Town in the province of Trento and the main centre of Alta Valsugana area, Pergine Valsugana (Persen or Fersen im Suganertal in German) is a municipality located at the mouth of the Valley of Fersina, third in the province by population. The territories of Pergine are rich in lakes and rivers, between which to remember is: Lake Caldonazzo, source of the River Brenta.
The origins of the town's name are uncertain: according to Giuseppe Andrea Montebello, it derives from Fersina, while according to Bartolomeo Malfatti, from "pergo" (fortress, high place) and, finally, according to Ernesto Lorenzi from "pergamo" (height).
Thanks to archaeological finds, unearthed in the hills surrounding the area of Pergine, it is possible to attest that the first settlements date back to Prehistoric times. After the Rhaetian war, the Valsugana region was conquered by the Roman Empire that, here, built the military road entitled to Claudia Augusta Altinate, which, at the times, connected Trento with Altino. Pergine is mentioned for the first time in a written document dated 845. Since 1027, although legally it belonged to the Prince Bishop of Trento from the ecclesiastical point of view, it was linked to the Bishop of Feltre until 1786. In 1815 the territory of the former principality of Trento was entirely absorbed into the Austro-Hungarian Empire, from which it gained its autonomy only after the First World War.
Sites of Interest:
- the Archaeological area of Montesei of Serso, where the remains of Rhaetian houses, dating from the 450 B.C., were brought to light, together with various ornaments and inscriptions;
- the Castle of Pergine, currently privately owned, dominates a large part of Valsugana, from the top of hill Tegazzo. The earliest documented records date back to 845 and, because of its strategic location, the town, over the centuries, was besieged and set on fire several times. From the XVI century, ceased its military role, the building was transformed into a patrician residence;
- the Church of the Convent of the Franciscan Friars, built in the early XX century and designed by architect Ciani from Trento. The façade is similar to the one of the church of San Babila in Milan.
- the XVI century Church of Santa Maria, in late Gothic style, built on the remains of a pre-existing XII century church;
- the Church of San Carlo, documented since 1339;
- the Church of St. Anthony, of which there are documented traces since the XI century, was gradually submerged by debris due to frequent floods, which explains why, at the end of XV century, on the existing church (now its crypt) was built the present one;
- the Church of St. Elizabeth in Baroque style;
- the Church of San Rocco;
- the frescoed building at number 39 of Via Maier;
- the ex-mill Chimelli Gavazzi, built in just 100 days in 1832;
- other important buildings (Palazzo Tomelin, the City Hall, Palazzo Gramatica, the former Hotel Cavaletto, the Renaissance buildings of Via Maier, Palazzo Montel, the Canopi building, Palazzo Hippoliti, Palazzo Gentili-Crivelli, Palazzo a Prato);
- Spiaz de le Oche;
- the fortifications;
- the several votive Chapels and Holy Crosses;
- Lake Caldonazzo and the small lakes of the Pergine area.