19 November 2020

The app developed within the PURE European project, in which Fondazione Bruno Kessler is a partner, allows users to immerse themselves in 1500s Trento

(v.l.) A walk in Trento as it was 500 years ago in the company of a guide from the past who helps you discover the lesser-known places of great historical interest in the town.

That is the immersive experience made possible by the “Hidden Trento” app, developed as part of the European  PURE (PUblic REnaissance) research project in which the Italian-German Historical Institute at Fondazione Bruno Kessler is a partner.

Available in Italian, English and German, the app can be downloaded for free on your smartphone (from App Store and Google Play) and used both while actually walking through the streets of the town and to take a virtual tour from home. Routes are supported by a current satellite map which alternates with a splendid map of 1562-1563. The most exciting part are the stories, created by professional historians, which provide extra content for each point along the route.

In the first walking tour, the user is accompanied by Ursula, a virtual guide who, in the role of a German landlady of the past, illustrates her daily life and invites tolearn more about the culture of public spaces, also through objects preserved in museums and in local libraries. In this way, for example, the user will find out which documents foreigners had to show in Trento, which structures existed for welcoming and accommodating travelers, where the German community resided in the city and in which public places they met.

At each stop, in addition to Ursula’s voice, a user can access more information, both written and narrated by the historians who created “Hidden Trento”, that will enable them to find out more about objects that can be seen in museums or directly in the streets, such as the signs of ancient German taverns, public announcements, works of art and civic devotion or the bars of ancient urban prisons.

While “Hidden Trento” was being developed, so were other apps within the PURE project, for the European cities of Valencia, Hamburg, Exeter and Deventer. The apps are supported by the portal where it is possible to further explore the contents and expand the virtual tour with information on documents, books and works of art.

“Hidden Trento”, explains Massimo Rospocher, researcher at the FBK Italian-German Historical Institute and scientific director of the project, “just like the sister apps developed for other European cities, is a public history experiment that, through digital technology, intends to offer users the opportunity to try an immersive experience in urban history, inviting them to discover traces of Renaissance public spaces in the cities in which we live. The app was created in partnership with other Trento based cultural and public institutions, in order to connect the spaces narrated to the cultural heritage of Trentino. Further development is underway to implement in 2021 a second urban route dedicated to the Council of Trento, thanks to the support and collaboration of the city’s public institutions. The app, in addition to being a tool for tourists and citizens, has great potential for educational purposes for schools, universities, museums and cultural associations”..

Hidden Trento, modeled after the well-known Hidden Florence app, is the result of the three-year research project Public Renaissance: Urban Cultures of Public Space between Early Modern Europe and the Present (2019-2022), funded by Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA). The research organizations involved are: University of Exeter, Italian-German Historical Institute (Fondazione Bruno Kessler), University of Groeningen, Universidad Católica de Valencia, Universitat de València, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.

Hidden Trento and all Hidden Cities apps are produced and developed by Calvium, an UK based tech company.

The Hidden Trento app can be downloaded for free from the Apple Store and Google Play.


Research team

Massimo Rospocher (FBK-ISIG), project manager

Alessandro Paris (FBK-ISIG)

Enrico Valseriati (FBK-ISIG)

Serena Luzzi (University of Trento)

Rosa Salzberg (University of Warwick)


Museum partners:

Catello del Buonconsiglio. Monuments and provincial collections

Museo Diocesano Tridentino

Rhe Italian Historical War Museum

Per via. Museo Tesino delle Stampe e dell’Ambulantato

Municipal Library of Trento


In partnership with:

Municipality of Trento, Department of Culture, Tourism and Youth Policies

Chamber of Commerce of Trento

APT Tourist Office Trento, Monte Bondone, Valle dei Laghi

Digital Communication and Big Events Unit – FBK




Hidden Cities website:

Progetto PURE – Public Renaissance presso ISIG-FBK:

Hidden Florence:


Ursula image:

Fondazione Brescia Musei, Pinacoteca Tosio-Martinengo

Contacts (additional material and interviews):

Project manager: Massimo Rospocher, [email protected]

Italian-German Historical Institute, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, via Santa Croce 77, I-38122, Trento