So, what was Trieste like? | La Vita Nuova | Year Abroad Adventures

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

So, what was Trieste like?

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Trieste, since I chose not to look it up online before getting on the train, but I was very, very pleasantly surprised! Trieste is an Italian port city which is actually very close to Slovenia and Croatia. As such, it's by the sea and very picturesque. A lot of its architecture also seems influenced by its history as part of the Austro-Hungarian empire (I was surprised to find out that the city had been Italian for a relatively short time!), and it too, is very beautiful!

Grand Canal, Venice
I travelled by train to Trieste from Venice as part of a trip organised by ESN Venezia, or the Erasmus Student Network. They're a fantastic group of volunteer students who have organised an insane amount of events for us internationals, so I'm very grateful to them for giving me some semblance of a social life!! The above picture is what the Grand Canal looks like at about 6:45am. An ungodly hour, but a pretty nice view.

James Joyce statue
Once in Trieste, we were treated to a tour around the city led by a student from ESN Trieste. We saw most of the central city and its beautiful buildings, a nice statue of James Joyce (who spent 15 years in Trieste), a photo exhibition depicting various aspects of life in Trieste, and another amphitheatre sort of structure. We also went to the Saint Spyridon Church, which is the first Serbian Orthodox church I've visited! It was gorgeous inside, very extravagant and golden.

Saint Spyridon Church
The whole tour was pretty interesting, but since a lot of us hadn't had much time to eat in the morning, we got very hungry after a while...! Luckily we were able to take a short break for lunch, grab pizza, and then start the walk and bus ride towards Castello di Miramare. Now, these bus rides... let's just say they were not very fun at all. The buses are not designed to hold around 40 students as well as the general population all at once. Suffice it to say that we travelled like sardines for far too long... 😖

Piazza Unità d'Italia
Stepping off the bus, there was a sight to behold – the Adriatic sea stretched out in front of us with no end in sight, and it was so blue and so peaceful. Pictures honestly can't do justice to how gorgeous the sea looked with the sun shining on it that day. We walked right along the coastline to the castle, passing by swimmers and sunbathers...

After a short while we finally arrive at Castello di Miramare, and oh my gosh, I think this may be one of the most beautiful locations I've ever been to, seriously! Miramare literally means "watch the sea", and as you can see from the photos, it truly lives up to its name!

The castle grounds are absolutely huge, much bigger than you would expect from first glance, and they're filled with gardens, ponds, little paths through the trees, views over the port... Just about everything you could want. There were also so many gorgeous photo spots, I could have stayed there all day! It really is the sort of place where you want to just relax and sit by the sea forever.

Castello di Miramare
After we gathered ourselves to finally leave Castello di Miramare (and were treated to the story of the castle's curse: it is said that whoever sleeps there will die a violent death in a foreign land!! 😬), we took another crowded bus up to a small bar where we had aperitivo, with a beautiful view over the city as sunset fell. The wine was slightly cheap and nasty, but we had good fun snacking, drinking and chatting to one another!

Night view over Trieste
I came back home exhausted at the end of the day (not helped by the fact that the train we were supposed to get on was too crowded for us, and we had to wait nearly an hour to get the last one...), but I had such fun! I met a couple of lovely friends on the trip, and got talking to plenty of people I might not have done otherwise. Trieste and its castle are perfect for anyone staying in this area of Italy to visit – if you like beautiful views, this is the place for you.

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