Born in 1858 into a prosperous family, Julius Kugy lived in Trieste and had many passions, botany, writing books and discovering and climbing mountains. At a very young age, he became interested in botany, and in the flora of Karst in particular. During his studies, he met a well-known botanist Muzio Tommasini who brought the unsolved enigma of a flower named Scabiosa trenta (the Scabious of Trenta) to the attention of young Kugy.
He systematically visited (walked, climbed) practically the whole of the Julian Alps, aided by the local guides, most of them wild hunters. He was very careful about selecting these, and although they were already masters on their own terrain, he gradually made them first class climbing guides.
Although he knew the approximate location where the Scabiosa Trenta was first spotted, he walked around with different guides for months and years without finding it. On the other hand, he did find the beauty of the Julian Alps, which he described in his unsurpassed books about the Julian Alps.
If you now walk or climb in the Julian Alps, you will probably be following in Julius Kugy's footsteps.
During the First World War, Kugy was moved to the army because he knew the area very well but he did not carry a weapon. He only worked as an adviser on the Austrian side of the front. In his middle age he started writing, which soon became his other passion. He wrote seven books. Six of them describe the Julian Alps. His style of writing shows how he loved mountains. His first and most famous book was published in 1925 under the title Aus dem Leben eines Bergsteigers (From the Life of an Alpine-Climber).
He died at 85 in Trieste.
His statue stands in the "Muzio de Tommasini" public garden.