If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider the Friuli-Venezia Giuli region of northeastern Italy, bordering on Austria and Slovenia. For simplicity’s sake we abbreviate the region’s full name to Friuli. This lovely region may be an ideal vacation spot. You can get classic Italian food and other specialties, and wash it all down with fine local wine. While Friuli is by no means undiscovered by tourists you usually won’t be fighting crowds to see what you want. Like most regions of Italy, it has belonged to many nations over the years. The region remains multicultural, an exceptional mixture of Italian, Austrian, and Slavic influences. This article explores Trieste, Friuli’s capital. A companion article examines several other attractions in this beautiful region.
Trieste, population about two hundred thousand, is the region’s largest city. Trieste was definitely part and parcel of Mittleleuropa (Central Europe) as the major port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Trieste only joined Italy in 1954. One can easily imagine that with such a unique history Trieste would be a unique place to visit. It is.
As soon as you get to Trieste you’ll notice its ubiquitous coffee houses. One of the best known is the Antico Caffè San Marco. As befits its internationality, Trieste is home to a variety of historic religious buildings representing many faiths. The Serbian-Orthodox church of the Holy Trinity and Saint Spyridion built in the mid-Nineteenth Century shows a strong Byzantine influence. Go inside for a look at its beautiful frescoes and icons. The Israelite Temple of Trieste, just over a century old, is Italy’s largest synagogue. The Trieste Cathedral dedicated to the city’s patron saint, San Guisto (Saint Justus) martyred at the beginning of the Fourth Century, was initially built in the Sixth Century on Roman ruins. It’s adjacent to a castle of the same name. Walk on its ramparts for a great view of the city and its surroundings. There is no shortage of other churches and museums to visit.
The Gratta Gigante (Giant Cave) located some 9 miles (15 kilometers) north of Trieste is the biggest tourist cave in the world. Its main room is over 160 feet (100 meters) high, almost three times as long, and about 100 feet (65 meters) wide. It’s large enough to contain Saint Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, the largest religious building in the world.
What about food? Trieste cuisine is quite international. Its foreign influences include Hungary for meat and fish goulash, Austria for coffee and a wide variety of pastries, Yugoslavia for grilled meat, and Germany for wurst and sauerkraut. There a many local Italian specialties such as potato, bread and plum gnocchi (dumplings), pasticcio and crespelle (filled pasta envelopes), potato and spinach rolls.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.Click to access the original, longer article on this Italian tourist location.
Feel free to reprint this entire article which must include the resource box