The last day of my Great Northern Italy Adventure with my best friends was here (or so I thought). Paolo, Allie, Joseph and I had spent a wonderful day and a half in Udine, having a reunion with some other old friends and making some new ones along the way.
On the 30th of December, 2012, the four of us woke up and showered. We decided that we were going to spend the day in Trieste, a beautiful city and just about the easternmost of cities in Italy. Allie had went to university there, so she knew it inside and out – the perfect Italy destination guide.
We loaded up the car and took off. It was supposed to be a solid, hour-long drive, which was normally fun with these guys. Unfortunately, we’d been together 24/7, and with not sleeping well, the cranky effects were becoming glaringly obvious. I know that I was getting cranky, hangry, and irritated at the pettiest things, but we got over it soon enough. Traveling with friends is great, as long as you can manage yourself.
When Allie used to go to the Universita di Trieste, she and her friends would drive 15 minutes away, crossing the border into Slovenia, to drink, purchase gas, or buy cigarettes. Slovenian prices are much cheaper than the prices of their counterparts in Italy, sometimes less than half the price, so it was quite economical to do so. We needed to fill up, so we drove past Trieste first and into Slovenia to buy gasoline; I bought cigarettes while we were at it, and then we were off again, back to Trieste.
The route we took coming into Trieste allowed us to stop at a vista point first which overlooked the entire city and the Gulf of Trieste in the Adriatic Sea beyond.
After several photos and a making a quick video postcard to one of our friends back home in New York, it was time to go down and explore. We parked the car nearby, at the top of that hill, and walked down. Since I was scheduled to take a train to Venice from Trieste later that evening to start my return journey back to New York, I was forced to schlep my bag all over the place.
Trieste is a city that offers some spectacular panoramas and photo opportunities whichever way you turn. It also was refreshing, after coming from Venice a few days before, to see a lack of tourists; I guess that this city is so far north and east that it is difficult to get to by travelers – it is well out of the way.
On the winding way down the hill from where we parked the car, we passed Allie’s old educational institution. We soon crossed the Ponterosso Bridge over Canal Grande, where a statue of poet James Joyce welcomed us.
We made it to the Piazza Unità d’Italia (Plaza of Italian Unification), a large square that opened up to the water on one side. It is supposed to be the largest public square in Europe that overlooks the sea. On the opposite side of the water is the beautiful town hall. The sun began to set as we wandered around this piazza, affording us some more gorgeous photos:
After that, we decided to spend the last hour or so that I had at Trieste’s most-popular cafe, Caffè Tommaseo. We had some of the most delicious espresso beverages at that place that I have ever tried anywhere, and in one of the most elegant settings.
It was then time for me to leave. I needed to catch a train from Trieste to Mestre, where I would catch a shuttle bus to Venice’s Marco Polo International Airport. I had a flight with Easyjet that night to Berlin, and then the next day with Delta from Berlin back to New York City.
However, I wouldn’t be going very far that night. An hour after leaving Trieste on the train, there was a big incident causing me to miss my flights, so my wonderful friends picked me back up. I would spend two more nights in Italy!