The Triestine territory stretches from the hills of the Carso to the coast and is bordered by Slovenia. Its coastline is characterized not only by cliffs but also by Mediterranean vegetation.
Trieste, is an international city with a historical and cultural heritage that can , awarded it the title of Middle European city. The City and Province are filled with splendid landmarks, stunning nature, and a rich and an ancient maritime tradition.
The local cuisine offers a mixture of Slav dishes, Austro-Hungarian cakes, soups from Friuli as well as Oriental spices.
Among this ethnic and cultural melting pot, however, there is a typical Italian flavour, the espresso coffee, which can be enjoyed in one of the many caffé (historic coffee houses). Going to these coffee houses is a traditional habit and a great pleasure for those who want to spend their time alone or in company. In Trieste coffee houses have aways been venues for cultural events and meeting points of peoples. Trieste as a city was once the main port city of the Austria-Hungarian Empire and many of the most peculiar landmarks of the city today go back to the Habsburg period.
Trieste is also characterized by the liberty style, the rationalist architecture and by the more modern architecture of some public buildings. As a free-trade city, it soon became a venue for different populations such as Greek, Hebrew, Swiss, Germans, Slavs and English and, consequently, a meeting place for different religions too. The city hosts a Jewish temple, the Greek-Orthodox Church of San Nicolò, the Serbian-Orthodox Church of San Spiridione and an Evangelist Church. Among the many Catholic Churches, San Giusto Cathedral is the most famous one as it is the symbol of the civil and religious life of the city itself.
The stretch of coast below the lighthouse is called Barcola: it is a renowned area where the sailing boats competition “Coppa d’Autunno Barcolana” (Barcolana’s Autumn Cup) takes place every year, on the second Sunday of October. More than one thousand boats coming from all over the world join the local competitors to celebrate this event which is not only a competition but also a celebration of the sea.
Traveling along the Triestine coast you can reach Miramare castle. Surrounded by white towers, it stands on top of a small promontory among a huge park. Maximilian of Habsburg, the brother of Frances Joseph and Emperor of Austria, decided to live in Trieste and had this romantic palace built for his love of Charlotte. Even though a tragic destiny conspired against the two unlucky lovers, their presence lives on today in the stunning rooms of the castle, decorated and furnished according to the 19th century fashion.
The hills of the Carso are made up of limestone that has been eroded over the years by wind and rain, it has always been considered a desolate place. The Carso surface shows dolinas, rocky land riveted by rain and while the surface seems only to be white stony ground beneathen so of Europe's most extensive cave systems. The entire area is dotted with small churches, strongholds and castles, which were built on the remains of an ancient “castellieri” (prehistoric fortresses).
There are several wine cellars of country houses that sell wine and other home made products. The wine Terrano, grown in the “red land” is the local product and can be tasted everywhere.
The well known Opicina tram links Trieste to Opicina. It climbs up a steep track despite the Bora wind (annual winds that sometimes reach 150 kph). Another town in the province of Trieste is Aurisina, whose name means “paese sul ciglione” (town on the cliff), which is located between the Carso and the sea. Sgonico is famous for the Grotta Gigante (Giant Cave), which was discovered during the mid 19th Century and open to the public since 1908. It is characterized by outstanding calcite concretions. The ancient village Monrupino was an important outpost since the Middle Ages, it consists of an intricate maze of narrow alleys and steep slopes.
Situated on the mountainous coastline, Duino is characterized by the castle of counts Torre and Tasso, which dates back to XIII century, and also by the remains of an ancient fortress built around 1000.
Duino is linked to Sistiana by the Rilke pathway. This path winds along the cliffs and was named after the Romantic German poet Rilke who took his inspiration for his Duinesi poems in this very place.
The track goes through the white stony ground of the Carso upland allowing the visitor to discover a landscape with a peculiar flora and fauna. Sistiana is a renowned tourist area known for its beach and swimming areas, this village is characterized by its tourist port.
Outside Trieste, eastwards, is Muggia, a tiny village with narrow alleys which remind us of Venice and its atmosphere. Its history is mainly related to that of the Serenissima Republic. In order to remain loyal to Venice, Muggia parted from Trieste in the XIII century and was controled by the Venetian republic in the following centuries. The village is surrounded by Medieval walls and is characterized by a 14th-century castle. Every February, Muggia prepares itself for Carnival which is, as a matter of fact, a joyous medieval feast.
Trieste and its province has a lot to explore, join me on the scheduled program this spring or fall, or schedule you own group tour.