While Trieste and the rest of Italy are trying to bravely return to normality, we might see instances of bacchanal frenzy , but mostly we see tepid attempts to resume regular activities.
Going to a popular cafe’ over the holiday weekend, you see contradictions: people trying to drink, eat and talk with masks half on half off. While attention is given to hygiene, you are still served potato chips from a communal bowl from which guests have to fish out their portions.
There is, despite the beautiful weather, still a sense of “agoraphobia” as piazzas remain largely empty. Trieste Cultura’s page is barely updated and what is often the “go-to” for the “to do” in Trieste offers little in terms of choices.
But do not lose hope. Trieste is full of light, full of the scents of spring; the sweet elderflower and frangipane trees are in bloom, the wild thyme is in its purple splendor and with every step offers its fragrant gift. The sea gives us a parade of blues and greens and entertains us with her moods, sometimes serene, sometimes playful and sometimes angry.
So while social and indoor activities might still elude us, there are plenty of beautiful outdoor spaces to discover and enjoy.
Often referred to as the “lungs” of the city, Trieste’s parks and gardens offer pleasant refuge from the dog days of summer and lovely displays of color in spring and fall.
Trieste’s main gardens prominently featuring botanical specimens are:
The Civico Orto Botanico: Established in 1842 the city-run botanical garden is a small but lush oasis that resembles a secret garden. The C.O.B. offers a variety of programs for children and boasts an area dedicated to ancient prehistoric plants and fossils, guarded by a statue of the famous “Antonio” dinosaur, discovered just outside Trieste. A main feature is the water garden filled with lilies and lotus flowers as well as collections of plants that are used for medicinal purposes, edible plants and plants used in textile manufacture. The Trieste Botanical Garden publishes an annual Index Seminum, which it shares with other botanical gardens around the world providing data on the species and seeds available.
Open March 8 – November 15: Mon & Wed 9am-17 and Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat & Sun 9am-13
Civico Orto Botanico (Civic Botanical Garden) free entry
Via Marchesetti 2
tel. +39 040 360068
cell. +39 3486393055
Giardino Botanico Carsiana, (often referred to as simply Carsiana) is outside of the city near the village of Sgonico. Founded in 1964, the garden was created to collect, conserve and highlight the native flora and vegetation of the Karst in its natural setting. About 600 species of flora have been collected in the 5000 sq. meters it occupies and are divided into the following categories: karstic scrubland / scree slopes / karstic woodland / dry karstic grassland / coastal cliffs / dolina woodland / upland karst habitats / water-bodies and wetlands / the karstic basin.
Open Tues-Fri 10am-13 and Sat & Sun 10-13 & 15-17 closed Mondays
Carsiana (Carsiana Botanical Garden) free entry
Via Sgonico, 55 – Sgonico (Trieste)
tel. +39 040 3775470 or +39 335 182 6570
Parco San Giovanni, Already written about at length in this blog, this historic park was once home to the psychiatric hospital of Trieste. It is a beautiful sprawling park, home to the famous Rose garden and host to several festivals throughout the spring and summer months featuring theater, arts, music, books, crafts etc.
For more information please check out their website at: http://www.parcodisangiovanni.it/
Parco di Villa Revoltella The park is located above Trieste in a vast wooded area adjacent to the MIB school. Once the country home of the Barone Pasquale Revoltella, the park covers about 50,000 square meters. Although the park has seen better days, it is still worth visiting. The main features are the elaborate iron gate at the entrance, the Karst stone church, the Chalet-style residence and the glass and cast-iron greenhouses overlooking the typical Italian garden. There is a lovely play area marked by a statue of Pinocchio on a fountain including a basketball court and a skating rink.
Open daily 7am-20 in the summer and 7am-19 in the winter.
Parco di Revoltella free entry
Via Carlo De Marchesetti, 37, 34139 Trieste TS
Giardino Pubblico Muzio de Tommasini is a public garden and green oasis in the commercial center of Trieste off of Via Giulia. Opened in the mid 1800s by the noted botanist and Mayor of Trieste Muzio de Tommasini (and later named in his honor), the garden occupies 30,000 sq.meters and features a lake, a giant chess board, 368 different species of trees, play areas for children and a sculpture park dedicated to the more illustrious residents commemorating the city’s history.
