Thursday, September 06, 2007

Trieste's History of Occupations and Rulers

Cooking shows tout layers of flavors. Splendid cities boast overlays of influence.

That is Trieste: the old Tergeste under the Romans. Then ruled by Goths, Byzantines, Longobards, Franks, a free "Commune" 1060-1202 (some kind of free city without one ruler?), then Venetians, and Habsburgs of Austria 1382-1918. See commemorative coins and a fun website at

It broke free of Venice in the 1200's, and subsequently allied with Vienna. See

Numismatists have put their stamp on history. Go to this site's home page (follow the instruction to "Go Home!) and link to all sorts of other histories, stories, many countries - this site is by a many sided numismatist. For numismatism, see "Become a Numismatist."

Cosmopolitan mix. For a more formal history of Trieste, see We are used to the cosmopolitan mixes in London, Paris, Rome, and in our own country; Trieste has the advantage of a beautiful site and manageable size - partially due to its surrounding bowl of mountain ridges.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Roman Empire - and San Giusto

Finding your way around a new city - here, just aim up. San Giusto and Roman ruins are at the top of a high hill area, with enough signs. See // It if comes up Italian, search for San Giusto Trieste and click on the "translate this page" in your browser first.

There was an original Roman structure, a Capitoline Temple; and on that was built an early Christian basilica in the 6th Century. This was later destroyed, and two churches were built, Lady of the Assumption and San Giusto, and then these were connected. See ruins of the earlier Roman and Christian basilica. showing where they were; and then two churches replaced the basilica, to San Giusto and another to Mary. Using the same search words, scroll down to, translate that page and go. You will see how easy it is to get the gist of history, even when the translation is mechanical and sketchy. Sometimes regular English gets dull. This takes thinking, and is worth the thought.
The canal-waterways, urban chic, see // and rim of mountains - but Trieste is also Roman ruins and churches. See //

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Arts - Novelist Claudio Magris; Cafe-writing

People from Trieste are not Triesters, or Triestans. This article about Claudio Magris, "novelist, essayist, cultural philosopher, professor of German literature," calls him "Triestine." See I understand that he is in the running for a Nobel Peace Prize.

We see too little of European writers in our news. Look up Claudio Magris. He is also a translator who prefers working in cafes to a home office: "Magris is determined to continue loving the intricacies of the city, visiting its cafés and writing at their tables. ‘I can’t write at home, I get distracted. At the café I’m alone, there is no company. I’m anonymous but surrounded by other people, and that keeps me in contact with reality.’"

That is a tiny, fair-use quote from an article by Giulio Zucchini (now, that's Italian) at

Monday, January 01, 2007


Trieste is a city of manageable size, less hectic than London or Paris, and full of riches in art forms that I never appreciated much before - like mosaics. Here is the mosaic at San Giusto - we got there just as everything was closing, but this fills us in. Do go to

The prize for best mosaics goes to the Norman cathedral at Monreale, Sicily, for us. The mosaics cover all the walls, telling stories. Noah is especially good. It almost makes you feel seasick, with the waves. See Sicily Road Ways.This site is a source for many matters mosaic - how to, places where, a compendium.

Look up the "Joy of Shards" from that site - now we know what to do with our bust-ups. More direct access -