di Sergio Mauri
In this article we wish to provide you some useful information about the sorrounding of Trieste, called
Venezia Giulia. It is a sort of itinerary suggestions you can follow when you are visiting this area.
First day. Visit Borgo Castello with its thirteenth century small church of Santo Spirito, and the
Museum of the Great War of the Oslavia Sanctuary north of the town. Nearby the church visit the
sixteenth century building of the Counts of Formentini, which is now the home of the Provincial
Museums. Leaving this area going downhill we find the Duomo of Gorizia. Get to Piazza Vittoria
and the most important Church of the town, Sant’Ignazio, with a facade characterized by the steepless
in the shape of onions, which is typical of Central Europe’s churches. If you go back up to the ancient
via dei Signori (these days renamed as Via Carducci) you are in Piazza De Amicis Petzenstein,
designed and built by Nicolò Pacassi. Strolling along the town centre, Corso Italia and Corso Verdi,
will give you the opportunity to admire many villas in an eclectic style, provided with very well
maintained private as well as public gardens. They are a reminder of the town’s past, which was called
“The Austrian Nice”.
Afterwards you can go to the Collio, one of the most famous vineyards in North-Eastern Italy,
and drink some tasteful DOC local wines.
You have even to visit the Military Sanctuary of Redipuglia which contains more than 100.000 dead
during the first World War. Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia is engraved over there. Then visit the park
of Remembrance, a memorial park on the hill of Sant’Elia to the Monte Sei Busi, which is an openair museum with the typical scenario of a battlefield. Go and visit even the Austro-Hungarian
cemetery in Fogliano. On the Monte San Michele there is a museum and you can find some pathways
through the trenches. Also intersting is to visit the San Martino del Carso village referred to by the
poet Ungaretti in his poems.
Second day. Go to Cividale, which was called Forum Julii during the Roman period. It is located on
the banks of the Natisone river and has maintained its charme along the centuries. Cross the Ponte
del Diavolo (the devil’s bridge) and you meet the Oratorio di Santa Maria in Valle, known as
Tempietto Longobardo (the small Longobard Temple) which is a masterpiece of fine medieval art.
After that you can visit the town centre: dn’t forget to visit the Duomo.
Now you move to Udine, where you have to visit the fifteenth century Castle, Piazza della Libertà,
the Loggia del Lionello and the thirteenth century Duomo, all frescoed by the celebrated Gian Battista
Tiepolo. Afterwards, go to Palmanova the “star shaped” town which owes its name to its perimeter
walls in the shape of a star with nine tips. The access to the town is possible through the three
monumental gates, made by the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi. After having visited this town you can
go to Passariano and visit Villa Manin, residence of the last Doge of Venice, which is even an amazing
example of a Villa Veneta, sorrounded by a park embellished by small lakes, hills and statues.
Third day. You can go to Lipica, a green oasis on the former border between Italy and Slovenia. It
is a famous place, 400 years these days, for its magnificent white horses and for the top-class riding
school. Afterwards, go to Postojna, which is famous for its caves, certainly the most famous in Europe
and one of the most spectacular, made up of about 8 kilometres of visitable galleries, where many
wonderful rock formations can be seen. The caves and the adjoining environment typical of the karst
offer the best possible example of the phenomenon of “karst rock formations” in all their varaiety.
Then, a few kilometres away from the Caves of Postojna there’s one of the most picturesque buildings
of the area: the Castle of Predjama. It is very famous for its location. In fact, the castle hangs from a
rock 123 metres high, four levels, in a way it is really simple in its design yet unrelenting and
Fourth day. Now you can go to Trieste, the capital town of the region. You can start with a delightful
panoramic tour of the town, strolling along the Rive, the promenade along the waterfront, then with
an historical walk up the San Giusto Hill and visit the Cathedral. It is dedicated to the roman martyr
Giusto. This dedication shows the triestine christian community started from the fifth century. The
place preserves its astonishing Byzantine mosaics inside.
After this, you can go down the Capitolino hill, reaching the Roman Theatre. Then, you can visit the
Castle of Miramare, built in the white stone of Istria, which was the official residence of Archduke
Maximilian of the Habsburgs and his wife, Carlotta of the Belgians. The castle is built on a
promontory facing the sea and is sorrounded by a park which is rich in rare plants and ancient trees.
In the park you can even visit the marine reserve.
After having visited it you can move to Duino and visit the Castle of Duino, residence of the Princes
“von Thurn und Taxis” and its park, and walk along the Rilke trail.
Fifth day. You can visit Muggia by the ferryboat. There you have to visit the Cathedral, the roman
Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta and the picturesque “calli” (narrow streets) of the venetian period.
Muggia’s history has a history completely different from that of Trieste, thanks to a vote of alliance
with Venice, made in the XIII century. As a matter of facts, the old part of Muggia shows its venetian
heritage. Then, go to former italian/slovenian border and visit Koper/Capodistria. This is the main
town of the slovenian Istria. Very beautiful venetian loggia in front of the Cathedral, the Baptistery,
the “calli” and the port. Then go to Piran, the birthplace of Giuseppe Tartini the great violinist. After
that visit Portoroz/Portorose, a prestigious bathing and nautical resort, famous for its casinos, the salts
and the thermal spas, and for Hrastovlje, a small church on a rock decorated with the extremely
beautiful frescoes of the “Danse macabre”.