Trieste, Italy- this is where Justin and I call home for the moment. Justin was accepted into the Master’s Program at the Illy Coffee Foundation supported by the University of Trieste. Come October when he defends his thesis he will have a Master’s in the Economics and Science of Coffee. (Yes, the program really does exist…).
Since it’s a new city for us, and not very well known by others, I thought I’d use this opportunity to tell you a little bit about this somewhat forgotten Italian port city. Trieste is located on the Adriatic Sea about an hour and a half east of Venice by train. The city is only 20 min away from the Slovenian border, and about an hour and fifteen minutes from the Croatian border. I’ve attached a map for visual geography learners like me! J
It has a population of just over 200,000 people and is one of the wealthier regions in Italy as it remains a center for shipping, shipbuilding, and (randomly) financial services. Like many Italian cities, finding a café or bar is not hard and for shoe-lovers, its very very dangerous. But Trieste is somewhat of an understated city compared to other Italian cities. Unlike places like Florence, Rome, or Venice you don’t fall in love with Trieste at first sight. For example, although it has some very nice architecture including Roman ruins, the Austrian Quarter (built to resemble Vienna during the Austro-Hungarian empire, and Piazza Unità d’Italia (the largest seafront square in Europe), it lacks the grandeur and sheer number of flamboyant architecture found elsewhere.
But I’m finding great pleasure in learning to appreciate the city beyond first impressions. The weather is incredibly dramatic. As you’ll note from the pictures attached- when it is cloudy and rainy, the city is dark and melancholy and the water front becomes mysterious. Then the winds come, nearly blowing us all away, but the result is beautiful, gorgeous, sunny days and the city just shines. The sun reflects off the buildings showing off their colors, and details- I find it nearly impossible to be anything but happy and positive on these sunny days. The contrast remains astounding.
Side note: I’ve been spending a lot of time studying emotions and the corresponding expressions humans make when we have certain emotions and its been fascinating to watch the general mood as the weather changes from day to day. For me its another reminder of how connected we are to the natural world around us.
The city has its fair share of narrow streets only passable if you are on foot. In fact, my favorite café, Caffè della Musica, was found while I was wandering one of these passage ways. We are having trouble with our internet at home, so I often will go to the Caffè Della Musica for internet, delicious homemade salads, pastas, and juices. The barista has become accustomed to seeing me on a regular basis and he introduced me to his girlfriend this week. She wants to practice her English and my Italian certainly needs work so we’ll be meeting twice a week! J
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