Venice, Milan and Rome draw in thousands of British tourists every year - but nestled at the foot of the Alps just off the beaten path of mass tourism there’s another spellbinding Italian city that captures the imagination of culture vultures and holidaymakers who flock to sample its Alpine charm.
Trento with its cosmopolitan bustle set amid a medieval and renaissance street scene is home to a stunning cathedral, churches and ornate piazzas and bristles with a vibrant nightlife and rich history.
Our room at the centrally located three star Hotel America is a delight with its balcony views across some of the city’s historic gems. It has a rather opulent, classic and timeless feel that has no doubt endured since its construction in 1923. The hotel was the dream of “Sior Minico” who had just returned from America and his vision is detailed in a book presented as a welcome gift in our room on arrival.
The rooms are spacious and enjoying a vino on the balcony with a spectacular dusk horizon topped off with the Alps is a perfect way to start our city tour.
A short walk reveals some unique Germanic and Reanaissance architecture. The Romanesque-Gothic Duomo Cathedral thought to have been constructed in the 12th century is certainly worth a detour and adjoins the Piazza Duomo - a real highlight which attracts the bulk of the meaningful but not over subscribed tourist trail.
Underground remains of the streets and villas of the Roman city, the medieval city walls which once encircled Trento’s perimeter and The Museo Tridentino di Scienze Naturali (Trent Museum of Natural Sciences) are among the other highlights as it becomes apparent why Trento was awarded the title of Alpine Town of the Year 2004.
It feels as though we have unlocked one of Italy’s best kept secrets as we hit the road - although surveying the faces amid the early morning bustle there’s clearly many who agree with our assessment.