and job opportunities, coming 1st, 6th and 2nd respectively. Trento is also one of the nation's wealthiest and most prosperous, with its province being one of the richest in Italy, although poorer than its neighbors Lombardy and South Tyrol, with a GDP per capita of €29,500 and a GDP (nominal) of €14.878 billion.
The township of Trento encompasses the town centre as well as many suburbs of extremely varied geographical and population conditions (from the industrial suburb of Gardolo, just north of the city, to tiny mountain hamlets on Monte Bondone). Various distinctive suburbs still retain their traditional identity of rural or mountain villages.
Trento lies in a wide glacial valley called the Adige valley just south of the Alps foothill range Dolomite Mountains, where the Fersina River and Avisio rivers join the Adige River (the second longest river in Italy). River Adige is one of the three main south-flowing Alpine rivers; its broadly curving course alongside Trento was straightened in 1850. The valley is surrounded by mountains, including Vigolana (2,150 m (7,050 ft)), Monte Bondone (2,181 m (7,156 ft)), Paganella (2,124 m (6,969 ft)), Marzola (1,747 m (5,732 ft)) and Monte Calisio (1,096 m (3,596 ft)). Nearby lakes include Lake Caldonazzo, Lake Levico, Lake Garda and Lake Toblino.
The origins of this city on the river track to Bolzano and the low Alpine passes of Brenner and the Reschen Pass over the Alps are disputed. Some scholars maintain it was a Rhaetian settlement: the Adige area was however influenced by neighbouring populations, including the (Adriatic) Veneti, the Etruscans and the Gauls (a Celtic people). According to other theories, the latter did instead found the city during the fourth century BC.
Trento was conquered by the Romans in the late 1st century BC, after several clashes with the Rhaetian tribes. Before the Romans, Trent was a Celtic village. In reality, the name derives from Trent, which is a tribute to the Celtic god of the waters (because of the river Adige). The Romans gave their settlement the name Tridentum and is a tribute to the Roman god Neptune (Tri Dentum, meaning 'Three Teeth' because of the three hills that surround the city: the Doss Trent, Sant'Agata and San Rocco). The Latin name is the source of the adjective Tridentine. On the old townhall a Latin inscription is still visible: Montes argentum mihi dant nomenque Tridentum ("Mountains give me silver and the name of Trento"), attributed to Fra' Bartolomeo da Trento (died in 1251). Tridentum became an important stop on the Roman road that led from Verona to Innsbruck.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the independent bishopric of Trento was ruled by Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Lombards and Franks, finally becoming part of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1027, Emperor Conrad II created the Prince-Bishops of Trento, who wielded both temporal and religious powers. In the following centuries, however, the sovereignty was divided between the Bishopric of Trent and the County of Tyrol (from 1363 part of the Habsburg monarchy). Around 1200, Trento became a mining center of some significance: silver was mined from the Monte Calisio - Khalisperg, and Prince-Bishop Federico Wanga issued the first mining code of the alpine region.
In the 14th century, the region of Trent was part of the Austrian rule. The dukes of Austria (Habsburg Family) were also the counts of Tyrol and dominated the region for six centuries (1918).
A dark episode in the history of Trento was the Trent blood libel. When a three-year-old Christian boy, Simonino, later known as Simon of Trent, disappeared in 1475 on the eve of Good Friday, the city's small Jewish community was accused of killing him and draining his blood for Jewish ritual purposes. Eight Jews were tortured and burned at the stake, and their families forced to convert to Christianity. The bishop of Trent, Johannes Hinderbach, had Simonino canonized and published the first book printed in Trent, "Story of a Christian Child Murdered at Trent," embellished with 12 woodcuts. In a governmental ceremony in the 1990s, Trent apologized to the Jewish community for this dark episode and unveiled a plaque commemorating the formal apology.
In the 16th century Trento became notable for the Council of Trent (1545–1563) which gave rise to the Counter-Reformation. The adjective Tridentine (as in "Tridentine Mass") literally means pertaining to Trento, but can also refer to that specific event. Among the notable prince bishops of this time were Bernardo Clesio (who ruled the city 1514-1539, and managed to steer the Council to Trento) and Cristoforo Madruzzo (who ruled in 1539-1567), both able European politicians and Renaissance humanists, who greatly expanded and embellished the city.
During this period, and as an expression of this Humanism, Trento was also known as the site of a Jewish printing press. In 1558 Cardinal Madruzzo granted the privilege of printing Hebrew books to Joseph Ottolengo, a German rabbi. The actual printer was Jacob Marcaria, a local physician; after his death in 1562 the activity of the press of Riva di Trento ceased. Altogether thirty-four works were published in the period 1558 to 1562, most of them bearing the coat of arms of Madruzzo.
