An August 2000 trip
to Trieste by Barb B
Quote: Built on the rugged hillside above the port and beautiful coastline, Trieste is famous for it's marvelous seafood and Vienna-like coffeehouses. But there is much more to enjoy in this city which was once part of the Austro-Hungraian Hapsburg Empire.
Historically and culturally, Trieste is a magical city. From its theatrical and musical presentations to the historic cafes with their many gastronomic delights; it can be said that Trieste is truly an international city.
Restaurant | "Harry's Bar "
Adjoining Trieste's most upscale hotel, the Duchi d'Aosta, Harry's can be both relaxed and elegant. The perfect spot for a quiet drink or to rendevous with friends. Comfortably furnished with polished brass, hand rubbed wood paneling and blue chandeliers of blown glass from Murano.
Harry's Bar opens onto the Piazza del Unita d'Italia and outdoor tables are shaded by a canopy in summer for "people watching" while you imbibe. Pastas, Seafood and Mediterranean snacks and appetizers are available, but if you plan on a full meal, better to make a reservation and eat at the restaurant inside.
The food is good at Harry's; however, with so many superb seafood restaurants in Trieste, I find it more enjoyable to just sip a glass of wine or a martini here. Then, move on to one of the other fine local restaurants for dinner. (See other journal entries.)
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 1, 2000
Piazza Unita D'italia, 2
Trieste, Italy 34121
Entrees fresh from the Adriatic or from the aquaculture farms of nearly Duino are prepared to perfection. Prior to preparation, whole fish are routinely brought to the table for inspection by diners who consider themselves true fish lovers. Specialties include sauteed mixed mollusks, classic pasta preparations, risottos and poached grilled or baked fish all perfectly executed. Super-fresh shrimp, tiny squid and mullet are cooked crisp in extra virgin olive oil that is used only once.
The wine list here is adequate with exemplary red, white and sparkling wines available. I especially liked Muller Thurgau, an elegant, fruity, dry white which was splendid with fish and seafood. It is produced by Ronco del Gnemiz. The Isonzo area near the Yugoslavian border produces fragrant dry reds: Cabernet and Merlot, which pairs well with the heavier dishes.
Closed on Sundays, and also on Monday from 20 Dec to 10 Jan and 20 June to 10 July each year.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 24, 2000
Via L. Cadorna, 7
Trieste, Italy 34100
+39 040 301771
Attraction | "The Gardens at Miramare Castle"
A visit to the gardens of Miramare is included in your price of admission to the Castle. It was here in the gardens of Miramare that the Commander of the American forces in 1946 stayed. Having liberated the castle from the Nazis, his forces were encamped here, but rather than stay inside the castle he chose to sleep in his tent in the gardens. After the untimely deaths of Maxmilian and the Archduke Ferdinand who stayed here on his way to Sarajevo, where he was assonated, Miramare Castle acquired the unfortunate reputation that a curse was laid upon all who slept within her walls.
Ideal for pleasant strolls, the Parco di Miramare includes a series of delightful walks above the Bay, manicured gardens, pavilions, a greenhouse and several ponds. Frequently, special exhibits of flowers, butterflys, and birds are also presented.
There is also an attractive cafe and shop in the upper garden area, which offers a pleasant stop for refreshments and people watching. The cafe is quite inexpensive and has a nice selection of luncheon menu items and a good variety of coffees and beverages.
The gardens are open daily in summer from 8 am to 7 pm and in winter from 8 am to 4 pm. For the full romantic treatment, in summer you can hear the entire sad story - "Miramare's Imperial Dream", performed as a light and sound show (luci e suoni). Performances are in Italian only on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 9:30 and 10:45 pm . (but call 040 679 6111 for possible English performances). Entry on concert night is approximately 15000 Lira (about $7-8 US).
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 6, 2000
Viale Miramare, 279
Trieste, Italy 34100
The Archduke Maximilian, brother of Franz Josef commissioned the building of this 19th century extravaganza. He married the Princess Charlotte of Belgium and they lived happily here, until Napoleon III of France took Trieste from the Hapsburgs.
The day we visited, a group of young school children were being given a tour by one of the docents and the children were delighted with the story of Maxmilian and "Carlotta". All went well for the couple as they lived here at Miramare until he was given the title of Emperor of Mexico in 1864 and together they sailed to Mexico. Unfortunately, his was not a good reign and he faced a firing squad in 1867.
The castle is preserved in its original condition and reflections of Maxmillian's love of the sea are everywhere. His wood paneled bedroon on the first floor was built to resemble the cabin of a ship and a glance from the window of any of the second floor rooms provides a spectacular view over the Bay of Grignano and the Adriatic beyond. His love for exotic places is displayed in the Chinese and Japanese salon. As you stand at the base of the circular staircase, if you look up, there is a glass-bottomed fishpond.
Sadly, Carlotta returned to live out her days in Brussels; driven insane by the ordeal in Mexico. If the story sounds familiar, it was made into a movie "Juarez" starring Bette Davis.
Entrance to the castle is 8000 lira (about $4 US) and includes admission to the gardens of Miramare (see separate journal entry). Opened daily from 9 am to 6 pm in summer and from 9 am to 4 pm in winter.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 5, 2000
Castello di Miramare
Trieste, Italy 34136
Because I love to cook and, even more, I love to eat, I’ve found the infinite variety of cured meats, salamis and sausages available throughout Italy both fascinating and overwhelming. A huge selection is available; all with great flavors and representing each Italian region.
