Episode 312 – A Quick First Taste of Trieste

It turns out that tomorrow is Ferragosto, a public holiday celebrated on August 15th in all of Italy.

According to Wikipedia it originates from Feriae Augusti, the festival of emperor Augustus, who made the 1st of August a day of rest after weeks of hard work on the agricultural sector.

What it means to us is that we just have no idea whether restaurants will be open, so we needed to ensure we had a few basic food items in the apartment: pasta, tomato sauce, olives, cheese, salami, grapes … and wine (that last item goes pretty much without saying).

That quick bit of Sunday shopping needed to be done in the tourist district, since stores in town are not open on Sundays, so we headed out to explore the harbour area today.

Top: part 1 of exploring the harbour = drinking cappuccino while looking at the cruise ship terminal. Centre: the cruise ship terminal flanked by the two ships in port today. Bottom left: one of the beautiful street lamps that line the harbour avenue. Bottom right: part of the Trieste sailboat marina.
The Trieste Marine Aquarium is right at the waterfront.

Along the walking route we found lots of potential detours into ruins and piazzas and down side streets, but we didn’t take them. Instead, Ted took pictures of lots of places to which we’ll return later in the week and explore more thoroughly.

Here’s a taste of what’s to come:

Top: stairs and directions leading to, among other things, a Roman Theatre. Bottom left: the Anglican church of Trieste in via San Michele
Bottom right: the 1806 neoclassical Rotonda Pancera.

At times we felt as if we were back in Vienna, with all the Hapsburg-era architecture, and even statues to the Hapsburg monarchs.

Left: “Massimiliano”, monument to Maximilian of Hapsburg, dressed in Austrian uniform and pointing toward Miramar Castle, by Josef Schilling. top right: the 1912 Palazzo Neogotico, built in an eclectic style intended to rival Venice. Bottom right: a view looking south from the harbour back at the dome of the Serbian Orthodox Church of Saint Spyridon.
The 1842 Cassa di Risparmio, with the cuddliest looking sculpted lions I’ve ever seen. Despite the sharp teeth, I really just wanted to scratch their ears!

Without intending it, we happened upon the Piazza Unità d’Italia, where government palaces surround a large public square. It’s immediately obvious from the architecture that this square was built when Trieste was the most important seaport of the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The Municipal Hall, behind the huge fountain dedicated to Francis I and Maria Theresa of Hapsburg.
Three more views of the Piazza. In the lower picture you can see another statue of Maximilian (he REALLY likes pointing toward Miramare – clearly we’re going to have to check it out.)

We made a quick visit to Trieste’s branch of Eataly, which is supposed to be the quintessential Italian gourmet food emporium. To me, it was a bit like a fancy Whole Foods, with the benefit of several on-site restaurants. Everything was beautifully presented, but also very expensive. That said, we picked up some cheese, dry-cured sausage, and dry pasta… and then rewarded ourselves with cappuccino and an Aperol spritz at one of the many cafés opposite the harbour.

En route back home we crossed Trieste’s Grand Canal (their mini-Venice) and checked out the array of eateries to which we may need to return.

Back in our apartment, the bells of San Giacomo’s across the street are ringing (it’s VERY cool to be close enough to watch them swing as they toll 18:00), so it must be time to think about pizza and wine in the piazza.

We may already have a favourite neighbourhood restaurant, La Tana Trieste, where a shared pizza and a LITRE of Prosecco come in at €24, and the wait staff are both efficient and adorable.

8 comments

  1. I had to catch up my reading and see you have entered Italy. It is so nice to see you looking happy and “well fed”. We go to Italy Aug 31 on a tour. Stay well and safe. Thanks for taking me along.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Guido Brunetti would have spent tens of thousands of liras for that!! I’m constantly impressed with the statues and architecture .?? The colourful building?

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