Traveller's Guide to Trieste and its Riviera - Southern Europe

TRAVELLER'S GUIDE TO TRIESTE AND ITS RIVIERA - SOUTHERN EUROPE  

 

Webcam Trieste Weather and Climate

Astonishing landscapes, aqua blue waters and beautiful beaches. Trieste and its Riviera

 

Trieste and Riviera - Beach of Dama Bianca

Crystal clear waters in Trieste 

 

The Health's Ministry has declared two beaches of the  Riviera  of Trieste among the eight unique beaches in the whole of Italy  with uncontamined water quality: Punta Sottile and Miramare.                  More >

Badestrand Sirena (Grignano)

> Guide to textile and nude beaches 

 

 

The bathing season opens on 15 May and closes on 30 September for all bathing areas, without exception.

 

Gardens / Paths Gastronomy
Trieste has some wonderful gardens and Paths which are well worth a visit during your stay.
More >
A guide to  the gastronomic delights of Trieste.
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Guided Tours Itineraries
Indulge yourself with guided tours of places of interest in and around Trieste.
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Some suggested travel itineraries on which to base your visit to Trieste. With travel and transport guides to the various legs of the itinerary.
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Maps Naturism - Fkk
A series of road maps for each of the major provinces of Trieste.
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Information about naturist resorts and clubs in Trieste.
More >

 

 

Trieste has attracted so many writers, artists and musicians.

Irish novelist James Joyce wrote A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man here, and drafted much of his masterpiece Ulysses, between 1904 and 1915.

You can trace his footsteps in a specially prepared itinerary, though I think it's more fun to sit in one of his favourite cafes, the Caffe Stella Polare, and imagine him sitting opposite you.

You can also retrace the footsteps of his novelist friend Italo Svevo, born in the city in 1861 and who died here in 1928, a man who charted the sexual passions that lurked behind the facade of this only too bourgeois city.

 


Bed & Breakfast  in Duino Sistiana (Trieste)

 B&B Adria

 

 Sistiana 59/V    I 34019 Duino 

 

 Riviera di Trieste - Tel.+39 328 09 77 182


 

www.adriasistiana.altervista.org

 

adriasistiana@libero.it

 


Boat Services

 

TRIESTE - BARCOLA - CASTLE MIRAMARE - SISTIANA - MUGGIA - DUINO - GRADO 

 

 

Grignano MiramareMuggia

 

 

 

The charms and flavors of a city full of tradition with an idyllic setting in a limestone nook on the northeast tip of the Adriatic Sea.

 

The frontier city. The door to the South and East. Located in the far northeastern corner of the country, Trieste is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.

 

HOLIDAYS IN TRIESTE 

 

 

Culture, atmosphere, and a particular middle-European charm make this city today an unicum of its kind. Declared a free port in the 1700s, an indispensable outlet on the sea for the Habsburg Empire, it soon became the destination of merchants, entrepreneurs and adventurers from all around the world, and began to acquire the characteristics of a true cosmopolitan city. 

 

 

The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 brought the city closer to the Indies and the far East. In the beginning of the 1900s, Joyce, Svevo, Stuparich and Saba were just some of the most famous regular visitors to its literary cafés.
 


 
It was a literary and cultural center in the 20th century (opera stars and literati spent much time here) and having been owned by the Austrian/Hungarian Hapsburgs, the town has quite a Viennese influence and style.

It truly is the crossroads of Central Europe and the South. With all of these influences, the town has some grand squares, palazzi and churches….it’s pretty in a worn type of way — elegant — like your grandmother.

Add to that the port flavor and Trieste becomes more interesting and more beautiful.

 The main square in the lower section of town is the Piazza Grande. It is here that you see the Viennese cafes, the Palazzo del Governo, Palazzo del Comune (town hall) with its clock tower and the offices of the Triestino shipping line…..all opening on to the port and sea.

 

Trieste - Piazza Vittorio Veneto - foto Zorzenoni

 

All of these buildings were built in the 19th century. It’s a grand piazza, said to be the largest in Italy. The promenade is a fine place to take a stroll.

Your next stop should be the upper town, Colle di San Giusto (views from up here are really terrific).

A tram or taxi can get you there quickly or you can walk up (I usually taxi up and walk back down to the harbor).

At the top of the hill (Piazza Cattedrale) is the Castello di San Giusto (15th century). The castle is pretty and you can roam the grounds (great views) or go inside to the museum, which offers a collection of arms, armory and other period items.

 

 

The Basilica di San Giusto is really two churches that were joined in the 14th century from earlier churches dating back to the 1st and 5th centuries.

The Basilica has several styles including Roman and Byzantine. Inside you should check out the frescoes depicting San Giusto (St. Justus/Just, the town’s patron saint), the mosaics and the lovely rose window. If you climb the campanile you’ll be rewarded with great views.

 

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TOURISTIC  BUS

Trieste by Bus is a simple way 
to discover the city, with departure and arrival at the Main Railway Station. 


This coach tour of Trieste will lead you to see most of the city's main monuments. 

The 
tour includes a 30minutes stop at the hill of San Giusto ,where you will have 
the possibility of admiring the wonderful view on the town or of visiting the castle 
and the cathedral.

2 hours 30 min. -5,30 €  

 

Kaffee Pause in Trieste

 

You can get cappuccino all over Italy. What makes Trieste so special?
Passion and expertise. The average Triestine drinks twice as much coffee per year as other people – which means they're drinking around 10kg each.Today, she's the leading coffee port in the Mediterranean; the hometown of Illy caffè and supplier of more than 40 per cent of Italy's coffee. It's one of the few places in the world where you'll find every cog in the coffee-industry wheel: importers, wholesalers, purifiers, roasters, dealers, tasters, not to mention torrefazioni (fresh coffee shops) and hundreds of cafés.

