Trento is a prosperous, cosmopolitan university town that retains an architectural charm befitting its historical importance. It was here, from 1545 to 1563, that the structure of the Catholic Church was redefined at the Council of Trent. This was the starting point of the Counter-Reformation, which brought half of Europe back to Catholicism. The word consiglio (council) appears everywhere in Trento—in hotel, restaurant, and street names, and even on wine labels.
Today the Piazza del Duomo remains splendid, and its enormous medieval palazzo dominates the city landscape in virtually its original form. The 24-hour Trentino Card (www.visittrentino.it) is given free to hotel guests, and grants admission to one museum as well as all public transportation. Non–hotel guests can make use of the 48-hour Museum Pass (€22), which allows unlimited access to all sights in Trento and Rovereto as well as free public transportation in Trentino (www.museumpass.it). It can be bought at tourist offices or participating museums, and can even be converted into a three-month card for no extra charge.