"Trento - a forgotten town" Top 5 Page for this destination Trento by iandsmith

Trento Travel Guide: 191 reviews and 482 photos

The height of magnificence

I quote here from my Emails:
"Ever been driving along European roads and noted castles high on ridges above you, tempting you upwards but you haven't got the time? No, well, tough. I have and this time I allowed time for a couple and today was Besano day. Between Rovereto and Trento on the Brenner Pass road it's a standout.
However, like a lot of things on my second Italian trip, it's closed when I arrive. This time due to the dreaded siesta. I know it's a fact of life in this part of the world but it serves only to inconvenience me every day.
On my current castle tour of Italy I have seen Scalageri, Stenico, Besano, Il Piccola Castello, Castiglione D'Orcia, Belfort and a couple of others, none of which any of you know, just flaunting my knowledge!
From any angle Besano is a knockout. I know; I had the time while waiting to see them all! Its 16.381 hectares (largest in the region) overlooks the Adige Valley and the Rio Cavallo from an eagle-like eyrie on high while at night floodlights make it stand out even more.
Transformed from a medieval castle into a Renaissance fortress, it was held by the da Besano family for 400 years then the Castelbarcos from 1303 to 1460 when the Tyrolese briefly held it before the Trapp family (with a von they could have been stars!) took over and were amazingly still in residence until 1973.
It was hard to imagine someone living there just 30 years ago. It must have been almost a hermit-like existence amid the crumbling ruin.
The building has that inspiring castle feel about it. Clearly visible are the holes where archers, riflemen and cannons could be utilized while the spacious interior of many levels is every boys' idea of what a castle should be like with steps heading off to ramparts, dungeons, storerooms or, in one case, into mid air!
Unfortunately, the delayed start to my viewing led me to be in a race to arrive at Trento in time for the guided tour of the town, one I had only started last year when Rosemarie's food poisoning dictated that I had to quit it after only ten minutes. I just made it as they were starting, cutting it fine after dashing through the cobbled streets to get there.
Ten minutes into the tour, the fact that, in my haste, I had left my parka behind, was making life unbearable. The chill winds drifted through the mediaeval passageways till my bones were sending messages to my brain. Reaching the same point I had the year before I begged leave of the tour saying I would be back as soon as I got my parka.
In the back of my mind the dreaded thought was foremost, "What if I can't find my car?" The answer to that is that you will spend the next 45 minutes aimlessly wandering the streets increasingly frustrated, crossing the street your car is in (at least twice) without recognizing it a block or two from where you were parked. Ah well, there's always next year! As we used to say in enduro land, it's a long way to go for a DNF (did not finish).
Trento is actually a great town and, for those planning to go there, make it a must see. The Piazza Duomo is one of Italy's finest and the street with the painted facades of the old palaces makes it a great place to wander.
Actually, it's a horrible place full of shops with women's clothing, shoes, baby wear and household items. How boring, I'm definitely not taking Rosemarie there, she'd be sooooo bored!"

A castle from any angle

View from the Super Strada. It looks like a castle, feels like a castle and is very much a castle.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Fabulous piazza, stunning nearby mountains, well preserved history, clean
  • Cons:Smog
  • In a nutshell:A great town to visit, not too many tourists.
  • Last visit to Trento: Mar 2004
  • Intro Updated Apr 29, 2004
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Reviews (22)

Comments (9)

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Jan 16, 2008 at 10:07 PM

    excellent tips and coverage of castles and sights to see thanks! and a motivating page too!

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2007 at 6:46 AM

    This is a really nice page on an area I may never reach. Enjoyed your commentary as well as the quality images.

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Nov 6, 2005 at 1:23 PM

    Interesting page but what aboutthe market ? I have read that it was the top place in the world for mushrooms, almost 200 different species on sale ! Is that true ?

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Aug 20, 2004 at 6:33 AM

    Great page, got so much info. Will be visiting there next year with my sister

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Jul 28, 2004 at 5:17 AM

    Very interesting page and writings! I know more now, thanks for Parma...

  • unravelau's Profile Photo
    Jul 25, 2004 at 7:38 PM

    The best piazza in Italy? Well that may be the case Ian.....definitely has some unique aspects to it. Also don't forget the rotating cable car......that has to be worth the fear attached as well. Thank you.

  • Paul2001's Profile Photo
    May 16, 2004 at 7:23 AM

    Now I am sorry that I did not make it Trento. Lovely pictures and well written tips.

  • MarvintheMartian's Profile Photo
    Apr 29, 2004 at 2:28 PM

    I didn't know about the free tour - sounds like a great idea! I also missed the Castle, I was passing through on one of the days it's closed - there will have to be a next time (I hope!). Great photos.

  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo
    Apr 29, 2004 at 1:55 AM

    Glad you have come to Trento. Waiting for some description...


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