The Trento Christmas Market starts at the end of November at the Market Place, in front of the antique walls of the Castle of Buonconsiglio
Thousands of visitors have the possibility to choose their Christmas presents at this market, to try local delicacies and simply to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere with sweet flavours and Christmas songs. There are about 70 wooden huts which sell traditional decorations for Christmas trees and nativity scenes, crafts, cakes, local products, original gift ideas, and gourmet specialities in a special food section.
In keeping with tradition, at the middle of the main square, a gourmet section will be dedicated to the specialities of Trentino. There will be about 15/20 wooden huts hosting the "Flavours of the Christmas Market", where you can taste apple strudel, "treccia mochèna" (plaited pastry cake), "polenta brustolada" (grilled polenta), traditional recipes (sweet and savoury) from the Trentino and the Tyrol regions and local dishes such as "cevap" (kebab), a speciality of Val dei Mòcheni, and "tortel di patate" (potato cake). There are many more mouth-watering treats including organic cheese and goat cheese, "goulash zuppe" (goulash soup), "speck" (smoked ham), "canederli" (dumplings) and filled pasta, as well as sweets, pastries and hot chocolate. Drinks include the very popular "vin brulè"(mulled wine) of Trentino and "parampampoli" (hot toddy).
Every day from 10am - 7.30pm (closed on 25th December)
Christmas Markets in Trentino (North-East of Italy) are very crowded during the weekends as they are top destinations for holidaymakers looking for a Christmas atmosphere.
The Aquila tower is reached following the walkway along the eastern wall of the castle as far as the original city gate At the end of the 14th century Prince-bishop George of Lichtenstein transformed the ancient structure of the tower into an elegant and aristocratic retreat far from the reception rooms of Buonconsiglio castle.
The highlight are the frescoed walls of the Cycle of the months painted between 1301 and 1407, precious documentation portraying the social and economic situation of the period in Trentino between late 14 century and early fifteenth centuries. The different months show the typical lifestyle of the two different worlds of peasants and nobility in attuned detail.
Open all year round Tues-Sunday 9.30-5pm
Buonconsiglio Castle is a must see in Trento - amazing architecture and room interiors - so glad that Maurizio took us here. The castle was the residence of the prince-bishops of Trento from the second half of the 13th century until the secularisation of the principality in 1803. Of course the castle has undergone many modifications over the years. A good half day could be spent here as there are many rooms and exhibits to see. The Aquila Tower was an additional tour we took to see the fresco “Cycle of the Months” within the tower, an internationally recognised masterpiece of Gothic art. These frescoes were commissioned by the Moravian bishop, George of Liechtenstein. An audio guide in your language is provided to tell the story of the frescoes and is well worthwhile. Its not possible to take pics of the frescoes but please see the travelogues for other pic of the castle exterior and interior.
Open daily Tuesday to Sunday, 9.30 a.m. to 5p.m. (Oct. to 27th Feb.)
10a.m. to 6p.m. (from 1st March to 29th Oct).
Summer period: 10a.m. to 6p.m..
The castle is closed on Monday.
Price: € 6,00 - reduced price € 3,00 - didactic service € 2,00 - families € 12,00 - didactic service for families € 5,00
Entrance to Torre Aquila: 1 Euro (to book)
Trento Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di San Vigilio) is the most important religious edifice in Trento, northern Italy. Built over a pre-existing 6th century temple devoted to San Vigilio, patron saint of the city, its location aids in it being a standout edifice.
Bishop Federico Wanga commissioned the architect Adamo d'Arogno to construct the new Lombard-Romanesque church. Works continued for more than a hundred years, with the Gothic style becoming increasingly evident.
The façade has a large rose window including The Wheel of Fortune. Notable also are the lions supporting the columns of the narthex on the northern side and the twisting columns in the apsidal area.
The interior has a nave and two aisles with a transept. The latter has 14th century frescoes depicting the legend of St. Julian and the stone statue of the Madonna degli Annegati. The apse of the right transept houses the relics of the local martyrs Sisinius, Marturius and Alexander who died around 397 AD. In the right aisle is the Crucifix Chapel (1682), with a wooden crucifix at the feet of which were promulgated the issues of the Council of Trent, whose sessions were held in the church's presbytery.
The Castle of Buonconsiglio remained the seat of the Prince-Bishops until 1803. Used by the Austrians as military barracks and, later, as a jail, it decayed. In the 1920s, when Trento was returned to Italy, it became seat of a National Museum and was restored. Since 1992 it has become home to the Provincial Gallery of Art.
It was my third trip to Trento and I happened upon an exhibition that was on loan from Turin about unknown Egyptian artifacts and relics.