Open daily 7am – 19
MuzioTommasini free entry
Via Giulia 2, Trieste
Parco delle Rimembranze on the Hill of San Giusto, is the historical and monumental heart of Trieste, from where the city rose up — from the first fortifications to the Roman settlements in 33 BC. It can be accessed from several parts of the city; from behind the Roman Amphitheatre onto Via Donata. Or, on the other side of the city, one can go up the winding Via Capitolina or, via a more challenging but also more iconic route, up the Scala dei Giganti (the Stairs of Giants) above the tunnel in Piazza Goldoni, which brings you to the Alabarda – symbol of Trieste. The top of the hill is dominated by the castle of San Giusto (1253) from whose battlements you can enjoy a wonderful view of the city. In addition to the castle you can visit the Cathedral, the Roman basilica, the Lapidary Garden, the monument to the Third Army of 1929 and the J.J. Winckelmann Museum of Antiquities featuring Egyptian, Islamic, Coptic, Greek and Roman collections. The hillside surrounding these important landmarks is green and lined with walking paths and two playground areas. Babypark San Giusto between Via della Cattedrale and Via San Michele is a nice little park for families, offering play structures and pretty architectural elements.
Always Open free entry (access to the Castle and battlements must be paid)
Passeggio Sant’Andrea is a pedestrian promenade overlooking the bay between Trieste and Muggia and the new Port of Trieste. The Passeggio, built by the city between 1812 and 1847, bears the name of an old country church that stood there until the end of 1700s.
The green area flanks an elegant residential district of homes and gardens. In the
upper part, the promenade is composed of a wide tree-lined avenue, with the park part next to it along pathways that connect it to the avenue below.
The recently redeveloped site maintains the characteristic street lamps and large paved pedestrian area while a play area has been introduced; in the middle of the promenade there is a fountain featuring dancing water. The Passeggio is a popular destination for its views, activities and several cafes that line it — also it is home to the independent and art movie theater, Ariston.
Always Open free entry
Entrances on Via Campo Marzio, Via Murat, Via Tedeschi, Via Romolo Gessi
Giardino Attilio Hortis in Piazza Hortis, was once an ancient cemetery site in the early Christian period, it is located in the historic center of Trieste connecting Campo Marzio, Cittavecchia and the Cavana neighborhoods, surrounded by various cultural institutions including the Civic Library and the Modern Art Gallery of Art of the Revoltella Museum and dotted with many cafes, restaurants, shops and several rotating weekly open air markets featuring antiques, clothing and fresh fruits and flowers.
The garden occupies almost the entire square with an area of 2,100 sq.meters. and is lined with large important trees from exotic countries and houses a large brand new play area. In the middle of the garden there is the statue of Jacopo Hortis, a famous Triestine scholar, politician and first advocate for the establishment of the Univeristy of Trieste to the parliament of Vienna.
The small garden offers a shady rest spot in the heart of the cultural center and is often a meeting place students, visitors and locals — it is definitely a neighborhood hotspot.
Always open free entry
Parco Pineta di Barcola and Giardino Skabar, are located on the waterfront in Barcola. Giardino Skabar is a park that was created at the end of the 1800s to add some greenery to the otherwise grey waterfront area and to provide some shade to local fisherman. It maintains that old-timey feel to this day.
The Parco Pineta is a whole other story. Some would say that this is the true “beachfront” of Trieste, where bathers come to take the sun and swim along the famous “topolini”. The Pineta offers play areas, open spaces where outdoor Tai Chi and exercise classes are held. Dotted with food kiosks, restaurants and host to several music events in the summer, it is the popular with the young and the young at heart. In the summer months, there is bumper to bumper traffic along the Viale Miramare as locals and tourists swarm the area to claim their spots on the concrete beach.
Always open free entry