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.
If you understand Italian, be aware that the word volentieri, that means "(yes,) with pleasure!" in standard Italian, is used in Trieste with the meaning of "no, sorry!". For example, if you ask in a shop "May I have...?" and they answer "volentieri", don't expect to get what you wanted.
... 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.
The Teatro Comunale Giuseppe Verdi was opened on 21st April, 1801. It was built in Neoclassical style by Matteo Pertsch, who clearly drew inspiration from the Teatro alla Scala of Milano.
The theatre is situated at Piazza Verdi, a foot from Piazza d'Unita.
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.
We were quite surprised to happen upon a girls' basketball game in Piazza Sant Antonio. It appeared to be two school groups as they were in uniform and exchanged some sort of card before the game. The girls looked to be about 12-14, about the same age as my oldest granddaughter who is an avid BB player. (She could have handled any of them - offense or defense). The first goal of the game came when one of the girls in yellow scored in the wrong basket. The best player on the court was the smallest girl in a red uniform. She scored her team's other 4 points. After about 20 minutes it started to rain and the game was called off. The red team won 6-4. I was really pulling for the little girl as my granddaughter is frequently the smallest (but best) on her teams.
I don't know what days it operates, but while we were there (maybe a Thursday or Friday) there was a market along the Grand Canal. We seldom buy much in these markets but enjoy walking through and admiring the local flowers, fruits and vegetables and usually some interesting handmade items. This one is rather large with lots of clothing items as well and some live musicians.
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!
Nearly everybody in Trieste can speak more than one language.
Italians speak Italian and dialect. It is very rare to meet a local who doesn't speak dialect, probably because s/he find it too rude. On the contrary, it is more difficult to find someone who speak a very good Italian. The same happens in Gorizia, Venezia and other towns in Veneto, where everybody speak dialect, too.
Slovenians living in Trieste speak, additionally, Slovene and Slovene dialect. This is an absurd mix of Italian and Slovene. Most of the talk is in Slovene but they insert Italian words here and there. I wouldn't recommend learning it!
Can you dig it, this picture was taken in the mid of December 2006! Usualy, we expect cold weather at that time, convenient for walk if sunny day but very unconvenient to be seated outdoors. This guy is just enjoying his siesta time here on the Capitoline Hill. It's quiet and undisturbing place and yet, no more than five minutes walking from the heart of the town. The sun is still keeping its warmth which obviously has dazed the guy who felt into a sleep. Amazing kind of winter in this year.
From the moment in which the sun starts being warm who lives in Trieste starts spendnig free time in the effort of sunbathing! There are many places where we are used to go but one of most weird is La Costa dei Barbari. This place is among nature and you can find above all people who love sunbathing naked or homosexuals. La Costa dei Barbari is limited on a side by a cave,in Sistiana and on the other side by the Hotel Europa.
The place most crowded is limited by a little building built next the path that is a long the coast and by a small beach of white stones.
To get there coming down you have to get to an old road that is ont the sea-side of the way that links the road 14 Triestina to the Highway A4 Trieste Venezia. This part of the road is used as a parking, and is a little before Sistiana, in front of the sweet shop "Pasticseria alla Costa dei Barbari".From here start some paths that go towards the sea or from the down directly from "Sistiana mare". If you get there from the coast you can get to Sistiana by car to the Restauran Castelreggio; in the summer you have to pay for the parking. The coastal path starts immediately after the resaturant and passes near a cava that is still working; after the cave the path takes you to an old ironed gate: it's from that point that "Costa dei Barbari"starts.
the "bicierin" is the traditional coffee served in a glass in trieste. There's really no difference from the coffee served in a glass or that in the cup, so it goes down to one's prefernce. What's different, instead, is the words to order it. In case you want it with milk, you should ask for a "gocciato" - while everywhere else in italy it's called "macchiato" or "con latte". Sidenote: "bicierin" means, in dialect, small glass.
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
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.
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.