The Castle originated from a fortified building erected in the 13th century next to the city's walls. This first edifice was called Castelvecchio ("Old Castle"), and was the seat of the Bishopric of Trent from the 13th century onwards.
Bishop George of Liechtenstein was the first to enlarge the castle, in the late 14th century, turning it into a well-styled residence. The Castelvecchio was further modified by Johannes Hinderbach, who had the double loggiato and the Gothic entrance gate built. In the first decades of the 16th century Bishop Bernardo Clesio had a new residence, called Palazzo Magno ("Grand Palace") built in Renaissance style alongside the old castle. The last great addition was the so-called Giunta Albertiana, from the name of Bishop Francesco Alberti Poja (1686), with which the Castelvecchio and the Palazzo Magno were united
The Piazza del Duomo is indeed a pleasant square circled by arcades, shops and cafè and giving onto streets lined with frescoed palaces, notably via Belanziani, many of them built in the sixteenth century when Trento was an important market.
This square is the heart of the town; it is adorned by the "Fontana del Nettuno" (Fountain of Neptune), and is surrounded by buildings of noble character. The southern side is flanked by the "Duomo" (cathedral); to the east we find the twelfth-century "Palazzo Pretorio", a building with mullioned windows which houses the diocesan museum (an excavation site is being opened in front of it, to unearth Porta Veronese and catalogue Roman findings). This is followed by the tower "Torre Civica", situated to the north-east of the two Cazuffi houses, decorated by frescoes of the artist Fogliolino and by a small fountain, "Fontana dell'Aquila".
Castello del Buonconsiglio is surely the main sight of Trento. It is made of three buildings. It has many rooms, some towers and two gardens.
The ancient part of the castle named Castelvecchio was built between XIII and XV centuries. Its courtyard is decorated with beautiful frescoes. Another part of the castle is Magno Palazzo; built between 1528 and 1536. Giunta Albertiana is the smaller part of the complex. It is a 17th century building and stands in the middle of the two palaces.
One of the most important features of the castle is the "Ciclo dei Mesi" (cycle of the months). This is a group of 11 frescoes painted around 1400 that shows the activities of the nobles and the working class at the end of the Middle Ages; month after month. One of the frescoes is missing because of fire. These frescoes are hosted inside Torre Aquila (tower of the eagle). Before entering this tower you are given a tool to listen to the story of this paintings in various languages.
The castle is open all year round; from tuesday to sunday. 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on 25 december and 1st january.
This is Trento's main square which was first laid out by the Romans as their central market place when the town was called Tridentum. This is commemorated by the 18th century fountain with the stature of Neptune holding his trident in the middle of the square.
The square is surrounded by arcades, shops and cafes with streets that lead to streets lined with impressively frescoed palaces, many from the 16th century when Trento was an important market town.
Also flanking the square is the Duomo, built in Romanesque style from the 13th century.
This building in the Piazza Duomo with which the foundations of the the Civica tower are believed to be from the year 1000.
The medieval Palazzo Pretorio now houses the Museo Diocesano Tridentino with Flemish tapestries and paintings depicting the Council of Trent.
Open Monday to Saturdays, closed public holidays.
Behind the Ponte San Lorenzo bridge on the other side of the river from Trento is the road that runs behind the rocky hill thats there, with the church and memorial on top, and up the lower slopes of Monte Bondone to the village of Sardagna about 5km by road above Trento.
The road takes you past vineyards and stone farmhouses with roadside stopping spots along the way as views unfold over Trento and the surrounding valley and mountains that encircle the area.
Though the road becomes narrow with a few tight corners through Sardagna village once past you will find that theres a large parking area above the village at the cable car station where the best viewing points are.
From Sardagna, above Trento on the lower slopes of Monte Bondone, are great views over the whole valley. You get to see just how spectacular the mountains are that encircle the area with the river of blue water making it way through the scene.
You can catch the cable car up or like I did drive on up following the road enjoying the views that unfold along the way.
Cable cars from the San Lorenzo bridge/Ponte San Lorenzo, near Trento's bus station, up to the viilage and cable car station of Sardagna on the lower slopes of Monte Bondone run every 15 to 30 minutes.
I didnt catch the cable car up as I drove up in my car but the cable car was in service - it sounds rather low priced with my copy of the Rough Guide for Italy giving a price in 2005 of only 80cents euro.
There are excellent views from here over Trento and around the entire valley surrouned by mountains.
Theres a restaurant up here too which was closed though when I was there, probably because it was a very quiet time of year!
At the end of Via Belenzani is the Jesuit church of San Francisco Saverio. We didn't go inside but the interior is reputed to have the best baroque art in the city. The exterior for the façade, the artist has combined the colours of the paints with the colours of the stones from the Trentino quarries