Trieste is an Italian city situated at the far northeast border of Italy and Croatia, and for a century? or more, was the capital of the prosperous Austro-Hungarian Empire… that’s where my memory of its history mostly stops! The last day in Venice, lots of people at my hostel were coughing and my resistance was not strong enough to fight getting the worst sinus cold of my life. Which was too bad because my Trieste hostel was at the edge of the Adriatic Sea, it was warm in the sun, and people were swimming and sun-bathing on the rocks (no beach at all).
It was Sept.12-14 and it also seemed like the whole town was bicycling, even up some steep hills. This cross-roads city has a huge, wide harbor rimmed with broad avenues… perfect for cycling. And it seemed like every 1/2 mile or so, there was a sailing club and there must have been 100+ boats out in a regatta the day I arrived.
Not feeling up to bicycling, I dragged myself up the hill of my street to Miramare, the famous castle on a cliff of Emperor Maximillion.
The stunning site with its extensive gardens (now a public park), “bookends” that side of the city as he planned it, and from his and his wife’s libraries full of books and decor they both designed, these were cultured folk. Too bad he was sent to Mexico to be its ruler… where he was assinated, and his beautiful wife died slowly going mad. They never got to live in the castle they had thoughtfully planned for 10+years.
I saw on a tourist map that the Fermi Lab and a cluster of other science bldgs were located near my hostel and learned that Trieste is considered one of Europe’s finest science research centers. Mostly due to the hard work (and seed money) of an enlightened man from Afghanistan. His dream was to give research scholarships to the brightest PhD candidates in 3rd world countries. When asking for directions, I met a young researcher fom Havana, Cuba working on alternative energy, and I got to speak with a woman from Boston who heads-up Development there. I wanted to know if they had ever considered an Artist-in-Residence program like they now have at CERN in Switzerland… but no luck. She referred me to another man, and with him there might be a joint exhibition opportunity… if I find the money. Oh well, at least I can right-off Trieste visit expenses on my taxes now.
Florence might have the most elegant, and Venice the most flavorfull, but the gelateria that I happened upon in Trieste had by far the most variety… must have been at least 30! Guy in photo was scooping about 10 flavors “to go”!
I did not have time (or health) to visit museums, galleries or churches, but definitely would like to visit again! It’s visually rough, but you can feel it’s a town on the brink of exciting change driven by youth. However… it failed my test re: public restrooms at the train station… only a hole in the floor encircled with a porcelain rim, inside private stalls.