Arrived in Trieste on Thursday and now, two Bora’s later, time for some reflection.
My relationship with Bora
First of all, I Bora is a hard way of life. And it is officially confirmed that she is a maneater.
I’ve been able to learn you have three ways of Bora coming by. She can stay for one day, three days and even ten days. To make things worse you never will know for what she is up to. It is often said that she is born in the Velebitski Canal in Croatia and dies in Trieste. Sleeping with Bora in your yacht while she is going wild, is another special experience. Be sure you are well protected. Bora comes always from the North East so your harbour must be safe for that direction. And no matter how tired you are, you will get up time by time and look up what she has left of you and your stuff.
At this moment it looks like the Bora will stay here for the week with me. The weather forecast I just received shows NE winds up to 9 Bft for the next week in the night of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. There the forecast stops…
There is something about Trieste
Back to Trieste however, to quote Cook’s Handbook for travellers:
“The average traveler would not make a point of staying long in Trieste”
It is just not true.
Trieste is a beautiful city with very friendly people. It has a strong Roman background (the name Trieste seems to originate from “market”). Since the 13th century until World War II it has been mostly under control of the Austrians. Only Napoleon captured it around 1800 for several years and then it came back to Austria. After World War II it was under control of the Allies for some time.
They had to decide weather it became Yugoslavian or Italian. The last got it more because the threat of Stalin then the cultural fit. Even today there is not a very strong relationship. In a recent poll about 70% of the Italians didn’t know Trieste is Italian.
Trieste is often seen as a city with a lost purpose. It was the main harbour of the Austrian Empire and all it’s trade was through this harbour. Unfortunatly it lost relevance with the growth of harbours as Rotterdam and Hamburg and the collapse of the Habsburgers.
Suddenly it was a a city with no goal or function at all. Only recently it start focusing on Eastern Europe and the Trieste economy seems to come alive bit by bit.
And as earlier mentioned the Italians don’t think it as Italy without reason. It is to much shaped by the cultures of Austria and Eastern Europe.
Trieste is also the city where the most coffee of the world is traded. This is due to the fact that Illy is founded here. And I have to say every double espresso I have tasted here was better then the one before.
The main piaza of Trieste, Piaza Unita d’Italia is situated directly next to the Adriatic Sea, what a view! It has a lively nightlife with nice and modern bars. So you will probably understand it will be difficult for me to leave here.
Also staying here for several days, I finally had some time to visit the city and do some sightseeing. So I could visit for instance the castle Miramare just outside Trieste. It was built by Archduke Maximilian, the brother of the Austrian emperor Frans Joseph. Maximilian would later become emperor of Mexico. This adventure would be without a happy ending unfortunately. I will write more about Miramare and Maximilian in a later post.
Exploration of the Italian cuisine was alsosomething worth doing. I had more then excellent Risotto con Frutti di Mare and a Filletto di Manzo. Found several shops with excellent bakeries, chocolate cakes, cheese, vegetables and charcuterie.
So I have to quote some Austrian guy here: “I’ll be back”.
He was a teacher in English literature here in Trieste . He arrived here in 1904 to work at the Berlitz School. Unfortunately at first they did not have work for him, so he lived in Pula for 2 years after which he returned to Trieste in 1906. He left Trieste in 1920.
The title of this post “And Trieste, ah Trieste ate I my Liver!” is quoted from Finnegans Wake. The little research I was able to do with my limited resources here in Trieste it seems it has something to do with drinking. In an explanation there is refered to an Italian drinking song (“No go la ciava del porton / pe’endar a casa. […]/ Ancora un litri di quel bon…“).
To explain the title above the following text is also often quoted: “Se non é vero son trovatore“.
Summarizing my research I don’t have a clue what the text from James is exactly about. But it has to do something with Trieste so it seems I like it.
Unfortunately my internet connection forbids somehow to upload pictures, so we have to do it with an picture of last week
no images were found
I have chosen next because of the large tanker on the background, which could have been in Trieste being a harbour city. Or better said, once being one of the most important harbours of the world.
Actually this picture is taken in front of Pula. In the old reign of the Habsburgers, Pula was the naval city of the Austrian empire. Originally it was Trieste also, but defensive motives quickly moved it to Pula. Funny thing is that the main buildings in Pula are built Trieste alike.
James Joyce called Pula “Siberia by the Sea” by the way. This point of view I certainly do not share with him.