Fontana Due Mascheroni stands in the middle of open space of Largo Don Francesco Bonifacio, right next to the legendary Cinema Excelsior. In the Italian architecture, mascheroni are called the sculptures that adorn the entrance, enriching it by two series of statues. I don't know who designed the fountain, but it is in any case enriched this space.
"Largo" is Italian expression for open city space, usually used for smaller squares. Largo Don Francesco Bonifacio is located at the beginning of Via XX Settembre which, in its first half is the most beautiful pedestrian area of Trieste. Most of the locals, however, call it Via dell'Acquedotto, due to a fact rhat here used to be the main aqueduct.
Spiridone Gopcevich was one of the biggest shipowner in Trieste. As it comes from his name, the family is originated from Montenegro, more precisely from Boka Kotorska which used to be the part of Dubrovnik Republic and later on the kingdom of Montenegro. Boka Kotorska was annexed by Austro-Hungarian empire and become one of the most important military port.
The father of Spiridone moved to Trieste, which at that time was also the part of Austro-Hungarian empire. Spiridone, who was educated in Vienna, has developed a large fleet of merchant ships and his ships traded mostly on the Black Sea routes. During Crimean War his business crashed after reckless speculations and Spiridone committed a suicide.
The Gopcevich Palace was designed by the architect Giovanni Berlam in 1850 and represents one of the most beautiful neo-Classical buildings in Trieste.
James Joyce (1882-1941) was one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century. In his early twenties he emigrated permanently to continental Europe, living in Trieste, Zuerich and Paris.
The story tells that Joyce had supposedly acquired a post to teach English at the Berlitz Language School in Zuerich, through an agent in England. It turned out, however, that the English agent had been swindled, but the director of the school sent him on to Trieste. Once again he found there was no position for him but with the help of Artifoni, director of the Trieste Berlitz School, he secured a teaching position in Pula (Croatia). There he was teaching English mainly to Austro-Hungarian naval officers stationed at Pula. In 1905, when Austrians discovered an espionage ring in the city, they expelled all aliens, Joyce including.
Joyce moved back to Trieste, again with help of Artifoni. He began teaching English there remaining in Trieste for most of the next ten years. One of his students in Trieste was Ettore Schmitz, better known by the pseudonym Italo Svevo. They met in 1907 and became lasting friends and mutual critics.
My first visit to Trieste was in my early ages, almost 50 years ago. It was a time when people from ex-Yugoslavia used to came to Trieste just for shopping. To be completely honest, Trieste as the city and its architecture, at that time, was totally out of my interest. At that time I did not know any of the attraction of the city, but at the same time, I was very familiar with all the town's shops.
In this place, where there is a fountain, once there was a labyrinth of stalls, known as "Ponte Rosso". Among the countless stalls of goods and huge crowds of people, nothing could be seen, not even the Canal Grande.
It was only years later I realized that apart from goods Trieste has a lot more to show. When tinned and disappeared stalls from here, this small fountain arose in all its beauty. It is call "Fontanella del Giovannin" (small John fountain). Giovannin is the patron of students.
Nazario Sauro (1880-1916) was an Austrian-born Italian, irredentist and sailor. He was the captain of a cargo ship when he was only 20. When the Republic of Venice region was annexed to Italy, after 1866, there was some support for irredentism also in Istria, formerly a Venetian possession, (btw, Sauro was born in Koper, Slovenia). Sauro was the most renowned of those who promoted Istrian unification to the Kingdom of Italy. In WW I, he joined in the Italian army fighting against the Austrian Empire. In 1916 he was sent over to carry out a sabotage in the port of Rijeka, but his ship crashed into a rock in the Kvarner Gulf. Sauro and his crew were intercepted by the Austrian destroyer and imprisoned. Sauro was recognized and placed on trail for his previous act of treason. After facing a military tribunal in Pula, Sauro was sentenced to death and hanged.
Domenico Rossetti was a lawyer who defended the interests of his city at the court of Vienna. He was also a lover of history and local literature.
Piazza Garibaldi is very charming city square but somehow "out of hand" and many visitors fail to see it. This small square, with the beautiful fountain, could be an ideal resting place in between strolling and exploring the city. High plane trees make a deep shade while the open square is almost always exposed to a mild and refreshing breeze.
Square is dominated by high column of "La Modonnina d'Oro", from 1954, work by the local artist Franco Asco. The square is also known for florists who in several kiosk offering beautiful flowers at very affordable prices.
But is it not advisable to stay in the square after 11pm because at that time homeless people gather around, using fountain to wash feet and clothing and benches for overnight sleeping.
