Trieste at Night

Trieste… Italy’s Most “European” City

So, I’m back here on Sipping Espresso… blogging.  Weird.  I’m in America.  I’m blogging about Italy from America.  Can I do that?!  Is that even allowed?!  Well, I promised you in my Final Blog Post From Italy that I would finish our tale of overseas adventure and intrigue (OK, OK – more like overseas adventure of gluttony and transparency), so I suppose that I’ll have to make good on my word.  For those of you that are sick of hearing about these adventures… I’m sorry, but I’m OCD and I am not much good at leaving things unfinished.

"Well, get going already Dad and tell us this story"!
“Well, get going already Dad and tell us this story”!

So, let’s flash back; way, way back to this past spring when Jen’s sister came to visit.  Just as they departed for Venice and Rome, we took our own leave from Como and headed toward the metropolitan city of Trieste.  When I think about what brought us to Trieste, I finally understand the word bittersweet.  We undertook the four-hour road trip to Italy’s easternmost city so that I could run in the Maratonina d’Europa (Europe’s Half Marathon).  Despite having to add the somewhat embarrassing “ina” suffix to the end of Maratona (changing the meaning to “very little”), completing my first half-marathon was a very “sweet” accomplishment for me.  However, the impetus behind the race was a very “bitter” one.  Jen and I had started listing all the things that we wanted to do before our time in Italy came to an end.  This particular road trip checked many of our boxes; competing in a race in Europe, a visit to the city of Trieste, time in the region of Friuli–Venezia Giulia, capped off with a visit to Slovenia (upcoming post).  Now, that checked a lot of boxes, so careful planning began and hotels rooms were booked.

Julia and I stand in front of the glasses they had set up for the race
Julia and I stand in front of the glasses they had set up for the race

Here’s how I would sum up Trieste – it is a MUST-SEE city.  Sometimes I find myself guilty of trying to label a city by comparing it to another city.  “Rome is like New York, but much older and without the high-rises”.  Sometimes, you’ve just got to stop and appreciate where you are for what it is.  Don’t try to “label” the place or put it in a box; its easy to fall into that trap with Trieste.  A city that has bounced back and forth between Slovenian, Austrian and Italian rule leaves us with a place today that is proud of its blend in architecture and attitude. Trieste is a city not at all confused about its confusing identity.  With a rich mix of Slavic, Germanic and Latin influences – I am simply content to label this magical place as one of the most “European” cities I have ever visited.

We're finally here in Trieste!
We’re finally here in Trieste!
Fountain that accurately describes Trieste's ties to the sea
Fountain that accurately describes Trieste’s ties to the sea
Along the main street
Along Corso Cavour, the main street adjacent to the cities famous piazza

My race was on a Sunday and so we arrived Saturday with a planned departure on Monday.  After we checked into the hotel, we strolled down to the Piazza Unità d’Italia to register for my race.  I had often heard this piazza referred to as “the most beautiful piazza in Italy” and what I saw did not disappoint.  The grand square is the largest of any on the water in all of Europe.  On this particular spring weekend the piazza was  also the location of my finish line.

We walked down with a friend I made in the hotel - he was also running in the race
We walked down with a friend I made in the hotel – he was also running in the race
Julia stands with Julia in the square
Jen hangs out with Julia in the square
The piazza at night
The Piazza Unita d’Italia at night
Julia hugs Jen while we were walking around
Julia hugs Jen while we were walking around

We didn’t have much to worry about the night before the race, so we strolled through the piazza and walked the roads along the water.  They had all sorts of fair-type events set up for the race, including tents serving beer, desserts and carnival rides.  I took Julia on the Ferris Wheel and got a great view of the city and the harbor.  After the fun, we took in a spectacular seafood dinner near the harbor (mm’mmm I’m making myself hungry for fresh Italian food.  Never had that problem while writing until now, when I can’t get it quite as easily).

I get ready to take her on her first Ferris Wheel
I get ready to take her on her first ferris wheel
Away we go...
Away we go…
Daddy/Julia selfie
Daddy/Julia selfie
View from our car at the top of the ferris wheel
View from our car at the top of the ferris wheel
The sun set shortly after our ride
The sun set shortly after our ride
Picture with mom
Picture with mom
Picture with dad
Picture with dad
The sunsets in Trieste were like nothing I've ever seen
The sunsets in Trieste were like nothing I’ve ever seen
The light play from the sky was this stunning both nights we were there
The light play from the sky was this stunning both nights we were there
We had to try some delicious frittelle with nutella
We had to try some delicious frittelle with Nutella
"Honey... you've got a little Nutella, riiiiight there"
“Honey… you’ve got a little Nutella, riiiiight there”
Walking through the piazza with daddy
Walking through the piazza with daddy
Julia loved playing with the glasses
Julia loved playing with the glasses
Dusk selfie
Selfie at dusk

On race day, I was up and at ’em early – ready to beat my goal time (which I didn’t do).  Of course, I forgot that I was in Italy and so the start of the race was a little later than I originally planned.  I kept warm by jogging around the parking lot and taking in the crowds.  I was tickled when I ran past the snack tents used for refueling depleted calories (usually covered by bananas and power bars) and found brioche and other Italian pastries.  When I finished, I could not have been more pleased to be greeted by Jen and Julia; and to have Julia wear my medal.