Prince-bishops ruled Trento until the Napoleonic era, when it changed hands among various states. Under the reorganization of the Holy Roman Empire in 1802, the Bishopric was secularized and annexed to the Habsburg territories. The Treaty of Pressburg in 1805 ceded Trent to Bavaria, and the Treaty of Schönbrunn four years later gave it to Napoleon's Kingdom of Italy.
The population offered armed resistance to French domination. The resistance leader was Andreas Hofer. During his youth he lived in the Italian Tyrol, where he learned the Italian language. When Hofer recovered Trento for the Austrians (1809), he was welcomed with enthusiasm by the population of Trento. Approximately 4.000 Trentinian volunteers (Sìzzeri or Schützen) died in battle against the French and Bavarian troops. In 1810 Hofer was captured and brought to Mantua, and was shot by French soldiers on the express order of Napoleon.
With Napoleon's defeat in 1814, Trento was again annexed by the Habsburg Empire. Church government was finally extinguished, and Trento was henceforth governed by the secular administration of Tyrol. In the following decades Trento experienced a modernization of administration and economy with the first railroad in the Adige valley opening in 1859.
During the late 19th century, Trento and Trieste, cities with ethnic Italian majorities still belonging to the Austrians, became icons of the Italian irredentist movement. Benito Mussolini briefly joined the staff of a local newspaper in 1909, but left Trent because they could not create an anti-Austrian group.
The nationalist cause led Italy into World War I. Damiano Chiesa and the deputy in the Austrian parliament Cesare Battisti were two well-known local irredentists who had joined the Italian army to fight against Austria-Hungary with the aim of bringing the territory of Trento into the new Kingdom of Italy. The two men were taken prisoners at the nearby southern front. They were put on trial for high treason and executed in the courtyard of Castello del Buonconsiglio.
The region was greatly affected during the war, and some of its fiercest battles were fought on the surrounding mountains. After World War I, Trento and its Italian-speaking province, along with Bolzano (Bozen) and the part of Tyrol that stretched south of the Alpine watershed (which was, in the main, German speaking), were annexed by Italy.
In 1943, Mussolini was deposed and Italy surrendered to the Allies, who had invaded southern Italy via Sicily. German troops promptly invaded northern Italy and the provinces of Trento, Belluno and South Tyrol became part of the Operation Zone of the Alpine Foothills, annexed to Greater Germany. Some German-speakers wanted revenge upon Italian-speakers living in the area, but were mostly prevented by the occupying Nazis, who still considered Mussolini head of the Italian Social Republic and wanted to preserve good relations with the Fascists. From November 1944 to April 1945, Trento was bombed as part of the so-called "Battle of the Brenner." War supplies from Germany to support the Gothic Line were for the most part routed through the rail line through the Brenner pass. Over 6,849 sorties were flown over targets from Verona to the Brenner Pass with 10,267 tons of bombs dropped. Parts of the city were hit by the Allied bombings, including the church of S. Maria Maggiore, the Church of the Annunciation and several bridges over the Adige river. In spite of the bombings, most of the medieval and renaissance town center was spared. It was finally liberated on 3 May 1945.
In 1947 Trento became the host of the Rally Stella Alpina.
Starting from the 1950s the region has enjoyed prosperous growth, thanks in part to its special autonomy from the central Italian government.
On 4 August 2015 the cathedral tower caught fire by 'spontaneous combustion'. The clock stopped at 10:50am just a few minutes after the fire started.
Although off the beaten path of mass tourism, Trento offers rather interesting monuments. Its architecture has a unique feel, with both Italian Renaissance and Germanic influences. The city center is small, and most Late-Medieval and Renaissance buildings have been restored to their original pastel colours and wooden balconies. Part of the medieval city walls is still visible in Piazza Fiera, along with a circular tower. Once, these walls encircled the whole town and were connected to the Castello del Buonconsiglio. The main monuments of the city include:
- Duomo (Cathedral of Saint Vigilius), a Romanesque-Gothic cathedral of the twelfth-thirteenth century, built on top of a late-Roman basilica (viewable in an underground crypt).
- Piazza Duomo, on the side of the Cathedral, with frescoed Renaissance buildings and the Late Baroque Fountain of Neptune (Fontana di Nettuno) built in 1767-1768.
- Church of Santa Maria Maggiore (1520), site of the preparatory congregations of the Third Council of Trent (April 1562 – December 1563). It was built for Bishop Bernardo Clesio by the architect Antonio Medaglia in Renaissance-Gothic style. The façade has a notable 16th-century portal, while the interior has works by Giambettino Cignaroli and Moroni.
- Castello del Buonconsiglio, which includes a museum and the notable Torre dell'Aquila, with a cycle of fine Gothic frescoes depicting the months, commissioned by the prince-bishop Georg von Lichtenstein.
- Church of San Pietro (12th century) It has a neo-Gothic façade added in 1848-1850.
- Church of Sant'Apollinare, erected in the 13th century at the feet of the Doss Trento hill.
- Church of San Lorenzo (12th century). It has a Romanesque apse.