Here is a short glossary I’ve set up which attempts to familiarize one with a few of the many salami varieties available!
SALAMI- There are dozens of types of salami, whose texture and flavor reflect the character and traditions of the different regions of Italy. Essentially all salami are made from pure pork but the finished product varies according to the kind of meat used, the proportion of lean meat to fat, how finely it is minced, the seasonings and the period of drying and seasoning.
SALAMI DI FELANO - This soft course-cut sausage comes from Felino near Parma and is regarded as one of the finest Italian salami. It has a very high proportion of lean pork to fat and is flavored with peppercorns, and a small amount of garlic and local white wine. It is only lightly cured and it has as a very delicate flavor. Like its neighbor Parma ham, salami di Felino is very expensive, but well worth the cost.
SALAMI FIORENTINO - This large, coarse, cut pork sausage from Tuscany is often flavored with fennel seeds and pepper, then it is known as finocchiona. The fennel gives it a very distinctive flavor.
SALAMI MILANO - Probably the most commonly found of all salami, this Milanese sausage is made from equal quantities of finely minced pork, fat and beef seasoned with pepper, garlic and white wine. It is deep red in color and speckled with grains of fat resembling rice. Also known as 'crespone,' it is mass-produced and regarded as inferior to most other salami. There is also a small whole Salami Milanese, call cacciatoro, which is cured and matured for a much shorter time and has a more delicate flavor and softer texture.
SALAMI SARDO - This fiery red salami from Sardinia is a rustic sausage flavored with red pepper. A similar sausage is salami Napoletano from Naples, which uses a mixture of black and red pepper for a powerful kick.
SALAMI UNGHERESE - Despite its name this salami is manufactured in Italy, using a Hungarian recipe. It is made from very finely minced pure pork or pork and beef, flavored with paprika, pepper, garlic and white wine. The fat is evenly spread throughout the sausage giving it a mottled appearance.
BUYING AND STORING - With the exception of salami di Felino, almost all salami can be bought ready-sliced and vacuum packed, but will taste much better if it is freshly cut from a whole salami. A good delicatessen will slice the salami to the thickness you require. Ideally it should be eaten the same day, but it will keep for two or three days in the refrigerator. -- BOUN APPETITO TUTI!!
Past trips to Trieste had always been in Summer--this was my first Winter trip and my first meeting with the "Bora". For unsuspecting visitors to Trieste, the Bora is that terrible cold wind that blows in from the Adriatic. It hits Trieste with a blast of cold that chills one clear to the bone! This fierce wind is so well known that the local Italians even have songs about it - "La Bora, Sempre Bora" - The wind always wind!
It was almost Christmas and tiny white lights twinkled in trees around the Piazza. Churches throughout the city displayed intricate hand carved wooden creches or nativity scenes. But tonight everyone was inside beside the fire.
From our hotel, we looked out across the Piazza dell'Unita d' Italia, and the wind sent leafs swirling helter skelter. An old woman leaned into the wind using her umbrella pointed into the wind to hold off the fierce "bora". The Piazza is usually a marvelous place for people watching, but tonight there are NO people--only the occasionally person rushing home.
Yes, snow is unheard of in Trieste, even in December, but if you are wondering if you will need your heavy overcoat and woolen scarf --the answer is a definite YES !
AMARO PRAGA- Strada per Laghetti 3, Muggia, Italy
Beautifully faceted, colored crystal bottles line the shelves of bars and Enoticas throughout Northern Italy. These bottles contain a popular digestive liqueur known as Amaro Praga which is manufactured in the little town of Muggia, about 5 miles from Trieste right on the Solvenian border.
This popular drink is a bittersweet mixture of forty plant and spice extracts combined with alcohol.
The Janousek family (originally from Prague) began processing these natural plant essences in 1883. They set up operations in Trieste at the beginning of the twentieth century and later moved to Muggia.
If you want to look like a local, order this as your after-dinner drink.
ILLY COFFEE-Via Flavia 110
The most wonderful coffee in the world is Illy Coffee, made in Trieste! In the early 1900s Francesco Illy had the brilliant idea of packaging coffee in pressurized cans, and in 1933 the Illy Coffee Company began operations in Trieste. Today, Illy is THE most popular brand of coffee in all of Italy.
Illy buys only the finest coffee beans and sells its rejects to less scrupulous producers. The beans are ripened for 20 days and Illy has perfected the art of making espresso using a single compressed portion or "pod". The Illy pods contain exactly the right amount of coffee for domestic and commercial espresso machines around the world.
Over 3 million cups of Illy espresso coffees are served daily around the world. Different roasts are produced in different areas of Italy, with the deepest roasts being produced in Sicily.
The company also produces a spectacular collection of specialized coffee cups. The Illy cup collection is used as a vehicle to promote a variety of notable artistic projects and events, which go far outside the traditional venues.
Illy has set forth the mission to "delight customers around the world". For connoisseurs and those passionate about coffee, Illy provides a memorable experience. Its coffee is available throughout the world and they maintain an interesting and informative website at the following URL: http://www.illy.com.
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