Trento, the ancient Latin Tridentum, is located in the Adige river valley, and is the capital of the region and of the autonomous province of Trento.
The city owes much of its unique history to its position along the main communication route between Italy and Northern Europe and to the Adige river which prior to its diversion in the 19th century ran through the center of the city.
The Adige river was formerly a navigable river and one of the main commercial routes in the Alps. Today Trento thrives on services, tourism, high-quality agriculture and food industry, a small but renowned university, and as logistics and transportation hub.
Originally a Celtic city, Trento was later conquered by the Romans in the first Century BC. In 1027, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Conrad II, created the Prince-Bishop of Trento, who held both temporal and religious powers. Prince bishops ruled Trento until Napoleon conquered the city in 1801. In 1814 Trento was assigned to the Habsburg Empire. Trento became famous for the Council of Trent (1545-1563) which gave rise to the Counter-Reformation.
During the late 19th Century Trento and Trieste, Italian cities still belonging to the Austrians, became icons of the national unification movement. The nationalist cause led Italy into World War I. The region was greatly affected during the war, and some of its fiercest battles were fought on the surrounding mountains. After the war, Trento and the surrounding region, whose inhabitants are in vast majority Italian-speaking, was given to Italy, where it belongs to date.
Eight centuries of Prince-Bishop rulers, relative independence from the rest of Europe and a strong sense of communal fate left a distinctive mark on the city's culture, which is dominated by a progressive Social-Catholic political orientation.