Trento


Trento

Fountain in Trentino Piazza

Fountain in Trentino Piazza

Piazza in Trento old city

Piazza in Trento old city

We began our journey to Italy, taking a morning train from Friedrichshafen to Munich where we changed trains to travel through Austria, stopping in Innsbruck.  Our journey took us through the historic Brenner Pass in the Alps known as the Dolomites.  We crossed the border  into Italy at Bolzano where the narrow valley widened into a landscape of lush pastures with grazing dairy cattle, small villages, farms, and vineyards.  The pastoral settings were enhanced by sheer granite walls of Alpine mountains.

Brenner Pass

Brenner Pass carved from Alpine mountains between Italy and Austria

Europabrucke, (The European bridge), is an 820-meter long, six-lane concrete bridge 150 meters over the Sill River just north of the Brenner Pass

Train through Brenner Pass

Train through Brenner Pass

Bolzano at Austrian and Italian border

Bolzano at Austrian and Italian border

Early Romans began traveling along crude mule trails though the Alps to reach central  Europe in the second Century AD.  The route became known as the Brenner Pass  named after a local farm.

The first carriage road through the Alps was built during the reign of Austrian Empress Maria Theresa in 1777.  In 1867, the Brenner railway was laid.    Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini met here in 1940 to sign the Pact of Steel uniting the two fascist dictatorships.

Italian vineyards and village in Alpine Brenner Pass

Italian vineyards and village in Alpine Brenner Pass

Brenner Pass in Italian Dolomites

Brenner Pass in Italian Dolomites

Trento’s old city

We were fortunate to have booked a room at a hotel that was a short walk from the train station.  The hotel was also a central location to explore  the old city and walk along the Adige River.  The old city was a network of winding cobblestone streets, many of which end at the central piazza with a fountain, the Duomo,  and the Diocesan museum.

Diocesan Museum

Triptich from Diocesan Museum

triptych from Diocesan Museum

We visited the Diocesan Museum attached to the Duomo where the Council of Trent convened.  The Council was a series of meetings called by Pope Paul III from 1545-1563 to deal with religious issues arising from the Protestant Reformation.  More than 700 bishops, mostly from Italy met in Trent for eighteen years.  The museum was formerly known as Palazzo Pretorio where the bishops of Trent lived during the Middle Ages.

The museum has an impressive collection of religious paintings — many of the various Councils of Trent — altarpieces, religious manuscripts, relics, vestments, and art gathered from medieval Catholic churches in the region which have closed.

Altarpiece from Diocesan museum

Altarpiece from Diocesan museum

Religious manuscript from Diocesan archives

Religious manuscript from Diocesan archives

Medieval bible in Diocesan archive

Medieval bible in Diocesan archive

Council of Trent

More than 25 sessions were called in the Council of Trent from 1545-1563.  Political and religious disruptions interrupted the sessions as controversies plagued the ecumenical gatherings.

Trento Duomo where Councils of Trent was held in 16th century

Trento Duomo where Councils of Trent was held in the 16th century

Trento Duomo

Trento Duomo

Ancient scripture in Diocesan archive

Painting of Council of Trent

Council of Trent in 16th century

Council of Trent in 16th century

Religious manuscript in Diocesan archive

Religious manuscript in Diocesan archive

Tridentum

In the Diocesan museum basement were ruins of a first century BC Roman town, Tridentum.  The ruins were discovered in 1920s when workers were repairing sewers.  The ancient Roman stonework was impressive and durable, especially a burnished red flagstone that was likely a fragment of a centuries old street.

Recovered Roman ruins

Recovered Roman ruins

Red marble flagstone from Roman ruins

Red marble flagstone from Roman ruins

Background on ancient Roman village

Background on ancient Roman village

Paestum

History of Tridentum

Partial ruins from Tridentum

Partial ruins from Tridentum

Tridentum ruins

Tridentum ruins

We thoroughly enjoyed our introduction to Trento and wandering the narrow streets throughout the old city.  But we were here to explore more of this region, especially villages and towns that look down on Trento from the Dolomite mountains.

* * * * * *

Next: Dolomites

In addition to writing this travel blog, I write international thrillers, mysteries, and suspense novels.

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