Hiking on the cliffs above the coast (slide show)

On August 29th we took the tram to the top near Opicina.  The tram dates from circa 1900 and just resumed service a week or so ago . We walked along in the area referred to as the Carst on the path towards Sistiana, about 12 kilometers.  We went about half way.  Sistiana is a coastal town north of Trieste.  It was a gorgeous day, as you can see from the photos.  There were other hikers, joggers and you will see some people climbing the sheer cliff that rises from the path.

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Giovanni Battista Tiepolo at the Civico Museo Sartorio

August 14, 2014

We visited the Civico Museo Sartorio this week.  It’s on the other side of Trieste but certainly walkable for us.  It is another mansion owned by a wealthy family that now holds the family’s collections, furniture with plenty of room for exhibits.  The mansion is huge, at least 4 stories and I bet there’s a hundred rooms.

The Sartorio family lived there from 1775 until Anna Segrè Sartorio donated the property to Trieste, requesting that it become a museum.   The Allies made it their headquarters after WW2 until around 1953.  The city renovated afterwards.  Stunning floors and ceilings, endless displays of ceramics, and portraits that went on and on.

The special exhibit displayed the drawings of Giovanni Batista Tiepolo, an amazing artist whose vast out of drawings and paintings make him one of the worlds best albeit less known.  .  He died in 1770.  Here’s one of his drawings.  Many of the ones we saw were done in ink.  They’ve been restored, having been found in bad condition.  The ink was acidic and had to be neutralized, and the backings removed and replaced.  This is quite an extensive collection.


See my art at http://garyartista.wix.com/gary-kirkpatrick-art

BandOrkestra at Piazza Verdi, Trieste (video)

It’s a lovely venue for concerts, just 100 meters from the port in a magnificent square.  Several thousand were there, and hundreds more eating gelato in the nearby cafes.    The band was a way too loud in the beginning.  There’s a lot of brass and those first songs were heavy on them.  I tire of being hit over the head with noise.  The band’s leader paces constantly, which remained forever a distraction, but the musicians he assembled and leads are excellent.  Here’s a video of one of the numbers.

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To Trieste, Part II

July 31, 2014


Somehow we ended up with seats in the first row, as they were still available when we checked in online just a day or two before the flight.  The seats were wide, comfortable, and there was plenty of legroom.  Alitalia and Ryan Air are a world apart.  In less than an hour we passed over Venice on the way to the northeast section of Italy on the Adriatic coastline Trieste is a port town and the bus drivers all learned from Mario Andretti, even the ones who take you to the planes on the tarmac.  The ones at the Trieste airport even leave early to get a head start, which in our case meant they left us standing just meters away.  Another Andretti came in half an hour.

The central bus station is on the water, but we went the other way looking for lunch.  We found a mom and pop place and shared ravioli stuffed with some sort of fish, with a tomato sauce.  I’d never had a fish ravioli before.  We shared a plate of mixed contorni, which are vegetables that come on the side of any meat or fish dish.  We got some of the local white from the spigot behind the bar.  Oh, and here in Italy, you can still buy wine in bulk.  BYO Bottle.  It’s good, it’s inexpensive, and it’s labeled in some detail.  The restaurant we ate in last night had about 6 huge vats, several filled with the local wine from the Colli Albani, best for white but good with reds too.

That lunch cost us about 20 euros, with a large carafe of the local.  Somehow it did not make me woozy and we made our way to the bus stop, up the hill to our street, well, past our street, and so we were asking the locals how to find our destination.  Two of two answers matched and we were at the door.  A kind and tiny woman came to get us.

It’s not a super old building but the elevator needs a key to operate so you have to come down to allow your guests to avoid the 5 long flights up the stairs.  It is the tiniest elevator you can find, and it’s screwed onto the outside of the building so you have a view as you ascend, not that I could turn to see it as our lovely greeter came in with us and our bags.  I survived the claustrophobic moment and gladly I was not connected to a blood pressure monitor.

Next-  our place for the next month.


See my art at http://garyartista.wix.com/gary-kirkpatrick-art

To Trieste, part 1

July 31, 2014

It was another early morning mad dash to the airport.  We got up at 5 a.m. and walked to Toscolana train station.  Google maps said we could do it, and taxi drivers wanted an arm and a leg to take us on a five minute ride at that hour.  We did what most Romans do, walk.  You can not carry much baggage on a scooter.

The route takes us along one of Rome’s ancient aqueducts.  There are houses tucked in between the arches, or the entry to their yards and gardens, anyway.  We were looking for a path but found a bar instead.  “Buon giorno.  Stazione  Tuscolana e per la?”  I asked.  He understood, I understood I hoped, and we continued along the aqueduct until we came across a ‘destra,’ a right hand turn.  Cars were moving along, a few anyway, and the direction seemed right, but after a bit I chatted with another friendly pedestrian, who said we were to take the right fork just ahead- now you know why I stopped to ask- and go ‘diretto’ –  straight on.  She did not say, “You can’t miss it,” which is always a bad sign.

Maybe 1o minutes on we came upon a large avenue; we were out of the boonies finally.  Traffic increased, another good omen, and in a few minutes we were on Tuscolana the avenue, and in sight of the station.  Now to find a ticket.

Peg went off while I hauled the baggage to the proper quay, returned a few minutes later.  No ticket.  No people.  The machine only takes credit cards that require a pin, and the cash portion was not working.  We’ll buy on the train.  You can do that.  The train arrived as scheduled for which we were thankful, for this is vacation time, and our landlords told us that this train sometimes just does not show up and to allow plenty of time; thus our super early walk.

As I said, this is Italy, although the same could be said for any country over here, so no one showed up to check our tickets, and the ride to Leonardo Da Vinci airport in Fiumicino was totally free, easy, and relaxing as well,  after the somewhat tense 20 minute hike in the dawn.


See my art at http://garyartista.wix.com/gary-kirkpatrick-art