Day 17 – Trieste
Though we have been in Duino for over 2 weeks, we have not ventured as a group to Trieste, so today was an important one for us. We began with a visit to the Schmidl theater museum, situated on Trieste’s “grand canal” (not as grand as Venice’s, but still very nice). The museum is filled with interesting memorabilia associated with the musical life of Trieste and the region, in particular, the Verdi opera house. There is also an impressive collection of musical instruments, including several historic keyboard instruments that visitors are allowed to play! After a few minutes of browsing time, we performed art songs, a string trio and two movements of a Brahms sextet.
We then became tourists again and walked to some of the sites in the central area of Trieste, including two beautiful orthodox churches (one Greek, one Serbian). And, on the way to our pizzeria for dinner, we stopped at the bookshop once owned by Umberto Saba, a Triestian poet whose words were the basis for several of our art songs this summer.
After pizza and an obligatory gelato, we visited the Piazza dell’Unità, the main public space in Trieste (and, so they say, the largest piazza of any Italian city without a church). Our own Ilsa got to try out an electric violin that was being played by a busker.
Before returning to Duino, we stopped at a few other sites–the Castello di San Giusto, Trieste’s Synagogue (largest in Europe) and the outside of the Risiera di San Sabba, a former rice processing facility that was used by the Nazis as Italy’s only concentration camp and is now a museum and remembrance area.