Monday, January 12, 2009
Conversations with the Bishop's Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Nephew
One of my best friends in Trento, Gio, is the last surviving heir of the 16th Century Prince-Bishop of Trento, Bernardo Clesio. The castle Buonconsiglio, just around the corner from my house, used to be his official residence.
Bernardo Clesio was, as a Catholic Bishop, sworn to celebecy, so he had no children. But Gio is descended from Bishop Clesio's brother's line; Bernardo Clesio is Gio's great Uncle, going back 13 generations.
Gio and I went out for a pint last night and talked for a bit about the history of Trento. He gave me a guided tour of the town, explaining the influence of Bernardo Clesio on the various buildings we passed. Apparently, Trento used to have canals like Venice - but the Bishop disliked how filthy the water was, so he had them drained.
Bishop Clesio was perhaps most famous for organising the Council of Trent, which took place in Trento's Cathedral and led directly to the Catholic counter-reformation.
The Wikipedia page for Bishop Clesio is pretty spartan - so Gio and I thought we might try and add a bit more detail to it.