Julia got up early to see me off
Julia got up early to see me off
There wasn't much happening at the start line until after the race was supposed to begin
There wasn’t much happening at the start line until after the race was supposed to begin
And we're off!
And we’re off!
I had the sea to my right for almost the entire half-marathon
I had the sea to my right for almost the entire half-marathon
I felt (and looked) like death, but I crossed
I felt (and looked) like death, but I crossed the finish line
I got my medal...
But I got my medal…
Which I was happy to give to Julia
Which I was happy to give to Julia
My little peanut was proud of me... that was the best part of all
My little peanut was proud of me… that was the best part of all
Julia may have been more interested in the biscotti than the medal
Julia may have been more interested in the biscotti than the medal
Family picture
Family picture
Picture along the canal that runs through the city streets
Picture along the Canale Grande (Grand Canal) that runs through the city streets

After the race, we stopped for a quick snack and beer (hey, I earned it) before going back to the hotel to change.  Then, it was time to tour the city!  Even though my marathon race was just a maratonina, I’m sure that we walked the remaining 13.1 miles as we wound through Trieste’s ancient streets.  This was especially challenging, since the first part of the tour required me to carry Julia and her stroller up the Scala Giganti (Giant Steps).  We capped it all off back in the Piazza Unità d’Italia for happy hour before a wonderful dinner.

We stopped for a beer and light snack along the canal
We stopped for a beer and light snack along the canal
Julia rode a merry-go-round
Julia rode a merry-go-round
The touring began with the STEPS
The touring began with the Scala dei Giganti (Giant Steps) – this is only about 25% of them
After a long uphill climb, we got this panoramic of the city
After a long uphill climb, we got this panoramic of the city
We arrived at the CASTLE
We arrived at the Castello di San Giusto
STATUE
Statue in front of the castle depicts maritime soldiers at war
In front of the castle were ancient Roman ruins
In front of the castle were ancient Roman ruins
I love that you can find young soccer players were ancient Roman soldiers stood a thousand years before
Young soccer players compete where ancient Roman soldiers stood a thousand years before
I can never catch Jen for a candid!
I can never catch Jen for a candid!
Here I am in front of the CASTLE
Here I am in front of the Castello di San Giusto
Nearby is a church - see if you can find the two cannon balls that have been lodged in the stone during a siege from the sea
Nearby is the Cattedrale di San Giusto – see if you can find the two cannon balls that have been lodged in the stone during a siege from the sea centuries before
Lovebirds
Lovebirds
Wonderful ancient streets
Wonderful ancient streets – this is Viale XX Settembre
Half-Marathon or not... this kid had to get up and down these stairs somehow
Half-Marathon or not… this kid had to get up and down these stairs somehow
CHURCH
Chiesa di San Silvestro
Ancient Roman theatre
Teatro Romano di Trieste – ancient Roman theatre
We stopped in the piazza for happy hour
We stopped back in the piazza for happy hour
My happy hour instagram shot
My happy hour Instagram shot
Julia and I took a swing around the piazza
Julia and I took a stroll around the piazza
The grand canal at night
Chiesa di Sant’Antonio Nuovo at the end of the Canale Grande – well-lit at night
My girls at night
My girls at night

If you ever find yourself in northeast Italy (I’m talking to YOU, when you plan that inevitable visit Venice) – do yourself a favor and carve out a couple of days to see Trieste.  You’ll be glad you did!Sipping Espresso Logo

My Final Blog Post From Italy

3 thoughts on “Trieste… Italy’s Most “European” City”

  1. Loved this story Greg. Trieste seems almost ‘modern’ in appearance, but looking at the photos of the streets and the Teatro I was reminded of Voltera. No matter where you go in Italy there is always going to be some incredible history around the corner isn’t there? And I think you can blog about Italy from anywhere in the world…keep it coming. Congrats on the maratonina too – who can run when you have those sensational views to distract you!

    1. Glad you found the blog and enjoyed the pictures. By all means, pin away! I’d definitely be interested in reviewing Trieste for your website, please message me the details (you can click the “contact us” tab). Thanks and keep reading – I promise to get more content on here one of these days (I’m woefully behind). – Greg

Please let me know your thoughts!