History of Trento







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History of Trento                                  (Back to Trento main information page)

Records shown that the area of the right bank of the river Adige was much populated during the Neolithic age as testified by the abundance of Neolithic remains, burial grounds, grottos and Celtic sites.

However, the roman ?Trideum? (named after the three hills that surround the city) stood on the left of the side of the Adige, beneath the modern town centre.

For instance, the Romans conquered the area in the late 1st century B.C. after several clashes with the Raetian tribes

The town flourished and became powerful in the Roman era: an imperial document dated 49 A.C.defined it as a splendidum municipium.

At the fall of the Great Roman Empire, the area was ruled by the Goths, the Lombards and the Franks, finally becoming part of the Holy Roman Empire.

During the beginning of the new millennium, Trento stood between the Prince-Bishop of Trento and the County of Trento (which was from 1363 part of the Hapsburg Monarchy).

The bishop princes ruled Trento for eight centuries, during which there were two major revolts, the first in 1407, was commanded by Belenzani, defender of the old independence, while the second in 1525, was a true people's revolution, known as the ?rustic war?.

During the following years, Venice expansionism forced more and more Trento towards the Empire; in 1511, reconquered Rovereto, the bishop signed with Maximilian I a treaty for protection. From 1516 to 1539 Trento had been governed by cardinal Bernardo Clesio, who gave to the city that renaissance look which is still characteristic of the central streets; he built the new palace at Buonconsiglio Castle and the church of S. Maria Maggiore, and prepared the famous Council which, in different session, was held between 1545 and 1563, mostly in the Duomo and in S. Maria Maggiore. The town then reached her maximum splendour, under the guide of the bishops of Madruzzo family who had the power for more than a century. 

The following ages are remembered only for the Spanish Succession campaigns, during which Trento was ineffectively

Napoleon and his troops entered Trento in 1796.
In 1815, the Congress of Vienna ruled Trento area as part of Austria, during which a strong economical and urbanistic growth took place: the flow of river Adige was deviated, while the city has ever since been enlarged, to the north and
especially to the south, up to the last world conflict, with residential quarters and industrial plants.

The 1st railroad in the adage Valley open in 1859.

During the late 19th century, Trento and Trieste (still belonging to the Austrian) became icons of the national unification movement with Damiano Chiesa and Cesare Battisti been the local irredentist in the fight against the Austrian-Hungary army (the two names were later used to celebrate the ?Liberation of Trento).

Austrian domination ended in 1918 and Trento became a part of the Kingdom of Italy.

After Mussolini was deposed, German troops invaded Northern Italy and Trento became part of the German Reich.

Part of the city was hit by the allied bombing, including the church of Santa Maria Maggiore and several bridges over the river Adige.

Since the instauration of the Italian Republic the region has enjoyed prosperous growth and was given a special autonomy from the central Italian government.


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