Saturday, June 28, 2008

Italy and my family

Trieste is set between the sea and the hills; it is the most northern point of Italy along the Adriatic Sea. The streets follow one another and their exquisite places of great architectural value recall the extraordinary development that the city enjoyed during the nineteenth century. It is also known for its ‘Bora’ (the wind).
My favourite’s things about Trieste are visiting my family, the coffee, food, fashion and the language. There is nothing like watching a Disney cartoon in Italian – ‘Beauty and the Beast” at least I know the story.

This will be my 7th time back to Trieste to see my family – sadly my Zio Istriano passed away in 2002. Now all the brothers are passed on, Giordano born(1911 - 1996 circ), Bruno (1913 -1974 circ), Prometeo(1916 - 1937) (died at age 20 circ) Spartaco (1920 - 1991), & Istriano (1922 - 2002). Zio Istriano is survived by his wife Liliana and they had no children. Liliana and her sister Edda live in the family home in Prosseco. Out of 5 sons only two had children and they were girls, Pauline & Ivana (Giordano), Maria Serena (Spartaco).

My cousin Maria Serena is married to Eugenio and have a son Emanuele (13yrs). Their hospitality has been immeasurable. They live in a quaint village San Dorligo Vale, 20 minutes east of Trieste city and 15 minutes from the Slovenian border. Dorglio is picturesque with a church in the centre of the village, surrounded by typical Italian houses with window boxes full of geraniums, in the valley encircled by mystical green trees. The very nature of the village is charming, restful and enchanting. It really does take your breath away.

Ian has fallen in love with Trieste; he finds the countryside irresistible, the food delightful and the winding hilly roads exciting. However Ian has not got use to the idea of when you have a cup of coffee in the café you stand up and its finished in about 5 minutes maximum as opposed to a leisurely coffee in Fremantle (WA) that can take any where from 15 mins to half an hour, even longer if you are trying to rest your weary feet.

It is good to see that Ian feels the same away about Italy as I do; it is truly a beautiful country. Its people can be emotional, exciting, frantic, warm and friendly. I dare say we will be back in the future.

Plazza Unita


We took a drive to Capodistria (Koper) – 18 km South East of Trieste. The country side is very similar to that of Trieste. Capodistria is the major port for Slovenia. As this is a border town, both Italian and Slovenian languages are spoken. However as we do not speak either language it was just as well we made ourselves understood with my broken Italian and pigeon English. Things seemed a little cheaper in Koper. We went through a historical area; the streets are narrow and cobbled stoned. The people we met were warm and friendly eager to please. It was a very enjoyable afternoon.

Saint Servolo Castle:

This castle sits high on the top of the hill over looking Trieste and Slovenia. It is approximately 5 kms from San Doligo Vale. The castle was built in the middle ages, it looks quite spooky and medieval sitting high on the hill and can be seen from Trieste.
The castle is now utilised as a restaurant.

Castello di Miramare:

This is my daughter’s favourite castle; she fell in love with this place when she spent several months in Italy as a teenager.
The castle sits on the coast of the Adriatic Sea in alls its splendour, beckoning you to explore its walls. Its very existence screams romanticism. Then when you read its history you find that Maximilian of Hapsburg built this beautiful castle for his wife as he loved her immensely. He then went off to explore the seas and he was killed by the Mexicans. His beautiful wife Charlotte of Belgium was heart broken and lived alone in this castle, she became crazy and died at the age of 90ish.
The castle is magnificent, and the grounds impeccable there are trees and gardens from all over the world.

Lunch at “The Cavallino” (The little horse) Prosecco Italy:

This is an exquisite restaurant; its speciality is pesce “fish”. This was a family lunch shared by all. There is nothing like an extended leisurely lunch, sunshine, lots of exceptional food, wine and splendid company.
It was lovely to spend time with Zia Liliana & Edda, Maria Serena, Eugeino, Emanuele, Ian and myself. What an extraordinary time!
Ian was mesmerised by the speed and fluency of the Italian language spoken by Zia Liliana & Edda, it was like a whirlwind passing through, that lasted though-out lunch and late into the afternoon.
We spent all afternoon reminiscing about times gone by and Zio Istriano, who we all sadly miss.
I can not count the number of times I have been told off for only allowing 5 days of our holiday to Italy, so we have promised to return.

Ian and I have enjoyed this part of our holiday immensely and have promised to return and do an extensive tour of Italy together with the vineyards. I have assured Ian that when we return home to Perth I will no longer be the good Italian wife, this ends when we leave Italy, we go back to normal life and you bring my cup of tea in every morning – rather than me laying out your breakfast every morning. Oh also that means we both do the dishes.

Next we are off to Surrey then Yorkshire and lastly London.

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