Many people don’t realize how sprawling Trieste is. It’s not just what you see when you are down on the waterfront – Trieste is a multicultural and multilingual metropolis and it offers a very diverse landscape – from the popular Rive on the seaside, to tiny towns nestled in the Carso, to the old city, to the many reminders of the Roman settlement to the 2 World Wars. Trieste has a long and colorful story to tell and it is written on its walls, in the hills and in the hearts of the locals. In Italian there is a word “campanilismo” which loosely translates to “adherence to one’s parish” as one would respond to the call of the church tower bell (campanile) in one’s neighborhood. The word campanilismo, which doesn’t have a specific English translation, derives from campanile (bell tower). The campanile, traditionally the tallest and most prominent building in any town or village, has become, in the concept of campanilismo, an enduring symbol of devotion to, and love of ones region, city, town, village or even quartiere (quarter, small district of a town). Trieste, while very well integrated, does enjoy the devotion of its citizenry (with a healthy dose of humorous self-deprecation) as a city and down to the very tiny neighborhoods within the neighborhoods. I am certain I will receive messages correcting me as to their number and their breakdown. I can only say I based myself on the official City Hall records and I apologize in advance if anyone is “left-out”. I invite everyone to let me know what I missed and what are the highlights of your neighborhood.
Home to about 250,000 residents, the municipality Trieste is made up of 28 neighborhoods (some say 34) in 7 Districts. They reach as far west as Santa Croce and as far east as the border with Slovenia and as far south as the border with Aquilina.
Just to be clear, Sistiana and Duino and Muggia are not part of Trieste-proper.
**** Districts and Neighborhoods ****
(the numbering below follows the map above)
Altopiano Ovest or 1st District (largely bilingual community Slovene and Italian)
20) Santa Croce – this is the western most village of Trieste, and it is famous for its leather work and its proximity to the new luxe resort Porto Piccolo.
21) Prosecco – birthplace of the eponymous famous sparkling wine.
22) Contovello – small mountain town overlooking Miramare and location of the Miramare Train Station.
Altopiano Est or 2nd District (largely bilingual community Slovene and Italian)
23) Opicina – home of the famous Tram of Opicina, the beautiful Napoleonic coastline trail, and the Zinzendorf Monument marking the Road to Vienna. Bucolic Opicina is a popular bedroom community for young families (many ex-pats) and home to the International School of Trieste.
24) Banne – small, mostly residential village near Opicina
25) Trebiciano – located halfway between Padriciano and Opicina, it is home to the Abyss of Trebiciano, a grotto that measures 329 meters in depth. It is also home to the beekeepers Settimo & Ziani whose Marasca honey is quickly becoming famous worldwide.
26) Padriciano – Home to Area Science Park (a National Research Center focusing on developing innovative technologies), the 120yr old Tennis Club Triestino and the Golf Club di Trieste, built by the Allies in the 50s. It was also the site of the Centro Raccolta Profughi a refugee center that housed many of the “esuli” coming from the Italian territories annexed to Yugoslavia.
27) Gropada – a small village famous for its many grottoes is a known destination for many spelunkers. It is also the home of an “orienteering without borders” race between Italy and Slovenia.
28) Basovizza – a small village that is home to the Sincrotrone ELETTRA and the Observatory of Trieste. Sadly it is also home to the eponymous Foiba di Basovizza (in this case abandoned mineshaft) where hundreds and possibly thousands of prisoners, soldiers and civilians were thrown into (many still alive) by Yugoslavian loyalists (but also possibly Nazis or Fascists).
15) Scorcola – Historic hillside neighborhood part of the original settlement by the Romans Tergeste and later the headquarters for the Venetian forces of the Serenissima in the late 1200s. It was the first area of urbanization for the city of Trieste, principally going from farms and manors to an upscale area of villas.
14) Cologna – takes up an area from the pubic garden Muzio Tommasini on Via Giulia up to the University of Trieste, adjacent on the waterfront to Barriera Nuova and Roiano.
16) Roiano – home to famed astrophysicist Margherita Hack until her death in 2013, home also to the STOCK brandy distillery and bottling until is was moved to the industrial district. The old building is now a commercial center and home to some offices of the public health administration.
17) Gretta – a neighborhood above Roiano. American troops built several low income homes in the area in the 1950s. It is also home to the main lighthouse, Il Faro della Vittoria.
18) Barcola – The shore of Trieste it is dotted with yacht clubs, restaurants, parks and the famous “topolini” the concrete beaches of Trieste. In the summer it is packed with locals and visitors alike enjoying the seaside. Miramare Castle is located at the end of Barcola adjacent to the tiny port of Grignano.