Trieste and the bean go back a long way?


More than 200 years. In 1719, cunning Charles VI of Austria declared the city, then a part of the Hapsburg empire, a duty- and tax-free port. Suddenly Trieste was everybody's favourite anchorage and, Austrians being notorious caffeine addicts, coffee was one of their biggest imports. The industry took root here, followed by some of Europe's finest coffee houses.

 


There are many destinations along the narrow coastal road, with its hairpin turns and tunnels that plough right through the steep sharp rock. Well-known Miramare appears and departs on your left.  Let the whitewashed castle pass behind you and a glimpse of Duino's own castle will appear in the distance. 

 

 

 

Nestled between green hills, white cliffs and a clear-blue sea, Trieste is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy which has always been internationally acclaimed for its rich history, cultural heritage and particular middle-European charm which have merged over the centuries to create an atmosphere simply unique to Trieste.

 

 

Today Trieste is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with many things to see and do.

 

 

City highlights include:

- Ancient Roman remains and a pleasant old town

- The castle and the cathedral of San Giusto

- An elegent seafront with stunning neoclassical palazzi

- Piazza Unità d'Italia

- The cosmopolitan Theresian district

- Historical literary cafés

 

Attractions in the surroundings include:

- The imperial castle of Miramare

- The Tram of Opicina and the Carso highlands

- The Giant Cave

- The castle of Duino and Rilke's promenade

- Rosandra Valley

 

 

 

Trieste first flourished as a Roman colony.

In the 13th century, its rulers opted to join the Austrian Empire, rather than paying fealty to the Republic of Venice 70 miles to the west.

 

 

 

In 1719, Trieste was declared a free port, and for centuries it thrived as a center of international commerce and culture. Banks and insurance companies built grand headquarters.

 

Artists and writers flocked here, and Trieste became a destination of distinction.

 

 

Trieste is one of the few cities nestled right between the mountains and the sea. The rugged hill area, the Carso, rises up close to the city and is composed mostly of calcareous rock which quickly leaves way to the more welcoming mediterranean climate of the coast.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

PANORAMIC CABLE TRAMWAY

This old rail system was opened in 1902 and has become part of local folklore, there are even local traditional songs about it. 

 

VILLA REVOLTELLA

 

 

A lovely park on the city's outskirts where you can take a walk and at the same time admire the lovely villa that belonged in the 19th century to Baron Pasquale Revoltella, a patron of art and culture. Like an alpine chalet and with its two floors, it was in this lovely building, which can no longer be visited, that the Baron spents his days relaxing. In the garden between a lovely fountain and a basket ball pitch popular among young people, you can also find the stables and Revoltella's private chapel, dedicated to the holy Spaniard Pasquale Baylon and where the remains of the Baron still lay. Inside the church, there are several neo-gothic style features to be admired.

ENCHANTING TRIESTE

 

Trieste has many charms and two faces. One is a modern city facing forward, the other, an identity that looks back and preserves the past for the benefit of the increasing tourism trade that now plays a significant part in the local economy. 

Historically and culturally, Trieste is a magical city.

 From its theatrical and musical presentations to the historic cafés with their many gastronomic delights; it can be said that Trieste is truly an international city.Trieste is tucked up in the top corner of Mediterranean sea,  its geographical position once again ideal for the markets of central and southern Europe.

Today, Trieste is a great place to unwind and enjoy yourself with plenty of opportunities for sightseeing and relaxing.

The coast to the west of the city offers a variety of sandy beaches and the rocky shore in the suburb of Barcola is often used by the locals as a place to enjoy the sun. Further inland from Trieste is the Grotta Gigante, which is the largest accessible cave in the world.

 

 

 

British writers have had their love affair with the city, too - after all, it was to Trieste that Sir Richard Burton, most dangerous of all 19th-century diplomats, whose sexual writing had scandalised Victorian England, was dispatched as consul in 1872.

The translator of an unexpurgated version of The Arabian Nights, Burton died here in 1890. His wife burned the two volumes of his translation of The Scented Garden in an effort to protect his memory.

Sigmund Freud, who also lived here, would have understood - as might Lord Lucan, who is said to have worked in the city's aquarium after his disappearance in 1974.

 

Escape is another of the themes at the very heart of this city. Concentration camp commandant Adolf Eichmann escaped by way of Trieste after the Nazi defeat.

But on a lighter note, composer Joseph Haydn named a symphony after the city, novelist Joseph Conrad wrote admiringly about its dockers and Thomas Mann wrote part of Buddenbrooks at the Hotel de Ville.

However, another of the city's great attractions lies in the character of the people. They have a gentleness that is rare in cities.

Joyce maintained he had never met such kindness anywhere else, and composer Gustav Mahler called them 'terribly nice'.

 

Built on the rugged hillside above its beautiful port and the dramatic Adriatic coastline, Trieste is famous for it's marvelous seafood and Vienna-like coffeehouses.

But there is much more to enjoy in this marvelous mediterranean city which was once a part of the Austro-Hungarian Hapsburg Empire.

The city has several museums, theatres and places of interest all within easy reach of each other. The food in the area is fantastic with numerous cafes and restaurants offering an abundance of seafood, local cheeses, excellent wines and rich coffees.

"Trieste on an autumn evening suggests the work of those English Victorian painters who specialized in seaports at the end of the day, with pale gaslight shining on wet pavements, and pub windows dimly illuminated."

 If you can find it on your map, it’s worth the trouble getting to, though once you’re there you may never want to leave.

