Sunday, November 30, 2008


Via S.Giusto.

One of the few stone drinking fountains still standing.
Originally there was a foot pedal for controlling the flow of water, but the old system was removed and has been replaced by a
tap which is, of course, simpler, but much less romantic.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ciao !!

Via S.Giusto.

Everything has been tidied up and renovated on S.Giusto hill to please the tourists, but if you look carefully you can still find some places nicely eroded by time.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The lion and the crane

Will he leap or won't he?
See more Skywatch here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


As far as I'm aware, this is the only underpass in Trieste. It leads straight from the railway station to Piazza Libertà.
Just like all proper underpasses, it is dark, dank and covered in graffiti, murals and peeling posters and to be honest I think most people take their chance with the traffic above ground!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


A terracotta statue symbolizing agriculture in the Formal Garden situated in front of the "Flower Greenhouse" at Villa Revoltella.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Serra dei fiori

The "Flower Greenhouse", built in Neo-Gothic style between 1858 and 1862, inside the splendid park surrounding Villa Revoltella, today hosts contemporary art exhibitions.

Last Sunday there was the vernissage of Renata Bonfanti's exhibition "Intrecci", but unfortunately I arrived too late for the banquet, which had already been guzzled up.

I was, however, just in time for the beautiful late afternoon light...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Villa Revoltella

As well as donating the palazzo which is now a museum bearing his name, Baron Revoltella also bequeathed his country villa to the city.

Built like an alpine chalet, the villa lies at the top of a hill overlooking the whole town, and is surrounded by a magnificent garden.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Through the pillars

Piazza Sant'Antonio again, where you met our friend the Tuareg, but this time peeking out from behind the pillars in front of Chiesa Sant'Antonio. To the right you can see the cupola of the Serbian Orthodox church and the first building on the left is the Stella Polare café, one of the several historic cafés in town.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The golden hour

Friday, November 21, 2008

Skywatch Friday post

Looking along the Barcola seafront promenade the other way, towards the Miramare castle which you can glimpse in the distance.

See more Skywatch here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Seafront promenade

The Barcola seafront heaves with people of all ages in bikinis and bathing suits, lounging on sunbeds or strolling up and down the promenade, from April till late September. The hedge you can see on the right was planted there a few years ago, to hide their glistening suntanned bodies from the view of drivers cruising along the main road leading into Trieste, to avoid accidents!
In the distance you can just make out the town and the lighthouse.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


The bora is a strong, cold and gusty north-easterly wind which descends across the continent to the Adriatic Sea. The gulf never forms large waves, but the gusts of wind rush across the water and can be clearly seen from the highlands. Fingers of seawater are cast up into shallow white crests that gallop across the gulf in a frantic freezing frolic.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Campo Marzio Smistamento

Part of the huge railway junction in Campo Marzio, the shunting station from which the various railway tracks set out to carry the freight trains to the New Port.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Swimming pool Bruno Bianchi

You either love it or you hate it!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Hippopotamus balanced on a sphere (by Davide Rivalta)
Sculpture at the entrance of the new swimming pool.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Matter cannot be destroyed, it merely changes its form.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Skywatch Friday post

Industrial zone. Runaway fumes.

See more Skywatch here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Breakwater and buoy

A breakwater and a navigational buoy in Muggia Gulf.

Virgilio Giotti

One of my favourite statues, out of the many dotted around the public garden, is this one of
Virgilio Giotti (1885 -1957), the greatest poet in Triestinian dialect. The themes prevailing in his marvellous poetry are landscapes, his family, time and death, and they are beautifully rendered thanks to the musical soul he finds in the Triestinian dialect.

"La strada"

Vardo 'na strada de la mia zità,
cha ghe sarò passado mile volte,
e no' me par de averla vista mai.
Le fazzade zalete, le boteghe,
un bar, dei àuti, e el fiatin de viavai.
Come la nostra vita, sì: vissuda,
finida ormai, e mai ben conossuda

"The Street"

I look along a street in my city,
one I must have passed a thousand times,
and I feel as if I've never seen it before.
The yellow facades, the shops
a bar, a few cars, and a quiet bustling.
Like our lives, indeed: lived,
almost over now, but never really known.

