Trieste, to me, is a city of class and elegance in the mold of Vienna. It has a sort of regal air that every other Italian city I visited doesn't. It has a very clean city center, and everyone seems to be much friendlier and outgoing than in other parts of Italy. Being on part of Italy since 1954, Trieste still has a large population of Slovenians, of which the city was a part of until 1954.
Triest began the the 20th century as part of the Ausrto-Hungarian empire, but was ceded to Italy after the WWI. After that the large Slovene population was mistreated by the Italians; forcing them to change their names to Italian versions, outlawing the Slovene language and print, archives were destroyed and priests were exiled. Even the names on headstone were changed from Slovenian to Italian. Of a million Slovenians that lived in Trieste's area prior to WWI, only 1/10 remained post WWI.
From the end of WWII until 1954, Trieste was under the rule of the Allied forces of Britain and the United States.
It's all uphill from here!
I joked to my wife that Trieste was about 20% flat and 80% uphill. Actually the hilly part is the San Giusto Hill and the surrounding area, but you can do a lot of uphill walking. It is really the best way to see all that is on the hill, but can be tiring. The photo was supposed to show the steepness of it, but you can't tell from that what the grade really is. Wear some good walking shoes and take it slow.
The second photo is taken from the botanical garden and gives you some idea of how far above the city you can get. Fortunately we found the bus runs up to the garden.
Triestine Christmas crib
On the occasion of Christmas 2007, a crib was built near Piazza Unità d'Italia. It's very particular because the Nativity is set in Trieste: behind Mary and Joseph you can actually see, from the left to the right, the basilica di San Giusto, the City Hall building and the Miramare Castle. Behind the crib there was a beautiful Christmas tree that got illuminated in the evening (well, already at 4.30 pm!). You can see it in the third photo.
The Castello of Miramare (Miramar Castle) stands out at the end of the Riviera di Barcola. It is snow-white and surrounded by the sea, whose waves break against the rock of the basement. Miramar, the 'love nest' of Maximilian of Hapsburg and Charlotte of Belgium, was built between 1856 and 1860 by architect Carl Junker on the will of Maximilian himself. Here the prince and princess, still hesitant facing the choice between a retired life and their court duties but already prepared to take on the honour and burden of the Mexican crown, lived a short happy period. Here the visit of the Mexican delegation marked the starting point of that process wich was to lead both of them to a tragical ending, which drew a veil of romantic melancholy over the castle. It subsequently became Amedeo of Aosta's residence and, from 1943 to 1954, the headquarters of foreign military troops. Now the castle os a museum entrusted to the Sovrintendenza ai Monumenti (Monuments And Fine Arts Service) and its halls are open to the public. The park surrounding the castle is also wonderful, especially owing to the variety of trees that Maximilian himself chose and planted, which are now an unvaluable heritage. Many picturesque corners can be found, such as the pond of the swans and that of the lotus flowers, the Castelletto with Maximilian's bronze statue close by, and the small chapel where there is a cross made with the wreck of the 'Novara', the flagship with which Franz Josef's brother sailed from Miramar to be crowned Emperor of Mexico. Beyond the Park of Miramar, a marine park protected by the WWF and the expanse of water in front of it, is the Baia di Grignano, on the bottom of which the bronze statue of San Giusto by Tristano Alberti lies a memoryof the martyrdom of the patron saint of the town.
A bit farther, beyond the small harbour of Santa Croce and the Marina d'Aurisina, there is the splendid Sistiana Bay, and then the castle of Duino protrudes from the rocks jutting out over the sea.
Riva Tre Novembre
Art Nouveau in Trieste is related to Max Fabiani's protorationalism, a kind of reaction against the omnipresence of historical styles.
It is where famous Caffe Tommaseo (the same chain as Florian in Venice) is situated, a must see when visiting Trieste.