Piazza d'Unita is nice city looking square with imposing palaces but also, with some less visible details. Our attention is usually focused on fancy palaces which closing three sides of the Piazza d'Unita but there are also some charming details in some corners. Or is it true that I was more attracted by the bench in front?
Trieste is famous for the Bora, a very stong wind known to be able to reach the exceptional speed of over 150 km an hour. Another of the characteristic is that the directions of the gusts change very often, they are kind of unpredictable. It blow in Trieste very often and it make life hard for the Triestini, especially when it rain and it is impossible to keep a umbrella in one piece longer than 5 second.
In the areas of the town that are more exposed it is hardly possible to walk or even stand when the Bora blow full power.
The Triestini have developed several way to survive the wind and go on with life, if you look carefully you will see that every banner has several holes to let the wind through, even the shutter of the houses are perforated in several lines, so the wind does not brake them.
The most curious thing I saw was those water fountains in the pictures, they have some sort of a shield to prevent the water stream to be blown all over the drinker. It would be very hard to drink when it is super windy without those! My guide said they are also perfect to be able to light a cigarette LOL
Coffee has always been very important for Trieste, as a matter of fact, Illy, the coffee brand famous all over the world has its headquarter here!
But also in the past the city has loved its black nectar and Trieste culture, art and literature, was born and developed around the historical cafeterias in the center.
If you want to venture into one of the several cafeterias in Trieste be aware that the Triestini developed a very articulated way to order their coffee, if you will do your homework diligently you will get your favorite.
NERO is the regular espresso, short and dark.
CAPO o CAPPUCCINO, even if for the rest of Italy and of the world it is served in a bigger cup, in Trieste is what everywhere else is called caffà macchiato. In other words a espresso with a hint of hot milk foam
CAPO IN B is the same but served in glass... they are very strict about it, it is not just in a different container, but it has a slightly bigger amount of milk in it (!!!)
GOCCIATO o GOCCIA’ same as CAPO but with less foam...
CAFFELATTE or CAPPUCCINO IN TAZZA GRANDE is what for the rest of the world is the regular cappuccino, a espresso in a bigger cup with foamed milk on top.
... you see Armani in the shops and on the people in the street
....you find yourself noticing what men are wearing and thinking how sharp they look
.....the police women make the job look sexy
.....you start taking photos of bedlinen in a Department Store ( Coin) because it's so artisitically displayed
....but most of all when you come upon this most loveable of Italian icons, The Fiat Bambino.
I visited Trieste after five days in Rovinj on the Istrian Peninsula. Rovinj is the most idyllic of towns but it's small and mostly concerned with fishing boats and the sea. Trieste was a bit of a culture shock to me and left me in no doubt that I was in Italy.
These members of the police force reminded me very forcibly that I was in Italy. I know that the Bella Figura is compulsory for Italians and that by and large they never leave the house without looking their best. Well, these girls certainly were the most glamorous police I'd seen anywhere. They managed to make a very masculine outfit look incredibly sexy and check out those shoulder bags !!! Stylish or what ?? I didn't see any policemen so I couldn't compare but presumably these bags are only for the women. I hope so because I couldn't quite imagine them on men but this is Italy....... so you never know.
Irish writer James Joyce was the greatest lover of Trieste, where he met Triestine writer Italo Svevo.
His name is deeply tied to the city. The tourist office has drawn a list of locations he was used to attend, known as "Triestine itineraries". The bookshop that was opened at the railway station in March 2007 bears his name, as well.
I think Joyce represented the European spirit when the European unity was still far from being considered. Trieste has paid a tribute to him with this statue, located on a bridge over the Canal Grande, along via Roma. The plate at the feet of the statue bears an inscription from a letter Joyce sent to his wife Nora Barnacle on 27th October 1909: la mia anima è a Trieste, "My soul is in Trieste". A great Trieste lover, indeed!
International Operetta Festival, Trieste , end of June - mid - August.
The atmosphere of Central Europe and Trieste at the end of the 19th century is revived each year in this operetta festival with the staging of popular performances widely acclaimed by audience and critics.
Do not miss it if visiting Trieste at that time.
This unusual but interesting bronze monument, dedicated to the handmade dressmakers, is situated on Riva del Mare (the Seashore), right opposite to the Piazza della Unita d'Italia. You can't miss it because it is the perfect spot to take the picture of the main city square.
The Mazzoleni fountain, from1750, is situated on Piazza della Unita d'Italia, right in front of the Town Hall building. The fountain representing the 4 Continents known at the time, with Charles VI's Baroque column next to it.
It is one of the favorite resting place for the tourists when visiting the town.