Trieste and literature

In the footsteps of Saba, Svevo and Joyce

5/6 hours

Trieste and literature

In the footsteps of Saba, Svevo and Joyce

5-6 hours

This walk across Trieste’s city centre is an opportunity to experience the atmosphere that inspired some of the greatest Italian and European writers and visit the favourite places of those who lived in Trieste such as Saba, Svevo and Joyce.

The itinerary starts in Piazza Unità d’Italia and continues across the narrow streets of Cittavecchia, a favourite with both Italo Svevo, who enjoyed walking in the neighbourhood every day, and Joyce, who perfectly recreated its varied and frenetic atmosphere in his works. At number 4 of Piazza Hortis, we find the Civic Library, which Italo Svevo and James Joyce visited regularly. In Cittavecchia we will also visit the Svevo and Joyce Museums that host many great, small treasures.

Walking back to Piazza Unità, we will reach Piazza Verdi.

Here, opposite the Verdi Theatre where Joyce often enjoyed opera performances, once were the offices of the Union Bank, where Svevo worked for 18 years; in fact, his first novel, Una Vita (A Life), was about the life of a bank clerk.

The itinerary continues along Via San Nicolò. At number 30, the Antique Bookshop “Umberto Saba” once was managed by the Italian poet and its shelves still house precious books. The building at number 32 once was the Berlitz School, where Joyce taught English for many years and where the friendship between the Irish writer and Italo Svevo started. Not far from the school, in Via Dante 14, Caffè Stella Polare is one of Trieste’s historic cafés, which became the two writers’ favourite meeting place.

Continuing along Viale XX Settembre, the building at number 16 is the birthplace of Ettore Schmitz, who later will be better known as Italo Svevo. Antico Caffè San Marco, on the parallel street, via Battisti, is another historic café and a traditional meeting place of writers and intellectuals.

This is where our walk ends and where you can enjoy a traditional cake accompanied by a good cup of coffee.


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