 

CRUISE CALLS IN TRIESTE  

cunard

Costa Crociere

Thomson Cruises 

Cunard Line

Seadream Yacht Club

Hebridean Island Cruises

Louis Cruise Lines

Silversea Lines

Holiday Kreuzfahrten

Crystal Cruises

 

Costa Crociere will use Trieste as a homeport for one of its ships next summer. The ship, as yet unnamed, will depart from the Adriatic port every week on a seven-day itinerary still to be finalised.

‘Every year we try to offer our guests new ports of call of cultural, artistic and naturalistic interest: Trieste is a fascinating and beautiful city that certainly meets all these requirements. In addition, because of its geographic location and history, Trieste is a privileged access port for many countries: besides Italy, we are also focusing on Germany and East Europe with regard to our company’s future development,’ commented Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and ceo of Costa.

 

TOUR OF CURCHES AND RELIGIONS 

 



 
Being a melting pot of races and religions, Trieste has inevitably become a centre with many creeds, many religions. In the Borgo Teresiano is the Neobyzantine-styled Serbian Orthodox Chiesa di San Spiridione (San Spiridione's Church), built in 1868 near the impressive and sober Catholic Chiesa di Sant'Antonio Taumaturgo (1840), a Neoclassical hexastyle construction by Pietro Nobile which, in the upper part of its façade, has a balaustrade decorated with statues by Antonio Bosa, from the school of Canova. The Greek Orthodox Chiesa di San Nicolò in Riva The Novembre dates back to the late XVIII century. Though in the Neoclassical style, it is extremely simple outside and wonderfully decorated inside. The Evangelical church of Largo Panfili, built on a design by architect Zimmermann from Elbing about 1874, is in the Neogothic style. Then in Via San Francesco is the Tempio Israelitico (Israelite Temple), finished in 1912. It is based on Syrian patterns and is oriented along the East-West axis, in accordance with the Jewish tradition. It is one of the most important Israelite temples in Europe.

While living in Trieste, Joyce wrote most of the stories in Dubliners, turned Stephen Hero into A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and began Ulysses. Echoes and influences of Trieste are rife throughout Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.

 

Mediterranean Smoothness

The Rilke's Promenade

Astonishing, and  easily attained views of the coast await. From the piazza ask directions for the coastal road, where before  Duino  there's an entrance through the trees to the Sentiero Rilke, a path named after the early twentieth-century German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who was the best-known walker of this cliff path.

Rainer Maria Rilke's great cycle of ten elegies named after the castle on the Adriatic had its inception, according to Rilke's host at Castle Duino, Maria von Thurn und Taxis-Hohenlohe, on the morning of January 21, 1912. Interrupted by the First World War, the cycle of ten elegies was completed only a decade later.
The two great complementary poem cycles, Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus, are not only the result of an extraordinary kind of contact with the unseen world; they are an attempt to understand that world, and to understand it in its holistic relationship to the visible. tangible, world. 

 

 

According to National Geographic this is one of the most beautiful Promenades of the world.

Running on the top of a perpendicular shoreless cliff on the sea and reaching the castle of Duino is a meaningful example of the Mediterranean smoothness.
The path has been named after the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who wrote his Elegies to Duino (Duineser Elegien) during his long staying in the castle.A footpath along the white cliffs, "towering against the sea, like foothills of human existence," as the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke put it.

 

>> WALKS  WITH A VIEW ALONG THE TRIESTINE RIVIERA

 

THE GIANT GROTTO

At Borgo Grotto Gigante, just below Villa Opicina, there is a huge cavern filled with some amazing ‘organ pipe’ formations and tall columns of stalagmites. These caves are known as Grotto Gigante or Giant Cave and are open every day apart from Mondays. In July and August, the caves Are open seven days a week.

First open to the public on July 5, 1908, it's the largest cave visited by tourists in the world, and it is managed by the oldest speleological association ever (Società Alpina delle Giulie).

 But there is one more record: two geodetic pendulums, measuring 105 metres in lenght, hang from the top, and they are the longest in the world. The vast central space might contain St. Peter's cathedral !!!

Owing to the heighth, falling water drops disintegrate, giving shape to the characteristic 'dish-pile' stalagmites.
A new footroute allowsthe visitor to admire the cave from unexpected and fascinating points of view. In the speleological museum by the cave, rocks and minerals typical of the Carso and its caves are exhibited, as well as animalsand prehistoric objects found in karstic caves, and old and modern speleological equipment.

 

CLIMATE

 

 The triestine Riviera  is the only  area of northeastern Italy that particularly benefits from a Mediterranean climate. You can expect to enjoy long, hot summers with warm nights, ideal for spending as much time outdoors as possible.  Although  the  occasional presence of the Bora wind, this can provide a welcome breeze in summer, and even in winter temperatures can be milder than elsewhere in northern Italy.

Wedged between the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the Alps to the north, the triestine Riviera has a Mediterranean temperate, maritime climate.

Climate is dry, absolutely free of fog and without any excess, with a statistical average of 2480 sunny hours during 300 sunny or partially sunny days in a year.

Snow and frost are uncommon.

Temperatures in late Spring are on average mild enough to enable comfortable swimming from  May (20°).
You can expect average sea temperatures in autumn be slightly higher so that swimming in the Mediterranean can be enjoyed until mid October (21°).

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

Mai

Jun

WMO

6.5

7.4

10.4

13.8

19.0

22.6

  Weather Station Trieste Porto

Jul

Aug

Sep

Okt

Nov

Dez

 

24.9

25.4

20.9

16.5

11.6

8.1

 Lat: 45.38'

 Long: 13.45'

   Average Year's Temperature 15,6 ° 

 

The Mediterranean climate  physically manifests itself through the presence of olive trees for they only grow in areas with hot summers and mild winters. You will notice that the production of olive oil is  important  and for this reason olive groves are numerous. You may even find one in your garden.

