Visiting Miramare Castle in Trieste, Italy

Trieste Italy Miramare Castle

Visiting Miramare Castle in Trieste, Italy

When visiting Trieste, I recommend taking an afternoon to see the Miramare Castle (Castello Miramare). The Castello di Miramare was built from 1856 to 1860 for the Austrian Archduke Maximilian. The castle is picturesque, sitting on a rocky peninsula with sea views and extensive gardens.

 

THE GARDENS – You can see the gardens for free. The garden paths will take you down to the water and out onto a stone pier where you can get a great view of the castle and sea. You can also walk around the entire perimeter wall of the castle, again with stunning sea views. The gardens go further back into the hills and one exit leads you down to a lovely marina.

 

THE CASTLE – You can visit the interior of the castle, two floors, without a guided tour. The inside is elaborate with richly decorated rooms. There are some historical artifacts and photographs as well.

————————–

THE STORYMaximilian and his wife Princess Marie Charlotte moved to Trieste in 1859. The couple lived in the castle while it was still being built, moving in in 1860. In 1864 the couple went to Mexico but Charlotte left in 1866 after civil unrest. Maximilian was actually taken prisoner in Mexico in 1867 and killed. Charlotte returned to Miramare Castle and became ill, perhaps suffering a breakdown. She was taken to Belgium in 1867 and never returned to the Trieste or the castle. The castle was then used by various nobleman and women for weddings and ceremonies. It was inhabited by Duke Amedeo of Savory-Aosta from 1931 to 1937. During World War II, the castle was used by troops from New Zealand, Britain and America. Then the castle underwent restoration and became a public museum in 1955.

————————–

TICKET INFO:

– Visiting the Miramare Castle gardens is free.

– Visiting the inside of the castle is 8 Euros for adults, 5 Euros for children (as of summer 2017)

————————–

HOW TO GET TO THE CASTLE

BUS – From downtown Trieste, take the bus from the Railway Station. Bus Number 6 or 36 will take you to Miramare Castle. *Because the castle is on a peninsula, you can take the bus to the stop before the castle or after the castle. Either way you have to walk about 15 or 20 minutes from the bus to the castle.

—If you get off at a stop called Grignano, that is the after the castle and by the marina. From the bus stop, walk along the marina and towards the trees. You will see a path and steps up towards the castle gardens. This is a shady walk through trees and garden paths.

—If you get off the bus at one of the stops along the beach/water front like Viale Miramare, you will have a sunny walk with sea views. From there you walk along the path that is right above the beach and up a slight incline, through the castle gate and on to the main entrance and gardens. It is a sunny walk so wear sunscreen and don’t forget your sunglasses.

When I went to Miramare Castle, I got off along the beach, walked to the castle and saw the inside and the gardens. Then I walked through the gardens, down to the marina and got the bus back into the city. I recommend doing this as you will see the castle from both directions and see some very picturesque views of the beach, sea, and gardens in both directions.

——————————-

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

——————————

For the official Miramare Castle website click here.

——————————

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.

——————-

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.

——————

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!

——————————-

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

——————————

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.

——————————–

Visit Trieste, Italy – part one – main sights

Trieste ItalyVisit Trieste, Italy – part one – main sights

If you are looking for a city to visit in Italy that is not over run with tourists, Trieste is it! Located on the top fold of the Italian boot and near the Slovenian border, Trieste is nestled in a curve with views of the Gulf of Trieste and the Adriatic Sea beyond. Low hills surround the city, large cargo ships dot the horizon, sail boats line the coast, and the city sparkles with a curious Austrian-Italian charm.

Trieste is an atypical Italian city as it was part of Austria for over 500 years, from 1382 to 1918 to be exact. The Austrian Quarter, which is in the main historical downtown by the water, makes you feel like you’re in Austria. Plus coffee is a hugely important to Trieste and you will see many coffee houses just like those in Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck. The architecture is reminiscent of Vienna with grand buildings, Baroque facades, Neoclassical structures and some Art Nouveau details. But the Italian-isms come out in the details, a line of laundry, overhearing a burst of rapid Italian conversation and the friendly Italian locals.

—————

What to see in Trieste

1 – The Seafront and Piazza Unita d’Italia

You can’t visit a port city and miss seeing the seafront. Right in the heart of downtown is the Piazza Unita d’Italia. This piazza is also atypical as it has buildings on three sides and the sea on the fourth side. City Hall sits at one end with a grand building to the left that used to be the Austrian Lloyd merchant shipping headquarters. The elegant building across from the Palazzo del Lloyd Triestino is the Palazzo del Governo. Notice the mosaic details and borders at the top of the Palazzo del Governo. If you want to sample the Austrian-like café, pastry, and coffee of Trieste, Italy you can sit at the elegant Caffe degli Specchi right on the Piazza! Make sure to walk through the piazza with City Hall at one end and the sea at the other end!

Walk along the water and make your way out onto the stone pier. Molo Audace pier was built from 1743-1751, and named in honor of the first ship of the Italian Navy to arrive in Trieste. The pier is a gathering place for locals and a wonderful spot to watch the sunset!

 

2 – Canal Grande with Chiesa di Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo at the far end

This short canal is lined with shops, cafes, and colorful boats. It is a picturesque location.

 

3 – Castle of San Giusto and Trieste Cathedral

On the hill above the city center is the Castle of San Giusto. The hill top actually has a few things to see, once of which includes great views of the city and a lovely park. There are Roman ruins with a few rows of columns and walls. The Castle has a small museum which is a separate fee than the castle. Although seeing the castle means you can climb on the walls, see the views, and wander through the main courtyard. Next to the castle is the Trieste Cathedral which is an interesting as you can see the span of different centuries outside and within. Note the old stones on the façade, perhaps dating back to the 6th century. Mosaic floors weave into newer floors inside and Gothic rose window decorates the façade. And my favorite, are the 12th-13th century mosaics in the apse.

The Bell Tower

You can also climb the bell tower for more wonderful views of the city and the sea. I highly recommend climbing the bell tower. As you climb, you’ll see be climbing steps that are on the outside of an older tower and you’ll see that the stones that are hundreds of years old. It is quite a unique bell tower climb!

 

How to reach the Castle?

1-Climb up via the stairs and narrow streets – using the paths behind the Roman Theater ruins (about 7 blocks from Piazza d’Italia).

2-INSIDER TIP – Elevator! Next to the Roman Theater is a parking garage, Park San Giusto, with an elevator that goes to the top of the hill. The parking garage is actually very clean with beautiful murals (pictured above) and is quite the engineering feat – see further reading below if you are interested in learning more.

3-There is also a giant staircase up to the park below the castle and church. If you find the main road, Corso Italia, and when it intersects with Via Della Ginnastica – you will see the stairs that will take you up the hill.

 

4 – Wonder through the Old Town

I always say the best way to see a place is by walking. Meander through the old town, admire the architecture and see the neighborhoods that locals live in. Duck into a few churches which always tell so much about this history of a place through the architecture and art. The Serbian Orthodox Saint Spryridon Church built in the 19th century and a block away from the Canal Grande, is spectacular inside! And while in Trieste make sure to sample the coffee as it is said that it is the “coffee capital of Italy”!

On my visit I did not have time to visit the museums, but there are some in the city center. There is a natural history museum, a botanical garden, a war museum and galleries.

———————–

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

——————————

Further reading:

———————————