Like James Joyce said “…la mia anima è a Trieste!” (my soul is in Trieste). Ever since I was a little girl, living in post-communist Romania, I dreamed of travelling this world long and wide.
Trieste was not my first destination outside of Romania, but it was the most serious one (since I’ve stayed there for almost 6 months) and a city I fell in love with hopelessly. If you come to think about it, Trieste is at a crossroad of cultures, having a whole lot of influences: Germanic ones (it has been the forth largest city in the Austro-Hungarian Empire), Slavic ones (it takes only a few tram stops for you to get to Opicina and therefore to the border with Slovenia) and mostly Italian ones.
The city has a lovely all Italian flavor to it, from the big square Piazza Unità d’Italia, to the Illy coffee shop and straight to the narrow streets going up to San Giusto Castle.
Piazza Unità d’Italia
San Giusto Castle (where also parties are held especially in the summer time)
Piazza Unità d’Italia as seen from the Molo Audace (the “Daring Quay)
Trieste is a peaceful and quiet city, disturbed only by the sound of coffee mugs and plates in the morning and by wine glasses in the evening (or of course by Spritz Aperol glasses during “aperitivo” hours, every day from 18:00 until dinner time).
The best place for aperitivo – “La Portizza” next to Piazza della Borsa
The two times during the year when it gets dangerous or crowded are at the beginning of the year when the Bora wind struck (and you can literally be blown away) and in October during Barcolana (when the city can get really crowded both on and off the sea). If you don’t mind the crowded streets, during Barcolana (an annual sailing rally) it is the perfect time to try on a lot of typical Italian street food (you can find all over the main streets things such as porchetta – moist boneless pork roast, delicious fried calamari and sea food, Italian wines, cevapcici – Slovenian grilled dish from minced meat).
During the Summer time, the most popular place to be from the morning ’till the evening is the one and only Barcola. Since Trieste has a big University, the student population is pretty high, thus starting from April it is very hard to find a spot on the hot cement of Barcola from where you can admire the Adriatic Sea, il faro della vittoria or Miramare Castle from afar.
And when the sun goes down all the fun moves on to the Molo Audace, where all the youngsters gather with a bottle of wine in hand, to relax after a long and hot day under the Italian sun. The next best thing, especially during weekends, is the Ausonia club, a place for good fun without any concern.
For me, this city never gets boring and I have returned here with the same enthusiasm several times. And I’m sure I always will. Therefore, all that rests unsaid is..
..alla prossima bella mula!