 

Most of the year, the coastline enjoys a mild and sunny Trieste's climate. In winter, it rarely freezes, though it can rain quite a lot in March-April and October-November. One important reason why Trieste's climate is beneficial, is that it is seldom, or never, cold and wet at the same time. When the weather is cold, it is with north wind, and the air is dry. When the air is moist, south wind prevails, and the temperature is mild. Sunscreen is a necessity in the hot, dry Mediterranean summer.

Average highs rise to around 80 F (27 C) by June, July and August, the warmest months. Heat waves can send the mercury into the 90s (32 C), although stifling heat is rare, thanks to the cooling effect of the sea breeze.

Autumn has generally pleasant temperatures, but rainfall begins to pick up markedly. October and November are normally the rainiest months of the year. Winters are generally mild and sunny.
This pleasant weather on the Mediterranean is sometimes interrupted by very changeable cold and blustery weather brought by a northerly wind called the Mistral in French Provence and Bora on the Adriatic.

The Northern wind can bring unseasonably cold weather on the Mediterranean for a few days in Winter and early spring.

 

>> THE CLIMATE OF THE TRIESTINE RIVIERA

 

GRADO

  THE ISLAND OF    SUN

Grado, an island in the middle of a lagoon connected to the mainland by two bridges, has two faces: that of the modern and well-known seaside resort, with its hotels, long avenues full of elegant shops and carefully cleaned and tidy beaches, and the older part, the historic centre with its small houses, century old churches and narrow streets and which immediately remind you of Venice's smaller canals and alleys.

 

>>  Sunny Island of Grado

 SHOPPING TIME 

There are about 4500 shops, 6 department stores and  2 huge  shopping malls in downtown Trieste.

The Borgo Teresiano - the grid-pattern, neo-classical city center named after Empress Maria Theresa - is where Trieste's uninspiring shopping opportunities are concentrated. In the Old Town forget about shoes and clothes and concentrate on coffee and second-hand books - two commodities which the city specializes. One which is so famous as to feature on the city council tourist trail is the Libreria Antiquaria Umberto Saba in Via San Nicolas 30. Set up by the city's most famous poet in 1919, it still retains the musty, order-through-chaos atmosphere of a true bibliophile's den. James Joyce lived with wife Nora and two kids in a flat above, though he and Saba never met. 

Even if you haven't got the espresso machine with you, a bag of freshly-ground coffee is a great traveling companion; try the CremCaffè, an old-fashioned torrefazione (coffee roaster) on Piazza Goldoni, where you can also pick up a set of limited edition Illy coffee cups (the design changes every year). The old town, between Piazza Grande and the hill of San Giusto, is dotted with second-hand bookshops. 

During the year, there are numerous Markets and Fairs in the city. On the third Sunday of every month, the cities love for antiques reflected in the coming together of over 60 or so antique shops, jewelers and second-hand dealers offering Art Nouveau and Secession objects and furniture. Take a stroll through the street markets and pick up a few bargains!

Shopping Malls

Dont' miss a visit to The  Giulia (via Giulia) with over 60 shops bars and restaurant , and the Torri d'Europa (via Svevo) with over 120 shops, department stores, boutiques, cinemas and restaurants.

Like Marseilles and Miami, Trieste is not a city to which you go to see much of anything in particular but rather just to be there, to experience the pulse and rhythm of the place.

 

Department stores and a lot of shops and boutiques are open 7 days a week  generally  9 AM - 21 PM 

DUINO : CASTLES ON THE SEA

 

 

Trieste has a strong, proud tradition of literary life. The poet Rainer Maria Rilke ( the greatest German speaking poet of the past century)  spent an exquisite and celebrated period of creativity at Duino Castle, as the guest of the Princess Marie von Thurn und Taxis-Hohenlohe.

Her very name perhaps illustrates just how much the world has changed, and why something like The Duino Elegies is unlikely ever to be written again.The German poet arrived in 1912, a guest in this 'newer' castle perched above the Adriatic, owned then and now by the Turn und Taxis family. Built in the 15th century, to your right, vine-clad and seemingly fused to the rock, it appears to plunge into the sea near a little beach. On these cliffs, the poet began to write some of the most famous poems in the German language: the Duino Elegies.

 

  NOBLE CASTLES AND ROCKY BEACHES OF DUINO

 Nearby Attractions

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS

To get to know one of Italy’s most versatile regions, a "small digest of the universe" as the writer Ippolito Nievo defined Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

This varied region is characterized by different landscapes which go from the smooth hills of Collio to the picturesque Trieste coastline, from the middle-European architecture of Trieste to the graceful Venetian architecture of Udine and by different cultures, heritage of various invasions which marked history.

This variety can be savoured also by its rich cuisine together with its world known top white wines and its outstanding red ones.

 

Sissi in Trieste

 

Monument in memory of the Empress Elizabeth 

 

In memory of the consort of Francesco Giuseppe of Austria, this was built soon after her death in 1898. In 1907, the council decided to put this in the garden near the central railway station, and it was planned by the Viennese sculptor Franz Seifert. The work was opened five years later in December 1912. The monument consists of a bronze statue of the Empress and two marble figures depicting the homage of the people to the sovereign and an allegory of nature. Taken away in 1921, it was returned to the same square in October 1997.

More significant than a simple statue, Elisabetta, who was called Sissi, was loved by many of Trieste and considered as the sovereign of the city. Books, songs and television programmes are still dedicated to her today. Even the position of the statue was controversial as many demanded a different and more modern image of her.

Franz Josef und Sissi  im Schloss Miramar bei Triest

Sissi   loved  Trieste very much  and spent a lot of time at the Imperial Castle of Miramar.

"The sea is my father confessor, it restores my youth, for it removes from me all that is not myself"

"Eine Möve bin ich von keinem Land,
Meine Heimat nenne ich keinen Strand,
Mich bindet nicht Ort und nicht Stelle;
Ich fliege von Welle zu Welle."