- Torre Verde, along the former transit path of the Adige river, is said to be where persons executed in the name of the Prince-Bishop were deposited in the river.
- Palazzo delle Albere, a Renaissance villa next to the Adige river built around 1550 by the Madruzzo family, now hosting a modern art museum.
- Palazzo Pretorio, next to the Duomo, of the 12th century, with a bell tower (Torre Civica) of the thirteenth century (it now hosts a collection of baroque paintings of religious themes). It was the main Bishops' residence until the mid-13th century.
- Palazzo Salvadori (1515).
- Palazzo Geremia (late 15th century). It has a Renaissance exterior and Gothic interiors.
- Palazzo Lodron, built during the Council of Trent. The interior has a large fresco cycle.
- Various underground remains of the streets and villas of the Roman city (in Via Prepositura and Piazza Cesare Battisti).
Trento also sports modernist architecture, including the train station and the central post office, both by rationalist architect Angiolo Mazzoni. In particular, the train station (1934–36) is considered a landmark building of Italian railways architecture and combines many varieties of local stone with the most advanced building materials of the time: glass, reinforced concrete, metal. The post office was once decorated with colored windows by Fortunato Depero, but these were destroyed during bombings in World War II. Other buildings of that time include the Grand Hotel (by G. Lorenzi) with some guest rooms furnished with futurist furniture by Depero, and the "R. Sanzio" Primary School built in 1931–34 and designed by Adalberto Libera.
An aeronautical museum (Museo dell'Aeronautica Gianni Caproni) is located in Mattarello, near Trento Airport.
The Museo Tridentino di Scienze Naturali (Trent Museum of Natural Sciences), a museum of natural history and science, is located in the city center.
Trento's surroundings are known for the mountain landscapes, and are the destination of both summer and winter tourism. The Alpine Botanical Garden, located on Monte Bondone in Le Viote, was founded in 1938. Trento is also the venue of a Mountain Film Festival
In addition to the aforementioned Bernardo Clesio and Cristoforo Madruzzo, Giacomo Aconzio was born in Trento. Kurt von Schuschnigg was born in Riva del Garda, in the Trentino region. Other notable natives of Trento include:
- Beniamino Andreatta, politician.
- Lorenzo Bernardi, volleyball player for the Italian national team who was declared "Player of the century" by an international jury.
- Francesco Antonio Bonporti, composer.
- Gianni Caproni, aeronautical engineer, born in Massone d'Arco 1886. Trento's airport is dedicated to him.
- Eusebio Chini, Jesuit Priest, missionary and explorer (known in North America as Eusebio Kino).
- Fortunato Depero, futurist artist and one of the founders of the futurist movement in Italy, was born in Fondo in 1892, close to Trento. He was later "adopted" by the city of Rovereto.
- Alcide De Gasperi, politician in Austria-Hungary, political leader and post-war premier in Italy and one of the founding fathers of the European Union, was born in Pieve Tesino, in Trentino.
- Felice Fontana, scientist.
- Gregorio Fontana, mathematician.
- Ernst von Koerber, prominent politician of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
- Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement.
- Gianfrancesco Malfatti, mathematician.
- Martino Martini, geographer, historian, missionary.
- Luigi Negrelli, engineer.
- Paolo Oss Mazzurana, Trento's most notable mayor. His tenure is characterized by progressive economic policies that impacted Trento's commercial sector and its eventual independence.
- Francesco Moser, cyclist
- Antonio Pedrotti, conductor and composer
- Andrea Pozzo, Jesuit Brother, baroque painter and architect.
- Giovanni Prati, poet and politician.
- Antonio Rosmini, priest, philosopher, born in Rovereto, 1797.
- Giovanni Antonio Scopoli, naturalist and physician, born in Cavalese.
- Giovanni Segantini, Italian Art Nouveau painter, was born in Arco in 1858.
- Renzo Videsott, Italian alpinist and conservationist.
- Alessandro Vittoria, mannerist sculptor.
- Riccardo Zandonai, opera composer.
- Francesca Neri, Award Winning Actress.
- Hermann Zingerle, neuropathologist
- Blessed Stephen Bellesini, Italian priest
The A22-E45 highway connects Trento to Verona and to Bolzano, Innsbruck and Munich.
Trento railway station, opened in 1859, forms part of the Brenner railway (Verona–Innsbruck), which is the main rail connection between Italy and Germany. The station is also a junction with the Valsugana railway, which connects Trento to Venice. Trento has several other railway stations, including Trento FTM railway station, terminus of the Trento-Malè-Marilleva railway (FTM).
Bus or train services operate to the main surrounding valleys: Fassa, Fiemme, Gudicarie, Non, Primiero, Rendena, Sole, Tesino, Valsugana.
The public transport network within the city consists of 20 bus lines operated by Trentino Trasporti and a funicular service to Sardagna. The various railway stations within Trento's city limits are integrated into the public transport network.
Frazioni or subdivisions of Trento: