For those of you missing the rich fall foliage display customary in Autumn– the Carso, also known as the Altopiano Carsico, offers a show of its own. Largely limited to the color change of the Sumac’s leaves, the pop of color is nonetheless quite impressive against the grey and green of the surrounding environs. The color show consists of greens, yellows, shades of orange, red and burgundy. Particularly beautiful is to walk along the paths or “Sentieri” that edge the coastline; taking in the colors against the blue of the Gulf of Trieste. Two of the most famous of these are the Sentiero Rilke (2 Km in length) named for the famous German poet who was a guest at the Castle of Duino in the early 1900s and took long walks on the nearby cliffs and the second is La Napoleonica (5 Km in length) that starts at the Obelisk in Opicina and ends in an area favored by rock climbers.
To access the Sentiero Rilke begin at the AIAT (Agency of Information and Tourist Reception) in Sistiana, at the entrance of Sistiana Mare. It runs along the steep cliff offering breathtaking views and on good days, you can see the Alps in the distance. If you want to walk on the Napoleonica, the best bet is to go to the Obelisk in Opicina and start there. Again, amazing views of the Gulf and fall foliage.
Here is a short list of nice hikes in the surrounding Trieste area:
The Natural Reserve of Val Rosandra: not particularly challenging it takes about 3 hours in Val Rosandra, and offers beautiful views, lots of fauna and a stunning waterfall.
Monte Calvo: A two-hour circular walk up on the mountain where the large antennas overlook the City , initially sunny and sheltered from the wind, at first flat, then climbs gently through the woods, to finally return to the starting point.
Mount Stena (Griza): The end-point is a hill almost completely devoid of vegetation – an example of true Carso landscapes. It offers a breathtaking panorama of Val Rosandra and this hike has the peculiarity of always being whipped by galewinds.
Alta Via del Carso At marking #3: The Alta Via del Carso, completely surrounded by nature, is 55 km long, but you can break the journey in several stages, the best season is autumn, for the beautiful colors.
La Traversata Mediterranea: A quiet tourist promenade, which offers unforgettable views of the city and the gulf; 30 km in length, itcan be divided into several stages and is also suitable for traveling by mountain bike.
Il Sentiero di Josef Ressel: The trail named after Josef Ressel, forestry expert and inventor. The trail goeas for 4 km into a clearing in the woods and offers equipped with benches and, because it was designed specifically with sight-impaired people in mind, their are acoustic information points throughout.
A visit to a local bookstore (TransAlpina in Via di Torre Bianca #27/A – Tel. + 39 040/662297) or Tourist Office should provide you with a guide to these hikes in the area or you can research them further on the Internet.