Eugenie Amalie Elisabeth of Wittelsbach, known as Sissi, was born on Christmas Eve 1837, the daughter of Duke Maximilian and Duchess Ludovika in Bavaria. 

  

The Castle's Hill 

 

Upon the hill that dominate Trieste there are San Giusto Castle and San Giusto Cathedral. The Castle was built in 2 centuries,(1470 and 1630). In it is possible to notice the round Venetian bastion (1508-9), the Hoyos-Lalio bastion and the Pomis, or "Bastione fiorito" dated 1630. At present the Castle - in which several rooms, including the Sala Caprin, are open to the public - houses a Museum displaying historical weapons and is regularly used for the staging of exhibitions, events and, in the summer, open-air shows. A walk on the Castle ramparts and bastions gives a complete panorama of the city of Trieste. Next to it there is the Cathedral. His construction started in the 6th, was destroyed in the Lombard invasion. From the 9th to the 11th centuries two basilicas were erected on the ruins of the old church, the first dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption and the second to St. Just (San Giusto).

In the 14th century the 2 basilicas were joined by means of the demolition of one nave of either basilica and the construction of a simple asymmetrical façade, dominated by a delicately-worked Gothic rosette, as ornate as the new bell-tower, using the Romanesque stones found on the site and friezes of arms. 

 

   MIRAMARE

The Imperial Castle

 

 

Overlooking the Bay of Grignano, the gorgeous white stone Castello di Miramar graces the seafront just north of Trieste. In spite of it's strategic location, the castle was built purely as a family home and is devoid of defensive capabilities.

The Archduke Maximilian, brother of Franz Josef commissioned the building of this 19th century extravaganza. He married the Princess Charlotte of Belgium and they lived happily here, until Napoleon III of France took Trieste from the Hapsburgs. 

A Castle for Lovers, a Lovers' Castle

Bus 36 ( 0.80 € ) or boat line  2.70 €

The day we visited, a group of young school children were being given a tour by one of the docents and the children were delighted with the story of Maximilian and "Carlotta". All went well for the couple as they lived here at Miramar until he was given the title of Emperor of Mexico in 1864 and together they sailed to Mexico.  Unfortunately, his was not a good reign and he faced a firing squad in 1867.  

The castle is preserved in its original condition and reflections of Maximilian's love of the sea are everywhere. His wood paneled bedroom on the first floor was built to resemble the cabin of a ship and a glance from the window of any of the second floor rooms provides a spectacular view over the Bay of Grignano and the Adriatic beyond. His love for exotic places is displayed in the Chinese and Japanese salon. As you stand at the base of the circular staircase, if you look up, there is a glass-bottomed fishpond.  

Sadly, Carlotta returned to live out her days in Brussels; driven insane by the ordeal in Mexico. If the story sounds familiar, it was made into a movie "Juarez" starring Bette Davis.  It appears that Maximillian was a far better botanist than he was an emperor of Mexico! The magnificent park and gardens surrounding the castle were designed by Maximilian before his ill-fated voyage to Mexico.

 Formal gardens organize the outdoor space, and throughout the park's fifty-four acres are plant and tree species collected from every corner of the world—an anxious hoarding by a dying empire.

 As I wandered from room to room, I read a tale of insecure power in the castle's interior-design survey of history: the medieval stone walls, the heavy Baroque and neo-Renaissance furniture. This is Second Empire bombast, persuading itself of its legitimacy, dismissing the elegant restraint of Biedermeier.

 

Ideal for pleasant strolls, the Parco di Miramar includes a series of delightful walks above the Bay, manicured gardens, pavilions, a greenhouse and several ponds.

 Frequently, special exhibits of flowers, butterflies, and birds are also presented.

There is also an attractive cafe and shop in the upper garden area, which offers a pleasant stop for refreshments and people watching. The cafe is quite inexpensive and has a nice selection of luncheon menu items and a good variety of coffees and beverages. 

 

 

The "Monarchs' Salon",  is embellished with portraits of a King of Norway, the Emperor of Brazil, a Czar of Russia – anyone, no matter how fraudulent or despotic, as long as they're nominal monarchs. This softens you up for the bedroom and its images of the most important events in the history of this area, pride of place going to the construction of the castle, of course. Other rooms are paneled and furnished like a ship's quarters, reflecting Maximilian's devotion to the Austrian Navy.

The gardens are open daily in summer from 8 am to 7 pm and in winter from 8 am to 4 pm. 

For the full romantic treatment, in summer you can hear the entire sad story.

A son et lumière called "Miramar's Imperial Dream", performed as a light and sound show (luci e suoni)  at 9:30 and 10:45 pm  is performed beside the sea, with a regular performance in English;  check with the tourist office or the castle   tel 040.224.143   /   040 679 6111   for information on dates and times  for  English performances. 

Entry on concert night is approximately  $ 7 US.  

 

The Castle  located in a marvelous panoramic position on a rock foreland, is surrounded by a garden in Italian style, rich of rare essences. 

The biological characteristic of the cost, surrounding the foreland may be unique in the Mediterranean sea, it's a Natural Reserve .

There are a number of ways to get to Miramar, of which the simplest is to take the #36 bus from Piazza Oberdan .

Local Trains heading west from Trieste also stop, and in summer (25 April / 15 October)  there's a boat service from the harbor ( 2,70 € ) 

 

>>   CASTLE AND PARK OF MIRAMARE

 

 

 

GETTING TO TRIESTE

By train
You can reach Stazione di Trieste Centrale (Trieste Central Station) from all directions.

