In Trieste - An Autumn by the Sea - CycleBlaze

September 22, 2018

In Trieste

I’ve had a longing to visit Trieste for many years - as long as I can remember, really.  I couldn’t quite say why, but I think it began in my childhood days perusing the family’s world atlas.  When I was a child, Trieste piqued my interest and puzzled me because it was then a type of entity I didn’t really understand: the Free Territory of Trieste, a small United Nations protectorate that was created after the end of the Second World War.  Comprising what is now the city of Trieste,  together with what is now coastal Slovenia and northern Istria, it was created as a buffer between Italy and Yugoslavia to manage border issues of a culturally and politically complex area.  All of yesterday’s ride was within what was once the Free Territory of Trieste.

Beyond that, I was also drawn in by an essay on Trieste in Among the Cities, a work of travel writing by Jan Morris.  I read it perhaps forty years ago, before I’d done any real travel of my own, and felt like it had something to say to me about what travel was for and about.  And, as far as that goes, I was intrigued by Morris too.  A Welsh transsexual, he was born James Morris and took up travel writing after being stationed in Trieste during its occupation at the end of the war.  When I first was aware of Morris, he still went under his born identity.  I think Morris is the first transsexual I was ever aware of, and I was pretty perplexed by it, probably even a bit shocked.

So, finally here we are.  Based on this visit, we should have come sooner and we should come back some day.  Trieste is a remarkable city, with one delightful surprise after another.  It feels more Middle European than Mediterranean, and reminded me a bit of Vienna.  It has some wonderful public spaces - in particular, the splendid Piazza dell’ Unita d’Italia, the largest sea facing square in Europe and one of the most impressive squares I recall seeing anywhere.  And the richness of its architecture is astonishing - you could get a stiff neck from craning to look up at the sculptures of heroes, muses, warriors and noblemen adorning one landmark building after another.  Also, it has a more down to earth feel than other, more popular of the great European cities - it isn’t completely overrun by tourists, spaces are more open, and it feels like a real working city.

I apologize for the overly large album in this post, but every time we went out we found new wonders worth remembering.  It’s a very enchanting place.

Piazza dell’ Unita d’Italia
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The clock tower and fountain, Piazza dell’ Unita d’Italia
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Steve Miller/GrampiesSo weird. The figures at the top each have one swollen arm, and the one at the bottom has a bag over its head, while holding a VW clutch plate, or something.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesI noticed the veiled woman, who looks pretty grotesque closer up; but I’d missed the swollen arms. I haven’t found a description of this yet, but maybe it has a healing theme.
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I encountered this ‘running’ troupe on the way to breakfast. They would assemble, chat, check their phones, and then take a leisurely lope across the piazza. And repeat.
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Terrorizing the pigeons
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Steve Miller/GrampiesThat is quite a unique pigeon photo!
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Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesHe was having a lot of fun, wheeling around the square and then charging through the flock again. I was lucky to catch a decent shot of him.
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2 months ago
Jen GrumbyGreat shot! And what fun for the young bicycler.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyHe was having a great time, alright. Not so great for the poor pigeons, but it helps keep their wits sharp.
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2 months ago
Kathleen ClassenWhat a great shot! I didn’t notice the pigeon over his shoulder at first. An even better photo. Keith
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Scott AndersonTo Kathleen ClassenJust lucky. I was focused on trying to get his face, and the pigeon was just a bonus.
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Shawn AndersonSuch an amazing action photo!
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Scott AndersonTo Shawn AndersonI know. I get lucky every once in a while. Actually, he reminded me of you, about forty years ago.
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In the Piazza dell’ Unita d’Italia. I think we passed three separate wedding celebrations here.
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The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. Our hotel is just a few yards to the right of this.
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The dome, Santa Maria Maggiore
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The Grand Canal, and the Church of Saint Antonio Traumatirgo
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Art class, scene one
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Art class, scene two
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It looks like there is still some sentiment for the Free Territory of Trieste.
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Rachael’s been browsing the web looking for this skirt. It would make a great travel outfit.
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The Roman Theater (1st-2nd century AD)
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The sunset brigade is at its post on Audace Pier.
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Jen GrumbySo cool to see Nature's great power to bring people to together in peaceful awe.
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Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyIt’s pretty amazing, alright. They’re all just still, calm and rapt.
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On our first night in Trieste we were lucky enough to see this splendid sunset.
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This was really an infectious exercise class. It made us both want to dance.
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How can you not be inspired to exercise with an instructor like this?
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We were both a bit shocked by how windy and cold it was on our second evening. Note the two kids in the background - they’ve been prancing around this pond nonstop for the last several minutes. I think they were inspired by the aerobics workout a short distance away.
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Saint Spiradon, the Serbian Orthodox Church
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Inside Saint Spiradon, the Serbian Orthodox Church
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Inside Saint Spiradon, the Serbian Orthodox Church
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Detail of the main facade of Saint Spiradon, the Serbian Orthodox Church
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Oktoberfest celebration
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Audace Pier has a much different atmosphere on our second night here.
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We’ve moved beyond chilly. Unfortunately, the restaurants don’t open for another fifteen minutes.
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There were so many reasons to like Trieste, but now this! Branzini with grilled potatoes, dried tomatoes and olives. Incredible.
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Returning to our room for the last time.
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Bruce LellmanNote: Not to be confused for those googling Jan Morris, she was actually born James Morris not John. Easy mistake.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanOh, of course. The management regrets the error.
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