Trieste

Trieste City Tour

You will depart from the port with your guide to explore Trieste.

Trieste is built along a fringe of coastline where a rocky karst plateau tumbles abruptly into the beautiful Adriatic. It was the only port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and, therefore, a major industrial and financial center. In the early years of the 20th century, Trieste and its surroundings also became famous by their association with some of the most important names of Italian literature, such as Italo Svevo, and Irish and German writers. James Joyce drew inspiration from the city’s multiethnic population, and Rainer Maria Rilke was inspired by the seacoast west of the city.

The city has lost its importance as a port and a center of finance, but perhaps because of its multicultural nature, at the juncture of Latin, Slavic, and Germanic Europe, it’s never fully lost its role as an intellectual center. In recent years the city has become a center for science and technology. The streets hold a mix of monumental, neoclassical, and art nouveau architecture built by the Austrians during Trieste’s days of glory, granting an air of melancholy stateliness to a city that lives as much in the past as the present.

You will drive along the Riviera Barcola en route to the 19th century Castle of Miramare. Designed in the late 19th century by architect Carl Junker, the estate served as a former residence of the Archduke Maximilian of Habsburg and his wife Carlotta.

Afterwards you will drive to Colle Capitolino and St. Giusto Hill. A stop will be made at St. Giusto Cathedral which has been a significant symbol of the Christian community since the 5th century, and is dedicated to the city’s patron saint, Saint Justus.

You will then proceed to the city centre, and the guide will lead you to explore the heart of Trieste. You will pass by the Greek Orthodox Church of San Nicolò, Galleria del Tergesteo, Piazza Borsa, Jewish Ghetto, Teatro Verdi, Café Tommaseo and the famous and imposing Roman Theatre. Built between the 1st and 2nd centuries, the impressive theatre accommodated 6,000 spectators.

You will reach the Piazza Unità d’Italia, Italy’s largest square overlooking the sea.

 

Explore Ljubljana

You will meet your guide and your driver and depart to Ljubljana in Slovenia.

Slovenia’s small but exceedingly charming capital is enjoying a tourism renaissance.

Tourism officials now talk of Ljubljana proudly in the same breath as Prague or Budapest as one of the top urban destinations in Central Europe.

The tiny city center is immediately captivating. Part of the charm is doubtless the emerald green Llubljanica River that winds its way slowly through the Old Town, offering a focal point and the perfect backdrop to the cafés and restaurants that line the banks. Partly, too, it’s the aesthetic tension between the stately baroque houses along the river and the white neoclassical, modern, and Secessionist set pieces that dot the streets and bridges everywhere.

You will visit Ljubljana Cathedral, dedicated to St. Nicholas, the patron saint of fisherman and boatmen who created a powerful guild in medieval Ljubljana. Building took place between 1701 and 1708, under the Italian architect Andrea Pozzo, who modeled it after the church of Il Gesù in Rome. The magnificent frescos on the ceiling of the nave are by the Lombard painter Giulio Qualglio and depict the transfiguration of St. Nicholas and the persecution of Christians under Diocletian and Nero. In honor of Pope John Paul II’s visit in 1996, new bronze doors were added to the church. The main door tells the story of Christianity in Slovenia, whereas the side door shows the history of the Ljubljana diocese.

You will also walk past a dragon-topped bridge.

Four fire-breathing winged dragons crown the corners of this locally cherished concrete-and-iron structure.

The dragons refer to the mythological origins of the city, when Jason, returning home from winning the Golden Fleece, killed a monster in a swamp on the present site of Ljubljana.

Also walk by the fruit stalls of the Central Market.

Afterwards, you will have free time to dig around the Old Town or have lunch in one of the city’s cafés and restaurants.

 

Aquileia and Grado

Castles and Wines

Slovenian Caves and Castles

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