Visiting Trieste, Italy – part two – the tram

Trieste Italy Tram

When you visit Trieste, Italy I highly recommend you ride the Opicina Tram!

The Opicina Tram has been in operation since 1902 and connects Trieste to Opicina on a 5.2km long route. The tram starts downtown and quickly ascends the hill and then follows a weaving track through trees, over roads, and with spectacular views of the city and sea!

The tram starts downtown and quickly goes up a steep hill where you pass grand houses. The tram goes from 3 meters above sea level to 348 meters (over 1,140 feet) above sea level! I rode the tram the entire length of the route. At the last stop you can see where the tram cars live and some of the historical cars.

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The BASICS:

-You can buy tickets at the Tabacchi shop at the tram stop, it’s just a few Euros.

-The tram leaves every 20 minutes

-To get to the tram stop downtown: From the end of Canal Grande where the Chiesa di Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo is, walk 5 blocks (away from the old city center). Turn right on Via del Lavatoio and you will come to the tram stop in one block to Piazza Oberdan. There is a bus stop across the way as well.

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Don’t miss the tram ride. It is actually a tram car taken mostly by locals who live above the city center. What a wonderful way to commute to work or just for an afternoon downtown!

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See more photography of Trieste, Italy here on my website where you can also by prints!

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Further reading:

For the official website about the Opicina Tram where you can read about the history, technical information, and see photos and drawings of the tram and route over history, click here.

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Visiting Ferrara, Italy – part 3 – frescoes

 

Ferrara Italy

What to see in Ferrara, Italy past Via Mazzini (part 3)

The previous blog post covered the castle and main piazza. Now we move past the piazza, down the main shopping street and on to some key museums.

A quick Insider Tip: You will notice that for museum and even church hours, there is a 3 hour window when things close… those 3 hours are for lunch and rest. Ferrara is full of amazing Italian cuisine and you can’t go wrong when picking a place to eat. Take advantage of those 3 hours and have lunch, dessert, coffee and put your feet up!

Restaurant Suggestion: Ristorante Cusina e Butega

-Located on Corso Porta Reno, #28 – walk past the clock tower at the end of the Piazza della Cattedrale to reach the restaurant

-Local cuisine with great options for kids and adults

-Open until 3pm for lunch

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What to see in Ferrara continued.

After the castle, cathedral and main squares… continue down Via Mazzini to:

 

1-Museo di Casa Romei

This is a charming museum with a lovely courtyard, frescoes, art work and stone work. The building was originally the home of a banker in the 15th century! A quiet, nice museum with an interesting history.

 

Hours and Ticket prices:

-Open 8:30 to 2pm Sunday to Wednesday

-Open 2 to 7:30 Thursday to  Saturday

3 Euros for adults, 1.50 Euros for seniors/kids/groups (prices as of 2016)

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2-Museo Riminaldi – Palazzo Bonacossi

Further down the same road where you will visit the Casa Romei, is the Museum of Ancient Art in the Palazzo Bonacossi. The museum is the collection of Cardinal Riminaldi, collected while he was in Rome in the 18th century and donated to Ferrara – his hometown. Honestly I visited this museum as it was included on the MyFe city card. It is pleasant but not terribly exciting, with stuffy paintings, some 17 and 18th century furnishings and sculptures. If you have time, and you have the MyFe card, pop in and take half an hour to look.

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3-Palazzo Schifanoia

This is a magnificent palace that was built for the Este Family as a place to entertain. The name, Schifanoia, means to “banish boredom.” The main attraction is the frescoes painted by various artists on the 1st floor (upstairs) of the “Cycle of Months.” The room is dark but not crowded so you can get close to the walls and see the astounding details, the expressions, and the colors. The seasons are depicted as pageants with Olympian gods presiding over the pageants while being carried on fanciful floats drawn by animals like giant swans. The frescoes were meant to show the order of mankind and nature under the rule of the Duke. It is most interesting, from the creatures, the zodiac symbols, to the elaborate scenes and the quality of the frescos.

 

Hours and Ticket prices:

-Open 9:30 to 6pm

-Closed Mondays

3 Euros for adults, 2 Euros for seniors/kids/groups (prices as of 2016)

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4-Museo Archeologico Nazionale

This Archeology museum is certainly a gem and a must-see for historical and archeology enthusiasts. The museum is very extensive and you need to allow for a few hours if you plan to study each room. Devoted to the Etruscan city of Spina, the museum exhibits log boats, pottery, bronzes and much more. There is also a lovely garden in the back and the prize room for Renaissance art enthusiasts is the “Treasure Hall.” The last room you will see, separate from the main museum and by the garden, is the Treasure Hall which was probably built as a music room or library. The treasure is the ceiling, a fresco painted by Garofalo. Look up and you will see an amazing feat of perspective for it is as if you are looking up to a balcony where Renaissance faces peer down at you, garlands hang by red ribbons, and a monkey or two play on the railings. It is reminiscent of the Camera degli Sposi by Mantegna in Mantua – which you can read about on another blog post by clicking here.

 

Hours and Ticket prices:

-Open 9:30 to 5pm

-Closed Mondays

5 Euros for adults, 3 Euros for seniors/kids/groups (prices as of 2016)

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Ferrara is full of amazing collections of art and history.

The next post will feature info on the next spectacular sights to see. Don’t miss a blog post, sign up for a weekly travel blog!

For more photos of Ferrara, Italy that are available as prints, click here for Monica Goslin Photography.

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Castles to See Near Bolzano, Italy

italy-bolzano-castles-blog-mgoslin

More Castles

From Bolzano you can take cars, taxis, or buses to 3 castles (they are also within hiking distance I believe, although I assume it’s a rather long walk!). The tourist office, located right on Walther Square, can help you arrange transportation to any of the three castles.

The three castles that are close to Bolzano are: Castle Maretsch, Runkelstein Castle and Firmian/Sigmundskron Castle.

I visited Runkelstein Castle which I reached by car* (arranged via the tourist office), and then walked up a steep hill (about 20 minutes). The castle sits on a high rock, has a moat and drawbridge and dates back to the 13th century. The castle is mostly known for its frescos, painted in the late 14th century (artists unknown) and was commissioned by the Vintler merchant brothers. You can see the frescos after getting your tickets, you’ll go right upstairs and see scenes of King Arthur, his knights, and more. The long covered balcony between buildings features an interesting fresco of giant figures! And further rooms illustrate the history of the castle and its various owners. The castle was donated to the city of Bozen in 1893, with restorations to the buildings and frescos in the late 1990’s.

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*Note that the castle ticket office can call the car when you are done with your visit, thus giving you time to climb down and be picked up (the drive from town takes about the same amount of time it does for you to climb down!). Rather a nice arrangement!

Entry Fees: 8 euros for adults, 5.50 euros for children and seniors, with specials for families and groups (As of Summer 2016)

Castle hours are: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm (6pm in the Summer)

For the official Runkelstein Castle website click here: http://www.runkelstein.info/runkelstein_en/the_castle.asp

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Read previous posts about see the Otzi Iceman in Bolzano and other information about what to see when in Tyrol Valley, Italy by clicking here.

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