Second largest city for population density in the province of Trento, Rovereto (Rofreit in German) is a small city located only a few kilometers from Lake Garda, in the Vallagarina area, nestled between hills and vineyards. From an urban perspective Rovereto retains the features typical of the medieval village, with houses that are built around a castle, all protected by a thick fortified wall.
The name originates from the Roman word "Roboretum" or "forest of oaks" (with reference to this type of tree, widespread in the area and in entire Europe and from the Latin word "robor": "strength").
In the XII century it was a possession of the Lords of Lizzana, later ceded to the Castelbarco and, in 1416, it became part of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, who encouraged the cultivation of mulberry trees and the rearing of silkworms, becoming a driving force for the future economic development of the area. It later submitted a period of Austrian domain and became part of Tyrol. During this period a series of mills and factories were built, as well as noble villas, academies and literary circles, that gave way to an economic, cultural and social growth. Occupied by Napoleon at the end of XVI century, Rovereto was later annexed to the Kingdom of Italy, to return to Austria after the Congress of Vienna and become seat of a Captaincy and remained under the Austrian flag until the end of the First World War.
Rovereto is a splendid city of art, rich in museums and monuments, suitable for both art lovers as well as lovers of the sport, thanks to the several bike paths, which lead to Lake Garda and the nearby ski slopes Brentwood Polsa-San Valentino and Folgaria.
It is also known as the City of Peace, for the presence of the Peace Bell, casted from the bronze of the cannons of the nations that participated in World War I and every evening, its 100 strokes, commemorate the dead of all wars spreading a message of peace and hope.
Sites of Interest:
- the Castle of Rovereto was built in the XIV century by the Castelbarco, located near the River Leno. It is also known Castle Veneto and is one of the most complete and interesting fortifications in Trentino. Turned into a military fortress by the Venetians, it was subdued by the Austrians, who held it until the First World War;
- the Church of San Giovanni in Borgo Sacco, a fine example of Baroque art, which was first mentioned in the XIII century, enlarged in the XVI century and demolished in the XVII century (with the exception of the sacristy and the bell tower). Later rebuilt;
- the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte, features a Baroque-Rococo-style façade, which was rebuilt in the early XVII century: inside are preserved numerous votive shrines and a fresco of the Madonna and Child by an unknown author;
- the XV century Church of St. Marco, in whose façade stands a stone statue featuring the Lion of San Marco. Severely damaged during World War I, it was restored with the contribution of the Italian Government. The façade was renovated by the architect Mario Kiniger in 1950. It features a single nave plan with side chapels on the left hand side, which propose nine XVIII century marble altars. The churches organ is famous as Mozart played here his first concert in Italy;
- the home of Antonio Rosmini, a World-renowned philosopher;
- the military memorial of Casteldante;
- the many noble buildings (Casa dei Turchi, the Praetorian Palace, Palace Piomarta, Palazzo Todesci-Micheli);
- the Italian State Tobacco Factory;
- the Academy of Agiati;
- the Municipal Theatre, entitled to Riccardo Zandonai and built in 1783;
- the MART (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto), with a portfolio of more than 30,000 works, including paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures. Among them it is possible to admire masterpieces by Depero, De Chirico, Balla, Morandi, Fontana and other international artists such as Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Anselm Kiefer and a series of contemporary experiments of the more recent generations;
- the Italian War History Museum, which is housed in the Castle of Rovereto;
- the Civic Museum;
- the Commemorative Bell on the hill Miravalle.