This past June I had the chance to visit Trento, a pretty, highly underrated town in northern Italy. I was there for a few days for the Traverse 19 conference, so I thought I’d share a bit of what I got up to!
If you’re counting, yes, that means I went to my third travel conference in one year. Who even am I?! And I even spoke at this one! Milou and I spoke about our group, Female Digital Nomads, which has over 50,000 members on Facebook now. It was pretty exciting and nerve-wracking!
Anyway, besides our talk, we had about 4+ days to enjoy this tiny town while getting to know other travel bloggers and eat a lot good food! Here’s the lowdown:
Where is Trento?
Okay, so this might be confusing, but there’s the city of Trento, which is what I’m talking about, and the “autonomous province of Trento,” which covers a lot more ground. The northern province is much more commonly known as Trentino, and the city of Trento is its capital.
The city sits in the Adige Valley and is surrounded by the Dolomite Mountains, so the views are about as beautiful as you’re probably imagining at the moment.
First of all, Trento is beautiful, and it’s kind of what you’d expect a smaller Italian city to be like. Besides all of us there for Traverse, it wasn’t as touristy as say Rome or Milan, and I’d say it was even less touristy than somewhere like Verona. Everywhere we walked in the town was beautiful, and I kept looking up at all the facades and architecture. I haven’t been to Turin yet, but I imagine it’s how Elissa felt when she was there!
For a bit of history, Trento dates quite far back. Its name actually comes from the Celtic word “Trent,” and it was eventually brought into the Roman Empire. Trento hasn’t always been Italian, either. The Austrian Hapsburgs ruled the area from the 1300s to 1918 until, after WWI, Trento became a part of Italy once more.
How to Visit Trento
How to Get to Trento
It’s pretty easy to get to Trento, and we both arrived and left via train from Verona. I have a lot of tips for traveling Italy by train here, but basically you just want to make sure you buy your tickets from Tren Italia. “Second Class” is still quite nice, so I’d go for the cheapest option and just save yourself some money. Don’t forget to “validate” your ticket at one of the little box things before you try to ride. It’s the dumbest, most inefficient step I’ve ever seen, but it’s necessary.
If you’re flying into Italy, the closest airports are either in Milan or Verona. You could, of course, also rent a car at one of those airports and drive. But unless you’re planning to drive around Lake Garda or somewhere more remote, you won’t really need it.
How to Get Around Trento
Walk! No, seriously, I don’t think I ever needed to walk more than 10 minutes in one direction to get around. We stayed at the Grand Hotel Trento, and it was literally right across a small park from the train station! There are signs everywhere to help guide you, but, of course, Google Maps is always handy.
Where to Stay in Trento
Like I said above, we stayed at Grand Hotel Trento. It’s where Traverse & Visit Trentino put us up since we were speakers, and it was such a lovely hotel! It had the BEST views of the mountains both just from our window and up on the sixth floor terrace. The rooms were comfortable, and the breakfast was amazing. Like, don’t miss it. Book now or compare booking sites for later
Best Places to Visit in Trento
Trento is a small, underrated place, so in terms of must-see places, there are very few right in town. Of course, the adventurous things to do in the nearby Dolomites or region of Trentino are endless. Just listening to other Traverse members chat about their post-trips, we heard of everything from hiking to horseback riding to mountaintop yoga to barefoot tree hugging (no, I’m not kidding!).
However, there are a few spots in the main part of town that would be a shame to miss. Here’s what I got around to in my free time:
Castello del Buonconsiglio
I mean, if you’re staying in a town with a castle, it seems a bit criminal to not visit said castle. Castello del Buonconsiglio dates back to the 1200s when it became the seat of the Bishopric of Trent. Today it’s now a museum and home to the Provincial Gallery of Art. You can tour the different rooms and see various installations and history related to Trento, but, of course, the best spot to see is the viewpoint from the 3rd floor! I also loved looking up and seeing all the ceilings.
The View from Funvia Trento
You HAVE to check out Trento’s cable cars! It’s super easy to walk to the entrance across the river and get there. If you don’t have the Trentino Card, I think it was maybe 5 euros round trip. Just grab a ride up to the top and go grab drinks or lunch at the little restaurant there. You can also follow a walking trail as we saw on a map, but we never went beyond the drinks.
Piazza del Duomo
The main square is the Piazza del Duomo, and you’ll know you’re there by the giant fountain in the middle! As you might guess from the name, it’s where the duomo of Trento is. Traverse’s main area was around this square, so we were here pretty frequently in between sessions. Get the gelato! So yummy.
Le Gallerie at the Tunnels of Piedicastello
Our opening party was held here, and I thought it was quite a cool way to repurpose old highway tunnels into something modern! Both the tunnels have installations but they’re also used for events like ours. They’re around where the cable car entrance is across the river, so it might be nice to stop by and see them, even if just from the outside!
Tours in Trento
Of course, I only touched on the history and the places to see in Trento! If you want to get more of a guided experience, try this historical walking tour.
Where to Eat in Trento
I feel like I spent a good portion of my time in between sessions eating! We were treated to some great places for lunch and I visited some different areas on my own. Also, I didn’t have my camera on me all the time so when I actually went back to look at my photos I only got a really nice photo of one of my meals… Oops!
Ristorante Osio Grigio
This is one of the places I had for lunch. It’s definitely more of a finer dining establishment. We had a vegetable flan, risotto, and this nice sort of iced cream or custard type thing with warm berries in the middle.
Pizzeria al Duomo
You really can’t go wrong with a good pizza place. This was another place I had for my lunch, and it was delicious! I got the Trentino pizza, which I highly recommend.
Place that had pasta at 5pm
So, around 5pm after I went up the cable car, I was really craving pasta. I hadn’t eaten lunch that day, so I was quite hungry. Of course, this is Italy, so most places that serve pasta are closed at 5pm! Dinner doesn’t really get started here until 7 or 8pm. However, I did find this one little place that has it! It’s almost a shabby looking area, but the pasta bolognese was delicious, and it hit my craving a good 2 hours before I could eat dinner. I can’t remember the name, and I couldn’t find it on Google Maps, but it’s somewhere along Via Roma. Hopefully, you’ll eat lunch at a normal time though and not need to go hunting at 5pm!
When Milou and I first got to Trento, we dropped our things off and went to the hotel restaurant for lunch! We naturally got pasta haha. It’s another finer dining place, and I got the ravioli while she got the spaghetti. Also, the hotel has breakfast which is awesome. There’s a huge spread with American options like scrambled eggs and pastries galore.
Can’t go to Italy and not get gelato. My favorite spot was in Piazza del Duomo, and I wound up going there twice. Heck, we even saw one open at like 2am on our way to the bar!
We had the welcoming party at Gatto Gordo! I don’t know too much about it besides our party, which was mostly drinks and some side food. Nice place for a drink and to relax before you go to dinner.
Pizza place next to Gatto Gordo
Right next to Gatto Gordo is a cheap, delicious pizza place. It reminded me of the 1 or 2 euro places that were always opened super late at night in Madrid after we left the clubs. Kind of funny that as a student I thought they were too expensive, and now, I think they’re a total steal. Ha!
I think that’s about it on my tips for planning your own visit to Trento, Italy! I already know I want to return and see more of the Dolomites in the future.
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