Downtown or 4th District encompasses the major waterfront area and is considered the heart of downtown; from the end of PortoVecchio across town where you find Piazza Unita’ and ending at the new Port and the shopping mall, Le Torri d’Europa.
1) San Vito – it is comprised of the area of Campo Marzio that encompasses the end of the rive, including the new Port, the Pedocin beach, the old train station now home to the Train Museum, the Sea Museum, the trendy and hip Stazione Rogers, the Passeggio Sant’Andrea (a pretty pedestrian walkway & park overlooking the bay between Trieste & Muggia) and the upper area of San Vito which is home to some beautiful green parks and elegant neighborhoods like Via Bellosguardo.
2) Citta’ Vecchia – this quirky/artsy ancient part of the city, reaches from Piazza della Borsa, the old ghetto, Cavana, Castello San Giusto, the Arco di Riccardo, the Roman Amphitheatre, Museo Revoltella. It is dotted with art galleries, antiques shops, vintage and used book, clothing and furniture stores, funky eateries and bars and small local designer shops and is the site of a trendy designer pop-up market called Barbacan Produce.
3) Citta’ Nuova – is made up of Borgo Teresiano (name for Maria Theresa of Austria) which encompasses the Via Carducci, Corso Italia, the train station in Piazza Liberta’ and the Rive including Canal Grande, San Spiridione, the Schmidl Theater and Music Museum, The Verdi Opera House, Piazza Unita’ and Molo Audace and Borgo Giuseppino (named for Franz Joseph of Austria) which is made up of Piazza Venezia, the Salone degli Incanti (which was the set for Ellis island in The Godfather), Stazione Marittima and Via del Lazzareto Vecchio.
4) Barriera Nuova – This is in the central part of the city and includes the famous Viale XX Settembre home of the Rossetti Playouse and is the drag where Trieste’s cinemas are concentrated. It also encompasses the Ospedale Maggiore, Via Giulia, the Synagogue, Caffe’ San Marco, the Courthouse, Kleine Berlin (ex nazi air raid tunnel).
Downtown II or 5th District
5) Barriera Vecchia – Notable for the Mercato Coperto (covered market) the literary hotel Victoria, Pirona the now defunct pastry shop once frequented by James Joyce, The Henriquez War museum.
6) San Giacomo – an extension of the Chiarbola neighborhood, sprouted from an outcrop of businesses that set up shop in mid 1800s. Eventually the Church of San Giacomo was built which serves as an anchor to the community. The area is also home to the children’s hospital Burlo-Garofalo known locally as “il Burlo”
11) Rozzol (Melara)/ Cattinara – is the area near the main hospital, Cattinara. It is also distinguished by a large low-income housing project called “Ater” which was designed following the architectural theories of Le Corbusier. It was planned in 1979 to be a self-contained community with shops, schools for 2500 residents occupying 500 apartments.
12) Chiadino – Southeast of Cattinara, this is a very wooded and home to Villa Revoltella (the summer residence of the Baron Revoltella with an expansive park), the Ferdinandeo, a Villa built in honor of Emperor Ferdinand I and now home to the MIB (Master in International Business School of Trieste). Also home to the Via del Cacciatore, a foot trail and road that runs through the Bosco del Farneto (also called “Boschetto”), and finally, also the location of the Botanical Garden of Trieste.
13) Guardiella – a tiny neighborhood flanked by Trebiciano to the north, Longhera to the east, Cologna to the west and Chiadino to the South. The historic and traditional Triestine restaurant, Trattoria Suban, is located here.
19) Longhera – a small neighborhood behind the Cattinara hospital and nestled between the Via Carnaro and Strada per Basovizza. It is known for its produce farms, vendors and Osmize.
7) Chiarbola – an area marked by the old sports arena and situated between Servola, Campo Marzio and San Vito.
8) Servola – famous for its “donne del pane” bread making traditions, renown even beyond Trieste. In 1756 it won the award for the “best bread in the Austrian Empire”, with their trademark “Bighe Servolane”
9) Valmaura – marked by the presence of several low-income housing units, the area is also home to Trieste’s 3 largest sports arenas, the Nereo Rocco Stadium, the Grezar Stadium and the PalaTrieste of basketball team ALMA. The infamous Risiera di San Sabba is also located in the area which is now a national monument and testament to the horrors carried out by the Nazis in Italy’s only crematorium.
10) S.M.M. Superiore & S.M.M. Inferiore – S.M.M. stands for Santa Maria Maddalena and they are the parts of town leading through cemetery district on down through to the industrial district before you arrive to Aquilina.
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