6 Amusing Valentine’s Day Facts You Want To Know In Trieste, Italy – Adriatic Sea 2

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Port of Trieste, Italy

Located along the Adriatic coast, this northeastern Italian port also operates as a free port. Port of Trieste handles all types of cargo and the leading oil terminal in the Mediterranean. It is also a major European access point for Ro-Ro traffic from Istanbul, Turkey.

As a free port ( a unique feature of European legal system) Port of Trieste gives various advantages to goods in transit subject of European Union customs. It gives (customs) clearance exemption for goods arriving from non-European Union countries and can be home to any kind of industry and trade activity without import charges until such goods cross from the Port of Trieste for import into Italy and other EU states.

Trieste, An Overview:

A city and seaport in Northeastern Italy located in the northernmost part of the Adriatic near the border with Slovenia. For a brief period, Trieste has been under the Roman Empire but in 1382, the Duke of Austria made a decree that this city will be under the Austrian Empire. And during the tenure of Empress Maria Teresa of Austria, Trieste expanded and flourished. She built the Grand Canal, an aqueduct, a hospital, an orphanage, upgraded the school system and modernized the Port of Trieste.

Triestines (people of Trieste) were always pleased of their Austrian heritage even after the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1809. The city has remained a part of the Austrian Empire until after World War I. Until then, it was united with Italy when the Austro-Hungarian Empire ended.

Map showing Trieste, Italy.

Still on board with the Front Hunter and on its way to our last itinerary of Italy in 2009, Trieste is an intersection of Latin, Slavic, Germanic, Greek and Jewish culture. It has a special charm unlike the rest of Italy. And while love is in the air did you know that the romantic global celebration of Valentine’s Day has its origins in this country? With its poetic seafront and myriad hues of red Trieste sky that evokes romance, read on 6 amusing Valentine’s Day facts you want to know in Trieste, Italy.

1. The Roman Connection

Teatro Romano in Trieste built by Quintos Petronius Modestus during the reign of Emperor Trajan in 1st A.D.

Once upon a time, Valentine’s Day had its roots to the Roman culture. February 14 then was observed in favor of the goddess Juno. An amusing Valentine’s Day fact you want to know in Trieste, Italy. Juno was the Roman goddess of women and marriage, thus Valentine’s Day was a celebration of marriage in the Roman times. Buon San Valentino, mi amore. (Happy Valentine’s Day my love.)

2. La Festa Degli Innamorati with Baci Peruginaat Duino Castle

Duino Castle in Trieste where it inspired writers like Rainer Maria Rilke (German-speaking poet) who inscribed love notes to his beloved princess Maria von Thorn und Taxis.

A day exclusively for lovers, la festa degli innamorati. Yes indeed, in Italy February 14 is usually celebrated by couples only. While it is usually spent with romantic dinners and giving of flowers for the amore, the most significant of all is the exchange of baci perugina (little chocolate kisses). An amusing Valentine’s Day fact you want to know in Trieste, Italy. These petite chocolates contain a cherry and a sweet note inside. Ahh, con te ogni giorno e San Valentino. (Everyday with you is a Valentine’s Day.)

a box of baci perugina (little chocolate kisses)

3. The Key of Love, Luccheti dell’Amore

A bridge connecting house along Trieste’s Grand Canal.

In the region of Veneto, near Trieste, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love for family and children by giving blessed keys during this day. It is believed as a protection from harm and illness. But recently, young lovers tie a chain and a padlock around a lamp post or railings of a bridge, inscribing their names on it and throwing the key (luccheti dell’amore) by the river or canal. This suggests that the couple will be forever till the end. An amusing Valentine’s Day fact you want to know in Trieste, Italy. Amo te oggi a sempre. (I love you today and forever.)

4. Valentine’s Day as a Spring Festival

At Villa Opicina, a Slovene-speaking village in Trieste.

Back in the old days at Trieste, Valentine’s Day was celebrated as a spring festival and was held outdoors. Lovers would meet under the trees to read out poems dedicated to each other and later they would go down the road for a walk. An amusing Valentine’s Day fact you want to know in Trieste, Italy. San Valentino e solo un nuovo protesto per distiquanto siempre ti amo. (Valentine’s Day is only an excuse to tell you how much I love you.)

5. All the Single Ladies and the Sunrise

On Valentine’s Day, all the single ladies will wake up early before sunrise and stand by their windows or balconies to wait for the first bachelor to pass by. An amusing Valentine’s Day fact you want to know in Trieste, Italy. It is believed that the first man an unmarried girl will see on this day of lovers will be the one she’ll get to marry within the year. Il giorno miglione per festeggiore il mio immense amore per te. (The best day to celebrate my love for you.)

6. Miramare Castle and a Tragic Love Story

And if in Verona there is the sad, love story of Romeo and Juliet, here at Trieste, it has also its share of a passionate but tragic version of an ill-fated love. To the Triestines, Miramare Castle will always bring to mind the tragic love story of Maximillian and Charlotte of Hapsburg. Every room, wall and piece of furniture relates the hopes of these young lovers including their sad ending.

The Miramare Castle was built by Archduke Ferdinand Maximillian of Hapsburg (Austria) for his beautiful, young wife Charlotte of Belgium in 1860. They only spent a few years at the Castle when they moved to Mexico in 1864 as Maximillian became Emperor and they took up residence in Mexico City.

A coup broke out in Mexico in 1867 but Maximillian refused to abdicate and he was executed by firing squad. Charlotte sailed back to Trieste became insane and eventually died. At that same episode, Amalia Stoger, a lady-in-waiting for Charlotte was found hanging in one of the rooms at the Castle, a rope tied around her neck. It was believed that there existed a love triangle, Amalia loved Maximillian. And she (Amalia) committed suicide because of guilt for poisoning Charlotte.

An amusing Valentine’s Day fact you want to know in Trieste, Italy although no one has occupied Miramare Castle after that tragedy, it has always retained its original glamor and glory. And the beauty of a Castle with the romantic but tragic love story of its main protagonists fascinate tourists which is one of the most visited destinations of Trieste. Grozie amore per rendere speciali i giorni della mia vita. (Thank you my love for making my days of my life special.)

For the past 8 months of 2009, I was fortunate enough to spend a fair time exploring some of the key coastal cities of Italy (both Mediterranean and Adriatic coasts). Trieste was the last city in the Italian itinerary of the chemical carrier Front Hunter before it sailed through the Suez Canal. It’s a place not usually swarmed by tourists but then it’s a welcome treat if you love the peace and quiet. Certainly a suitable romantic destination for Valentine’s Day. Arrivederci per sempre Italia, solo Dio sa quando ti rivedro.

Reference: Wikipedia