Every year Trieste welcomes Spring with a calendar filled with outdoor events sure to help you thaw out from the seemingly endless and very gray winter. There are many to choose from; sporting events, art exhibits, concerts, plays and literary happenings. But the ones that really mark the thaw of the city from Winter’s grip and which i look forward to are : Trieste in Fiore, Castelli Aperti, Horti Tergestini and Barbacan Produce.

Trieste in Fiore is the annual garden and flower show & market held in Viale XX Settembre usually in the third week in March.  This year it kicks off on March 17-25 starting at Largo Don Francesco Bonifacio all the way up to Teatro Rossetti, the entire Boulevard will be overflowing with kiosks and stands featuring plants, trees and garden items.

They carry a vast selection of fruit trees, garden plants of every variety, roses, cacti, perennials, annuals and more for large gardens and small. Mixed in among them are vendors selling handmade all natural soaps & lavender sachets, artisans selling jewelry or dried flower arrangements, candles, linens and table cloths. There are also food stands offering small producer cheeses, cured meats and breads. The festival lasts one week and one never comes away empty-handed. It is the true kick-off to Spring and often coincides with the first flowering of the trees around town and in the Carso.

The second event is Castelli Aperti FVG, this is a region wide event. Both Castles held by the local counties and those still held privately are opened up to the public. Events marking this special weekend (usually held in the Spring in April and one in the Fall around October) are tours of the castles, historic reinactments, wine tastings, food markets, crafts fairs, etc. It is fun because they become day trips as they are not too far from Trieste and you get to enjoy the countryside and visit these beautiful historic sites and homes while enjoying local flavors.

The third event, in mid April on the 14 & 15, is Horti Tergestini. This is a beautiful garden & home show and market that takes place inside the expansive, beautiful gardens of the ex-Psychiatric Hospital of Trieste, Parco San Giovanni. It also coincides with the blooming of the park’s famous rose garden. This event includes everything from plants, to crafts, to artisanal products. In addition there are activities for the whole family; presentations and classes about gardening and nature, there are theatrical performances, book readings, live music etc. The park also has a very nice family friendly restaurant and both there and in the rose garden one can find live music all spring and summer long.

Also in full swing starting in mid-March are the Botanical Garden of Trieste Civico Orto Botanico,  and the Giardino Botanico Carsiana dedicated to the flora and fauna of the Carso.

Another fun event is the Barbacan Produce Market which is a collective of local artisans and designers who gather approximately 4 times a year in the heart of the Old Town (Citta’ Vecchia) near the Arco di Riccardo in Piazza Barbacan. Here you can find everything from one of a kind jewelry, handbags, clothing, furniture, tablewares, baby clothes and much more.

Trieste is a city that enjoys the love, support and enthusiastic participation of its citizens. There are many events scheduled everyday, year-round which are open to the public and often free. One thing you can never complain about in Trieste, is that there is nothing to do, so get out there, soak up sun and the city!

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