Stalactite in Grotta Gigante
In Trieste with ...James Joyce!
Trieste's history has been tumultuous for centuries: founded by Celts (from Celtic word tergeste - "market"), had traded with Phoenicians, was invaded by Romans, then Ottoman Turkey, by Austro-Hungarian Empire, by Napoleon, Mussolini and finally occupied by communist Yugoslavia. Border dispute was settled just in 1975.
At the Risiera di San Sabba you can visit the only concentration camp on Italian soil built by Nazi. Trieste is the hometown of "Illy Caffe" and the supplier of more than 40% of Italy's coffee. Right in the city center stands massive Serbian Orthodox Church with blue cupolas in the Byzantine tradition, but not far from it Europe's biggest synagogue (1912, not open for tourists). Corso Italia street is the best for shopping, to buy some groceries just visit PAM or Coop supermarkets. City buses are very good, single ticket costs 1.10 euro (valid for 60 min. during working days and 240 min. on weekends and festive days), but day ticket (Biglietto Giornaliero) for mere 3.55 euro is the best value, you can buy it from Tabacchi kiosks (marked in blue).
James Joyce lived here for nearly 11 years from 1904 till 1920 (teaching english at the Berlitz School). Here is a statue of him by the Canal Grande. Less then half an hour way from city centre lies a tiny coastal village Duino where you can visit the Castello Vecchio or Castello Nuovo and walk the Rilke path (from poet Rainer Maria Rilke, remember his Duino Elegies!) - footpath (2 km. long) that leads above the sea from Duino to Sistiana and offers breathtaking views!
In Trieste you can experience adrenalin rush by going on over 100 years old tram (hybrid with funicular) from Piazza Oberdan to Villa Opicina just above the hills (329 m. high). Some sections of the line are so steep that they have to use a pair of cable tractors just to keep trams moving! But the real jewel is a giant cave known as Grotta Gigante (bus nr. 42 from Piazza Oberdan), it's been in Guinness Books of Records since 1995 as the world's largest tourist cave! Do not forget to take some extra clothing with you as temperature inside the cave is just above +11°C. Although photography and video are not allowed, our tour-guide didn't mind us taking pictures at all! On your way out of the cave last creature you will see is a cave bear and pretty old one - over 60 000 years! Val Rosandra valley (from Piazza Oberdan by bus nr. 8) is a great climbing area and surrounding nature is very picturesque.
As irish say we had a good craic in one particular trattoria, while waiting for our order and watching how chef was ...constantly sneezing, making our pizzas!
The Serbian Orthodox Church