Castles near Trento, Italy

So... the City of Trento in northern Italy has four castles open for touring. Each one has a different flavor and all four of them are worth a visit. Three of them do require a rental car. One can be accessed from the train station in Trento. All four castles share a hosted website:
http://www.buonconsiglio.it/ Because these castles are a bit off the beaten path they seldom have crowds and frequently we are the only non-Italians on the tours. This does not mean that they are unready for English speakers. On the contrary, the castles are working hard to provide their audio guides in Italian, German and English. Everyone has a favorite and mine is Castel Beseno. It is basically a huge medieval fortress set atop a volcanic plug. The castle has been under reconstruction since the Trentino government acquired it many years ago. I think that real restoration started in the 1980's. Now you can walk the ramparts, watch a great short movie regarding the fortifications, and this summer (2012) see a great, great, (Did I say great?) display of armor.

Posted by Sharon
Caldogno, Italy
3 posts

My daughter likes Castel Thun (look for the town of Ton on your GPS or map) and it has a nice (if a bit campy) audio guide that I would say is well worth the price. Also on a hill, be prepared to hike a bit uphill to get to this one. This is more of a manor house, but was once a fortified castle with cannons and such. There are two movies usually showing here. Skip the one with the talking people and enjoy the one with the digitized graphics. Even though it is all in Italian, you can just watch the pictures and enjoy. The Thun family got involved in Catholic Church politics and had three family members ed (elected?) to be Prince Archbishops. Don't miss the Prince Archbishop's bedroom on the top floor. Wow! Castel Buonconsiglio in Trento is also lovely, and features a beautiful tower, Torre Aquila (Eagle's Tower) which has a cycle of paintings that show the months of the year (small extra charge for the tower). Very cool and it comes with an audio guide. The last, and most remote of the castles, is Castel Stenico. This one has all kinds of goodies, including a beautiful view of a waterfall, a collection of bells, another collection of strong boxes and locks and keys, and other goodies. Stenico isn't quite as spectacular as you approach it from the parking lot, but the views from the windows are quite spectacular. Stenico requires some winding mountain road driving so be prepared for that. Admission to each of the castles is 6 Euro, but for 12 Euro you can buy a pass that works for all 4 castles within a one year time span. A great two day visit would be 2 castles on day one, and 2 castles on day two. Spend the night in Trento or in one of the mountain areas near Thun or Stenico. Check the website above for special events. Enjoy.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9076 posts

"My daughter likes Castel Thun (look for the town of Ton on your GPS or map) and it has a nice (if a bit campy) audio guide that I would say is well worth the price." Damn, I was staying all week in Val di Rabbi, and I drove by that several times. If I had internet access, I would have gone with your recommendation.

Posted by Sharon
Caldogno, Italy
3 posts

Sorry that I didn't post in time for your trip. Know that the castles will still be there and they are great to plan a weekend around. Enjoy!