Stazione di Trieste Centrale
Piazza della Libertà, 8
Tel. +39-892021
www.trenitalia.com

By airplane
The International Airport, ”Aeroporto Friuli Venezia Giulia”, is 30 km far away from Trieste.The bus 51,  will take you to the Riviera and Downtown.
Aeroporto Friuli Venezia Giulia
Via Aquileia, 46
Ronchi dei Legionari (Gorizia)
www.aeroporto.fvg.it
info@aeroporto.fvg.it

A CABLE TRAMWAY

WITH A VIEW

 

This old rail system was opened in 1902 and has become part of local folklore, there are even local traditional songs about it. The tram is managed by a transport business consortium and costs them millions  every year. It leaves from the city centre's Piazza Oberdan and travels the 5 kilometres up the Scorcola to the town of Obicina. It is far more than just a means of transport however, it is a large tourist attraction and represents an important part of the city's  history as well as being part of the heart and soul of the city.

The route that it follows is extraordinary, passengers sit on the wooden seats and benches you feel as if you are on an old fashioned merry go round. There is a fantastic view from the windows: you can see Trieste, the bay and Miramare castle.

A normal bus ticket  is all that you need to buy in order to use the tram. There are departures every 20 minutes  (from 7.11am until 8.11pm)

 

The most picturesque way up into the Carso is to take the tranvia (cable tramway; 7.30am–8pm; every 20min; 

0.90 € from Trieste's Piazza Oberdan to the village of Opicina  438 mts above sea level, at the edge of the plateau.

The Opicina Tramway opened in1902, leaves the city behind as it winds through the steep hills. This one of a kind funicular system is an ideal way to spend an afternoon. The service is currently used to get the working people who live on the numerous points on the hillside to and back from the city below, however, popular with visitors alike. 

 At the terminus, a journey of around 25-minutes, get off and take lunch in one of the restaurants and cafes. Step off on the way up (or way down) and visit the various sites on the hills. The tram departs every 20-minutes . There are a number of historical trains in Trieste and on the Carso. In Trieste, there is a Railway Museum in the old station of St.Andrea.

 

The literary world of Trieste

 

 

 

Trieste may be the only city in Europe that appears more often in reflective essays than guide books or newspaper travel sections. Once the main port for the Habsburg Empire, today the city is most often overlooked by those making the Let’s Go Grand Tour. Even many Italians forget it’s there, tucked into a five-mile-wide hillside between Slovenia and the Adriatic.

But for those who have spent any time at all time in Trieste, there’s nothing else like it in the world. James Joyce moved there to teach Berlitz courses at age 22, and he stayed for 16 years; in the meantime he wrote most of Dubliners, all of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and a good chunk of Ulysses. The British travel essayist Jan Morris, who recently published an elegy to the city entitled Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere, writes that it "always seems to be on a fold in the map, hemmed-in, hole-in-corner" – and yet Morris, like so many others, keeps coming back.

With a population of just under 250,000, Trieste is one of a string of mid-sized, former Habsburg cities – along with Ljubljana, Zagreb, Graz and Pilsen – that have managed to retain their old-world charm in the face of constant political turmoil over the last 100 years. At the turn of the last century, Trieste was Austrian; later it was held by Italy, Germany, Yugoslavia and, in 1954, Italy again; before that it was held, alternately, by the Illyrians (its founders), the Romans, the Goths, Venice and Napoleonic France.

But while the city main church, the Cathedral of San Giusto, is built in a high Romanesque style, and while much of the southwestern section of the city is dominated by blank 1950s apartment blocks and heavy industrial eyesores, Trieste is still very much a Habsburg town. The city owes much of its architectural face to Austria’s Empress Maria Teresa; in fact, the center of downtown, hemmed in between the train station, the waterfront and the Colle de San Giusto hill, is called Borgo Teresiano, or "Teresa’s Quarter" (later annexations are named Borgos Giussepino and Franceschino, after Emperors Joseph II and Francis II).

Seeing in the city an opportunity to build her empire’s naval and merchant strength, the Habsburg empress expanded the port facilities and laid down a precise gridwork of imposing Viennese blocks and wide boulevards. Walk down Via XXX Ottobre and you might think you’re strolling somewhere just off Karlsplatz.

Alternately, you might find yourself recalling Vienna’s Café Central when seated in Café Tommaseo or Café San Marco, two of Trieste’s many gathering places in a city that takes its coffee extremely seriously (Illy, the premiere Italian coffee maker, is based there). Tommaseo, just off the water and around the corner from the vast Piazza dell Unita d’Italia, caters to a rather upscale, business crowd. San Marco (closed on Wednesdays) is full of students. Other cafes include Caffé Rex and Caffe degli Specchi. Triestino café culture is very much a nexus between those of Vienna and Rome – espresso is as popular there as it is anywhere else in the country, and drunk just as often. But like residents of other former Habsburg towns, Triestinos like to linger over their coffee, and they prefer comfortable chairs and well-decorated interiors to the stand-up, fast-food espresso ethos found in the Boot.

Unfortunately, perhaps the café with the greatest claim to fame is also one of those least traversed by the city’s latteratti, and for good reason. Caffe Pasticceria Pirona, located on Via Giosue Carducci at Piazza Carlo Goldoni, was a favorite of Joyce. But today it is overpriced and touristy; the baked goods are worth sampling, but there’s no atmosphere to speak of – and, seeing as how the place lacks seats, you wouldn’t spend much time there even if you wanted to. Trieste, does, however, offer more than few other pieces of Joyceana: There is a walking tour available from the tourist office, and every year at Bloom’s Day the city offers a series of lectures and readings related to Ulysses.

