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Trento Guide Italy

Castello del Buonconsiglio Fresco by the Baschenis'
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Trento Guide
Trento is a city of art, of history and represents a crossroads for the contrasting cultures of Italy and northern Europe. Originally a Roman city,Trento became famous for the Council (1545 -1563) which gave rise to the counter - Reformation.
Among the many faces of Trento, one of the most striking is that of the alpine Renaissance city, which has been restored to its original splendour by recent restaurations. Places to visit include the Castello del Buonconsiglio, the Duomo and its splendid square, the houses decorated with frescoes, the churches of the Council, the museums and exhibitions which today make Trento a city of art, culture and traditions beyond those of the Alps.
The Castello del Buonconsiglio is the symbol of the temporal power of Trentino's bishops and of Trento's Italian character. The Castello del Buonconsiglio, in the courtyard of which the Austrians in 1848 put to death the 21 Lombard volunteers who fought for the annexation of Trentino to Italy and, during the Great War, the martyrs of Trentino's irredentism, Cesare Battisti, Fabio Filzi and Damiano Chiesa, acted as the residence of the bishop-princes up until the Principality's secularisation in 1803. It dominates the city from a rocky spur and today still seems to protect it, despite the disappearance of the walls that ran from the castle all around the entire built-up area. The hill was called "Dosso del Malconsey" in the 13th century, from the Latin corruption of Mall meaning public meeting and Consilii (council), supposedly the meeting place of the community. When the castle started taking shape, developing around the cylindrical tower Torre Grande (or Torre d'Augusto), it was decided to give it a more auspicious name, hence "Buonconsiglio" (good council).
During the course of its existence the castle has undergone many extensions and renovations. Between the 12th and 15th century, the Castelvecchio portion developed next to the Torre Grande. In the 16th century, the Bishop-Prince Bernardo Clesio commissioned the Magno Palazzo, a magnificent example of palace of a Renaissance prince. The bishop-princes dwelt in the castle up until the beginning of the 19th century, although on various occasions they were forced to flee before wars and revolts. The entire complex is well worth a visit, together with the Torre dell'Aquila and Torre del Falco towers that originally were part of the exterior walls. Torre dell'Aquila contains the breathtaking cycle of frescoes called "dei mesi" (of the months) painted by an anonymous Bohemian painter in the 15th century. They depict medieval life, month by month, comparing the richness and splendour of the courts with the fight for survival of the poor. Today the Castle houses the museum of the Italian Risorgimento and of the fight for freedom, sections of archaeology and of ancient, medieval and modern art. Its halls frequently play host to prestigious exhibitions attracting thousands of visitors.
Among the several City's museums there are the Tridentine Diocesan Museum and The Society Tridentine Alpinists Museum. Next to S. Vigilio Cathedral, in Piazza Duomo, stands Palazzo Pretorio, today the seat of the Tridentine Diocesan Museum . Its origin dates back to 1902 and it was conceived not only as a place to keeep the Catherdral Treasures, but above all as reference point for the preservation of the historic, artistic and ecclesiastic heritage of the Diocese: a purpose still valid today. The visit goes through a detailed selection of museum items. The section dedicated to paintings illustrates the local production, from the Middle Ages to Neo-classicism, and the influence of neighbouring Lombard, Venetian and Austrian schools.
The Society Tridentine Alpinists is the heir of the Alpine Society of Trentino, founded in Madonna di Campiglio in 1872, to promote knowledge of and, at the same time, respect for the Trentino mountains. Although it is small, the museum illustrates, with original documents, photos yellowed with age and old mountaineering, equipment, the origins of the SAT, the waymarking of the first mountaineering and excursion paths, the creation of high altitude refuges and so on. (Images and part of the Contects kindly given by the APT Trento)

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