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4 January 2014 39,169 views No Comment

Trieste is sort of round the corner from Venice. And also across the border from Slovenia. The scenery certainly took me back to Montenegro with its rocky, un-fussy waterfronts and rugged, silhouette-friendly hills. The town is wonderful old Italy – cobble stones, marvellous archways, numerous churches,and a consistent buzz around the coffee shops and restaurants.


I was here to finally learn some Italian and see another little slice of Italia while doing so. I’d chosen to attend Piccola Universita Italiana and I landed well and truly on my feet. The teachers and managers were ace – absolute expert at tailoring the learning, and the school itself was beautiful – lovely facilities more akin to a boutique hotel than a school.
The first thing I learned at Italian school was that I know an awful lot of Spanish. For the first few days I was managing decent fluent responses in Spanish only. So it’s nice to see that never went to waste (!) But the more practice and the more building blocks and the Italian started to come. I really like it; lovely sounding language, lovely words, tricky grammar bits but all worth the effort.
One of the best things about the school was how they were prepared to spend free time together – extra opportunities to practice language, to get to know each other and to do some sightseeing together. This is a brilliant touch, really helping to accelerate language skills and confidence, plus it’s sociable and a great way to see the town.


photo 4Trieste is great to wander around. There’s a big main square, piazza I should say, which opens onto the port. It had a Christmas tree and marvellous Christmas lights projected onto the town hall (think it was the town hall..). South of the piazza are the smaller, windier streets, lots of cobbles and crowded shops including a delicious chocolate & ice cream place where the hot chocolate was so thick and yum your spoon could stand up straight. Zig zagging back from those streets you can take the narrow streets up to the hilltop cathedral with a smashing view of the city lights. North of the big piazza are the wider main shopping streets that lead to the railway station. The port is nice enough (for a port y’know) – I had a good run around there on New Years Day, champagne bottles bobbing in the water – and then the coastline stretches out straight, north to the Castello di Miramare. It’s a terrific walk way with trees rustling, waves lapping against the wall, great twilight views over the bay to far east Italy and on to Slovenia.

As a place to live for a week, going to school, staying pretty low key but enjoying somewhere new, Trieste was perfect. I’d recommend it for a weekend or stopover, and I expect in the summer the water is beautiful and there would be some charming boat cruises and, of course, swimming, to be done.

around town, click on the coffee cup, it’s a video!

sunset over the port, even pinker than the photos capture
photo 1photo 2

Castello di Miramare
photo 3photo 1

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