And while Joyce is certainly the most famous literary name associated with Trieste, many other authors and artists have crossed paths with the city. Italo Svevo, an acolyte of Joyce, was a native. Sir Richard Burton, the great traveler and Arabist, died here while serving as consul; Johann Winkelmann, the German neo-classical architect, was murdered in his room at the Locanda Grande hotel. Egon Schiele spent time in Trieste, and Rainer Maria Rilke wrote his masterpiece "Duino Elegies" while a guest of the Thurn and Taxis families at their Duino Castle, about 17 miles outside town.

 

  The mysterious city played home to Joyce, Svevo and other novelists whose spirits live on ...


 
 
Of significant interest is the James Joyce connection. Joyce stayed in Trieste between 1904 and 1915 and between 1919 and 1920.  It was in Trieste that Joyce completed his books, Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. He also wrote a short prose poem called Giacomo Joyce, a play, Exiles, and began his masterpiece, Ulysses. There are some 36-places of interest in Trieste of interest to Joyce fans. The city was also the birthplace and home to Ettore Schmitz, who wrote under the pen name of Italo Svevo, and Sigmund Freud.  

Trieste was  Joyce's first semi-permanent residence in Europe, and he lived here with Nora Barnacle for a number of years in the early part of the century. He arrived in 1904, and stayed until 1915, when the Great War got too close for comfort, and he and his family were forced to flee to Switzerland.

Joyce taught English at Trieste's Berlioz School, and even became briefly involved in an attempt to launch a cinema. There are several plaques to him about the town, as well as a statue.

Joyce remained very fond of the city for the rest of his life, though he never revisited it. Looking at it from a distance, it's easy to see why.

Backed by a white limestone plateau and facing out into the blue Adriatic, Trieste has an absolutely idyllic setting.

Strangely enough, though, the more you see of the place, the more charming that  quality becomes. 

Probably the best James Joyce pilgrimage site is the Café San Marco , where bookshelves are lined with the works of the joint's onetime regulars, including Joyce, Magris, Italo Svevo, and Umberto Saba. Joyce lived in the city in "voluntary exile" (the poetic kind) for much of the twentieth century's first three decades, writing most of the stories in Dubliners, all of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and major sections of Ulysses here. Joyce loved Trieste and its contradictions, its sensuality and its indeterminism; it is a city he well imagined, his sense of exile blurry with myopia, the city itself stereoscoped through his spectacles.    Italo Svevo, although neglected until the last few years of his life, is now acknowledged as a writer of international stature alongside his contemporaries Kafka, Proust and Joyce. These essays focus on his three novels, Una Vita, Senilitá and La coscienza di Zeno.
Drawing on new biographical and critical research, key issues are explored such as Svevo's Jewishness; his debt to psychoanalysis; sexuality and love; structure and irony; and time and narration. The opening chapter is devoted to Trieste, which features so prominently in his oeuvre.

You can also retrace the footsteps of his novelist friend Italo Svevo, born in the city in 1861 and who died here in 1928, a man who charted the sexual passions that lurked behind the facade of this only too bourgeois city.

British writers have had their love affair with the city, too - after all, it was to Trieste that Sir Richard Burton, most dangerous of all 19th-century diplomats, whose sexual writing had scandalised Victorian England, was dispatched as consul in 1872.

The translator of an unexpurgated version of The Arabian Knights, Burton died here in 1890. His wife burned the two volumes of his translation of The Scented Garden in an effort to protect his memory.

Sigmund Freud, who also lived here, would have understood - as might Lord Lucan, who is said to have worked in the city's aquarium after his disappearance in 1974.

But on a lighter note, composer Joseph Haydn named a symphony after the city, novelist Joseph Conrad wrote admiringly about its dockers and Thomas Mann wrote part of Buddenbrooks at the Hotel de Ville.

 

>>   JOYCE, RILKE, SVEVO ....LITERARY ROUTES OF TRIESTE

THE 41 MUSEUMS OF TRIESTE

 

 

Yet another attractive aspect of Trieste is that you never feel the guilt-inducing pressure of a long list of art sites you think you should probably visit. Most of the 40 city's museums, in former private houses, still retain their original furnishings and architectural details, which are generally more interesting than the art -- the result of the somewhat spotty collecting tastes of the city's princes of commerce and finance. The Museo Revoltella, in particular, is a kind of wonderland of 19th-century kitsch, displaying paintings with titles like "Listening to Beethoven" and "After the First Communion."

 Trieste offers a huge number of galleries, museums, attractions and sites. If you are interested in art, geological, botanical, mineralogical and historical collections, Trieste offers all. Popular excursions include the Museum del Mare, a museum of the sea, Miramar Castle and Miramar Park with a variety of European trees and plants, Californian sequoias and cypresses and cedars from Lebanon. Miramar Marine Nature Reserve is  maintaining the biological and hydrological conditions to preserve the environment, to continue research and to please you!

 

>>     GUIDE TO THE 41 MUSEUMS OF TRIESTE

 

UNESCO WORLD'S HERITAGE

ROMAN RUINS AND BASILIQUE of AQUILEIA

 

 

In case you are eager to see another major wonder of the world of art,  in the triangle of short drives from Trieste -- you can proceed to Aquileia.

Once the fourth-most-important city of the Roman Empire, a regional capital of about 100,000, Aquileia never quite regained its prominence after being sacked by Attila, and gradually dwindled into a small provincial town. It has an amazing archaeological museum, and there is a walk you can take along the Via Sacra, once the principal street of Aquileia's important river-port system and now an astonishingly beautiful lane lined with cypresses, lush lawns, a canal and archaeological fragments.

 The floors of private Roman houses remain in a field near the Via Sacra and across the main road; these well-preserved mosaics depict animals and geometric forms that give you a sense of the domestic architecture and of the layout of a neighborhood in ancient Rome.