Monday, November 10, 2008


The "Muzio de Tommasini" public garden

The public garden, which features in the Triestinian writer Italo Svevo's novel Zeno's conscience, was built between 1854-1864.
At the top end there is a cafè and a gazebo for concerts, and at the other end there are sculptures erected in honour of its illustrious citizens in the field of culture. It is a little green oasis in the centre of town, where children frolick in a playground watched over by loving parents and the elderly sit and chat or wander leisurely along the meandering paths.
This charming little lake lies in the middle of the garden.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Today's cityscape

Hilda, from My Manila gave me the idea of posting a photo of the same view painted by Butti. The painting looks as if it were painted from the top of a mast or even higher. I took the picture in 2003 from a boat so you can't see the hills behind the city.
The colours, as you can imagine, have been tinted with Photoshop to keep them similar to the ones used by the painter.
The cityscape is pretty much the same, the castle is there of course, but all those beautiful boats are missing. Today, luckily, all the far less beautiful oil tankers and container ships travel along different routes, thus bypassing the mirror of sea reflecting the historic city centre, which is now home to leisure boats, a few ferries and the occasional cruise liner.
As for the invisible hills behind the city, well they've all been built up now - a shame, but inevitable I suppose.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Butti's Trieste

Lorenzo Butti (Trieste 1805-1860)
"Navi nel Golfo di Trieste"
Oil on canvas

Ships, sailing boats, steamers and fishing boats in the gulf of foregone times.
I took this picture of Butti's
painting during my last visit to the Museo Revoltella, during an exhibition held of maritime scenes of Trieste and Venice.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Skywach Friday post

A cumulus cloud for today's skywatch.

See more Skywatch here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Long shadows

The flagpoles and respective flags cast a shadow over the Prefecture's headquarters in Piazza Unità, the town's main square.


A musician with his home-made theremin performing in Piazza Sant'Antonio Nuovo.

If you'd like to hear the peculiar sound the theremin makes, here's a link to the virtuoso Pamelia Kurstin. She performs and discusses her theremin, the not-just-for-sci-fi electronic instrument that is played without being touched !

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Palazzo Georgiadis

After a lengthy period of restoration, here you can finally see the impressive Teodoro Georgiadis palazzo, photographed from the Scala dei Giganti. Built in 1918, this Austro-Hungarian building overlooks piazza Carlo Goldoni and has been enhanced by this new nighttime illumination... I thought cities were supposed to be trying to save energy...!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Scala dei giganti

This winding staircase is part of a monumental flight of steps leading up to Colle di San Giusto (Saint Just Hill) from Piazza Goldoni (Goldoni Square). It's a tough climb up, but the view over the city is a worthy reward at the end of it.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Day of the dead

Austro-Hungarian Military Cemetery (Osterreichischer Ungarischer Militar - Freidof)

Today is All Souls' Day, also known as the Day of the Dead, an official holiday on the Catholic calendar, held on November 2 each year. A day when families gather in the cemeteries to visit their beloved departed.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Theme day: Books

Umberto Saba's antique books shop, now run by his associate's grandson.

Umberto Saba was born in Trieste on March 9, 1883 from a Jewish mother and a Christian father.During the writing years of Saba, Trieste is part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Three languages are spoken in town: German, the chiefly spoken local dialect, and Italian which is part of a high literary tradition. Saba uses the latter in his simple and original poetry which does not follow contemporary preferences.In 1919 Saba buys and keeps the antique bookstore in Via San Nicolò. He dedicates his life to poetry and his bookshop.
Saba writes simple and clear poetry, uses everyday words and describes aspects of everyday life. Trieste, his birthplace, is the main protagonist of his poetry: the sea which stands for flight and spiritual adventures; love and sentiment for persons and family and the relationship with nature. Saba deeply loves what he is writing about. For Saba fame and praise arrive after the World War; today he is considered one of the most important Italian poets of the 19th century. The poet dies in 1957 in San Giusto Hospital in Gorizia.

This is the most famous verse, which all Triestinians know (or should know) by heart:

Trieste has a rude
grace. If you like it
it's like a bigboned youth, uncouth and voracious
with blue eyes and hands too large
for giving flowers
like a jealous love

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