My Travels in Italy

Friuli-Venezia-Giulia

The region is the most north-east region in the country, with the capital city of Trieste. At one time included in the Republic of Venice and later Napoleon gave the area to the Austrians. In 1866 that Friuli was united with Italy.

Trieste

The Piazza dell'Unita d'Italia is the largest square and the centre of the city. An outside table at Caffè degli Specchi, which dates to 1839, is the spot to be. The piazza faces the harbour and has the two old palaces, the Palazzo del Commune and the Palazzo del Governo along its sides.

Trieste is home to one of the largest synagogues in Europe, a relatively new mosque; and a 19th-Century Serbian Orthodox Church decorated with gold mosaics and spires.

Up on Capitoline Hill is the Cathedral of San Giusto. It is worth the walk, or take a bus. The 15th C castle has interesting exhibition of military armour and weapons.

 

Miramare Castle

Built between 1856 and 1860 it sits on a promontory with a commanding view of the sea. There is parking near with a pleasant walk along the coast to the castle. The castle is furnished and you can walk without guide through much of the first two floors.

Unfortunately the owner, Maximillian, accepted a proposal from the financiers of Napoleon III to become the emperor of Mexico in 1864. It was not a good decision and in the end he is shot by a firing squad after being in Mexico for only three years.

After that, his wife Carlotta had a breakdown and left the castle to live in Belgium for the next fifty years. So it was said the castle had a bit of a curse handing over it.

The Torrazzo is the tallest campanile in Italy with a height of around 364 feet. The duomo is not to be missed, the Battistero di San Giovanni (1167) and the Loggia dei Militi (1292) are both beautiful. The Palazzo del Commune is open during specific times and now the town hall for Cremona.

North of Cremona is the Rocca Sforzesca, the largest of the family's surviving castles. Nearby is Soncino, a walled town built in the 12th C.