Any of this would be enough to merit a trip to Aquileia, even if it weren't for its real eye-popper: the patriarchal basilica, founded in the fourth century and worked on for almost a millennium, with a floor the size of a soccer field and a fourth-century pavement, more than 800 square yards, completely covered with a prodigious mosaic portraying writhing animals, faces, birds, a fight between a rooster and a turtle, a detailed and animate fishing scene. These images out of some paleo-Christian Looney Tunes assume the additional weight of being early Christian symbols. There are two crypts, one painted with 12th-century frescoes of the life of St. Hermagoras, a martyr and an early bishop of Aquileia, and another in which you can see, through a plexiglass floor, more recent excavations exposing yet more mosaics.

 

>> THE ROMAN FORUM AND BASILICA OF AQUILEIA

 

The only city gate that has stood the test of time.

 

At the heart of old Trieste between narrow, quiet streets, not far from the very central Piazza Unita , we find the Arco di Riccardo, a monument which , according to many historians, dates back to 33 B.C. and is the only gate of the city walls that has stood the test of time. But there is also another hypothesis: that the monument, 7 metres high and 5 meters long, could in fact be an entrance to a former sanctuary. Historically a little hazy then, it is definitely worth a visit. Next to the Arch, in an enchanting setting, away from the traffic and confusion, there is a delicious restaurant, All'Arco di Riccardo, which offers typically local food, pleasantly served.

 

 

THE ROMAN AMPHITEATHER and ROMAN RUINS

 

This beautiful Roman amphitheatre was built between the I and II centuries AD by Quinto Petronio Modesto. He was the governor of Trieste under the emperor Trajan. It was uncovered between 1937 and 1939 during building works in that district of the city (in fact it was covered with modern and medieval housing).
The theatre is located between the Capitoline hill and Piazza dell'Unita'. It's right in front of the police headquarters. It is worth taking a look even if it has been rather badly looked after. At one time it could seat some six thousand spectators in the seats which are built into the hill leading to San Giusto. The semicircle would have been adorned with statues at that time; these are now in the care of the city's history and art museum. It is thought that when it was built it faced toward the sea and was just outside the city walls.

In the sixth century, a large house of worship was erected on what remained of the structures of a Roman propylaeum, probably the entranceway to a commemorative monument, usually called "Tempio capitolino" because an alter pyramid had been found there with the symbols of the capitoline triad (Jupiter, Juno and Minerva). Only a section of the original floor mosaic, which is part of the present flooring, has remained and shows the perimeter of the palaeochristian walls which were destroyed in the Lombard invasion a few years after its construction. Between the ninth and the eleventh century, two basilicas were erected side by side on its ruins, the first dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, the second to San Giusto; the latter, which was centrally planned at first, was subsequently extended. In the fourteenth century, the contiguous side-aisles of the two basilicas were joined together and a new, extremely simple and asymmetrical façade was built, elegantly enriched by the tracery of a Gothic rose window and decorated, like the new bell-tower, with local Romanesque stones or even armorial bearings, "in situ". 

 

Inside the basilica, many elements deserve attention: suffice it to mention the twelfth and thirteenth century absidal mosaic of the Assumption and San Giusto, the work of artist from the Veneto. The small fourteenth century church of San Giovanni (old baptistery) on the left and San Michele al Carnale on the right, near the entrance to the Museum, complete the suggestive picture of a medieval church courtyard. The courtyard contains the altar in remembrance of the consecration and the layin down of arms by the III Army, the column with the halberd and the Memorial to the Fallen Soldiers of World War I. Here, in the '30s an excavation brought to light the remains of the Roman Forum with its civil basilica, built on two storeys with two rows of columns, two of which have been replaced on the ground floor. The restoration that followed the excavation has also enhanced the dimensions of the Castle, which is the guardian of a long part of history as the works for its construction, based on the ruins of the previous castles, almost lasted two centuries. In the building, the central part ordered by Frederick III (1470-71), the round rampart (Venetian work of 1508-9), the Hoyos-Lalio rampart (1553-61), the Pomis or flowered rampart (1630) mark the stages of the evolution of defensive structures in the course of the centuries. At present, the Castle - several rooms of which, such as the Capirn Chamber, are on view - has been converted into a Civic Museum where old weapons are on display and periodical exhibitions, festivals and, during the summer, open-air shows take place. Walking on the ramparts of the Castle, from the loopholes or lingering on the bulwarks it is possible to admire the complete view of the city and the hills and the sea surrounding it. The plan of the town and its archaeological set up accomplished in the '30s as well as the creation of the Parco della Rimembranza, in memory and honour of the soldiers fallen in all wars since 1915-18, all stand out for their monumental sobriety and luxurious vegetation which create a happy haven of peace.

 

 The Orto Lapidario can be entered by crossing the iron gate on one side of the Cathedral yard. Constructed in 1834 on Domenico Rossetti's initiative on the area vacated by the San Giusto cemetery, which was moved to a more suitable place at the end to the eighteenth century, the Orto Lapidario contains Roman and Medieval finds brought to light in Trieste and its region. In this garden a Cenotaph has been dedicated to Johann Winckelmann, the archaeologist considered the father of Neoclassicism who died in Trieste in 1769.

 

 

 

CASTLE AND CATHEDRAL

 

At the foot of the San Giusto cathedral and castle, on the highest hill of the city, are the remains of a vast, roman basilica dating from the second century. The site was found in the 1930's, when the area was being renovated. The civil basilica had two floors with two apses. Part of the columns were reconstructed during the fascist period. From what remains, it is thought that the basilica was originally 90 metres long and 30 metres wide. It was an imposing building, as Trieste or Tergeste as it was called at the time, was an important city in the Empire. There is a nearby monument to the fallen soldiers of the First World War. From here an extraordinary panorama of the city and the gulf can be admired.