Our destination for today was the town of Trento, approximately 60km south of Bolzano. The journey took less than an hour on a regional train and was quite fascinating, as we passed close to some extremely rocky mountains. Unfortunately the windows of Italian regional trains are not clean enough to permit taking photos!
Trento is famous for having been the location of the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century, and from the pictures we had seen on the Internet it looked like it was going to be an interesting town with all sorts of historical buildings. As we stepped out of the train station, the first thing we saw was a park with an enormous monument to Dante.
Apparently the monument was built in the late nineteenth century to celebrate the Italian culture of the region, after the Walther statue which we saw earlier in the week had been constructed in Bolzano. As we started to walk around the Trento it certainly felt as if at some point during the train journey we had crossed the border into Italy again. People were speaking Italian, the road signs were mainly in Italian again and overall everywhere seemed a little bit less clean and a little bit more chaotic
Having walked past the park and in the direction which we hoped would ultimately lead to the town centre, we came across a rather impressive castle.
Shortly after that we found the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, made from a beautiful pink stone. This church hosted part of the Council of Trent in 1562.
We felt sure we must be on the right track for the main square as we walked down streets which looked increasingly old.
Sure enough, we soon arrived in Piazza Duomo.
The square is home to an enormous Neptune fountain...
...and the impressive Palazzo Pretorio with its thirteenth century bell-tower.
There are some other very historical-looking buildings in the square with frescos painted on the front like these.
The weather wasn't looking too promising at this point, so we hurried round to see as much as we could.
We found another pretty church, but unfortunately the town seemed to be hosting enormous floral displays which were setting my hayfever off!
We walked to the edge of the town centre, where we found Castello del Buonconsiglio.
The castle, which used to be the home of the Bishop of Trento, is now home to an art gallery. We didn't go inside, but it was impressive from the outside.
We had a quick lunch and the weather seemed to have improved a bit, so we did some more exploring.
We found a park, from where we had a bit of a view of the moutains which surround Trento.
There was another huge monument in the park, this time in honour of Alcide de Gasperi, a former Italian prime minister who was instrumental in rebuilding Italy after the Second World War. He was born in the Trentino region.
After the park we found a road on which we were able to climb higher above the town and enjoy a view back across the town centre.
We had some lovely views of the Castello del Buonconsiglio as well.
Later in the afternoon we returned to Bolzano and found a nice restaurant just outside the main square for a final meal here. Tomorrow we are embarking on another long journey, this time across Italy to our final destination of Trieste. Because we are sticking to regional trains, it will take us 6 - 7 hours to reach Trieste via Verona, so tomorrow may be a day without any blog/photos!