A town with a rich culture: Rovereto and Castel Beseno
Malè – Rovereto: km 84
By train: Ferrovia trento – Malè to trento + state railway to Rovereto
In order to reach the so-called “Città della Quercia” (meaning “oak town”, this is the heraldic name for Rovereto), you’ll have to drive all along Val Lagarina, among vineyards and several villages scattered on both sides of the river Adige. Each centre has its own historical background, as the valley witnessed the passage of plenty of armies, emperors and prelates; and namely Barbarossa, Maximilian 1st from Habsburg, Charles 5th , Pope Pio 6th, Napoleon and Franz Joseph. As you approach the town, you’ll get by a little church recalling the royal wedding of Teodolinda and Autari. Right before getting to Rovereto, you’ll meet Castel Beséno, overlooking the Adige plane and the passageway into the Folgaria plateau. Rather than a castle, this is a group of feudal buildings encircled by walls of almost 250 metres length and some 100 metres large. The current look of Castel Beséno dates from the 16th Century, but the medieval fortress was erected on top of a previous prehistoric core. The building bears the marks of its subsequent dwellers, who built trails, towers, spiral staircases, traps, weapon-pits and had some rooms decorated with frescoed paintings. The castle belonged do the Trapp household almost 500 years long, and was donated to the Province of Trent (that directed the restoration of the castle) during the 1970s.
You’ll get to Rovereto from the Northern outskirts, after going by Castel Pietra (recalled by Macchiavelli in 1508) and across Volano (fine church dedicated to St. Rocco, entirely frescoed in the 16th Century). The town centre boasts ancient origins: it reportedly dates from the Iron Age, then was conquered by the Romans and subsequently by German tenants in the Middle Ages. The town walls were erected by the Castelbarco family (13th-14th Centuries); later on the town belonged to Venice (1416-1509), whose presence is witnessed by the castle (now housing a war museum) and the church of St. Marco (1462). During the following centuries, Rovereto almost became the Tridentine intellectual capital (with three music chapels, the Accademia degli Agiati, and several celebrities such as Tartarotti, Vannetti, A. Rosmini, R. Zandonai; in 1769 young W. A. Mozart played two concerts here). The silk industry prospered in town for almost four centuries, and was coupled by the paper industry during the 18th Century. Rovereto is still the centre of a quite important industrial area.
Beside the buildings described above (that were damaged by the bombardments of the First and Second World Wars), the 19th century palaces (particularly Palazzo Rosmini), Teatro Zandonai, the Valbuse, the Galleria Museo Depero and the Civic Museum, as well as the church of the Carmine are also worth seeing. Three kilometres far from the centre, on the Miravalle hill, is located the so called “Campana dei caduti” (the fallen soldiers’ bell) (weighing 2.26 tons, 3.36 m high and with a 3.21 m large opening; car park along the opposite avenue).

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