Welcome to Italophilia in 2016! I am starting the year with a post from Italy’s caffeine capital- Trieste. This city is not frequented by the regular traveler but it should be. It has an unmistakable charm that has in the past attracted a lot of young writers and thinkers. One of them was the notable Irish writer James Joyce.
Joyce lived in Trieste for more than a decade from 1904 till 1915. Trieste was his city, a city that stole his soul. If you ever happen to visit Trieste, notice how several alleys, hotels, museums and old fashioned coffee houses dedicate themselves to Joyce and his time in the city. It is a wonderful feeling being in the centre of it.
Joyce often went to Caffe San Marco, Caffe degli Specchi and Caffe Pirona in the city. These are famous cafes that serve coffee the traditional style even now and if you ask anyone here about Joyce they would happily tell you more.
Joyce also wandered around in Teatro Verdi and the church of San Nicolo. He, along with his poet friends Umberto Saba and Italo Svevo, were part of the city’s literary drama and culture.
In Trieste, finding myself next to Joyce’s calm and smiling statue in the Grand Canal, I followed his footsteps and had coffee in Caffe San Marco.
It was not unusual for me having coffee with the ghosts of the literary past. I travel in search of literary references and bookshops everywhere I go. Trieste happened to make it special.
I think it is a unique city not to be missed when in Italy. The mountains and the mighty Adriatic around makes it such a different Italy. It is also very similiar to Austria.