Trieste and Maria Theresa of Austria
A great vision for a great city
Three hundred years from her birth (Vienna, 13 May 1717), Trieste remembers the woman who helped the city change and enter the Contemporary Age.
The daughter of Charles VI, who granted Trieste the status of free port in 1719, Maria Theresa ordered the demolition of the medieval walls and united the old part of the city with the new part, characterised by its bustling commerce.
She planned everything from Vienna with great long-range perspective and never visited Trieste.
She created a new city that you will discover following this itinerary, which will lead to the places on which Maria Theresa’s rule had the most impact, but without forgetting the more modern and multicultural aspects of the city.
3 days/2 nights
Arrival in Trieste and check in at the hotel.
Afternoon dedicated to visiting Miramare Castle. Built in the mid-19th century at the bidding of Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Habsburg, as a home for himself and his wife Charlotte of Belgium, it is a unique example of aristocratic luxury, which still preserved its original furnishings.
After the visit, back to the city centre. Rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Dinner at a typical restaurant. Overnight at hotel.
Breakfast. Meet with the guide to visit the places in the city that have a strong link with Maria Theresa.
The tour, entirely on foot, starts walking uphill along Via del Monte, were you will visit the Carlo and Vera Wagner Jewish Museum. Its collections include silverware, textiles, documents and books that show how the Jewish community and families lived in the city. The names of important Jewish families from Trieste appear between those of the owners and donors of the objects in the museum, which also hosts a number of very significant historical documents, such as a Pawn Record Book (Libro dei Pegni) of the mid-17 century and the royal charters granted by Empress Maria Theresa in 1771.
The tour continues along Via Capitolina, where you can still see the ruins of the medieval walls, attached to the Round Bastion of San Giusto Castle. This is what remains of the walls that Maria Theresa ordered to demolish. Parts of these walls can also be seen at Tor Cucherna, as the tower was part of the walls that surrounded medieval Trieste. Some think that its name, Cucherna or Cucherla, derives from the German “gucken” (to peep), in fact, in Trieste “cucherle” is the front door peephole.
After a visit to San Giusto Cathedral, back to the city centre, downhill along Via Donota, passing by the churches of Santa Maria Maggiore and Trieste’s first Lutheran church, Beata Vergine del Rosario (Our Lady of the Rosary).
Via Donota runs along the back of the Roman Theatre. The theatre, which dates back to the end of the 1st century BC, was extended at the beginning of the 2nd century AD.
At the bottom of the hill, you reach the old Jewish ghetto and Piazza Unità d’Italia, the largest square in Europe that opens directly on the sea.
Lunch at leisure.
In the afternoon, the tour continues with a visit to the Greek and Serbian Orthodox churches and the museum of the Greek-Orthodox community. Above its entrance, below the semi-rose window, on black marble you can see the epigraph with the authorisation to build granted by Maria Theresa.
The name of the area where the Greek and Serbian Orthodox churches are located is called Borgo Teresiano. With its orderly orthogonal and perpendicular streets, it represents a fine example of urban planning. It was commissioned by Emperor Charles VI of Austria, after granting the city the status of free port in 1719; but the actual project was carried out under his daughter, Maria Teresa, from whom it takes its name: “Borgo Teresiano”.
After the visit, a stop at one of Trieste’s renowned buffet for a “rebechin”, a taste of hand-sliced ham baked in bread crust, accompanied by a glass of good local wine.
Dinner at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Breakfast. Morning devoted to visiting the beautiful Revoltella Museum, one of the symbols of the city. The Revoltella Museum is a gallery of modern art founded in 1872 at the bidding of Baron Pasquale Revoltella (1795-1869), one of the most representative figures of Trieste’s society during the 1800s, who at his death left many of his assets – including his home with all its art collections, books and furnishings – to the city of Trieste.
After the visit to the museum, you can enjoy an aperitif and taste some local products at the recently-inaugurated EATALY (option available on request).
Those who visit Trieste from October 2017 will have the option to add or replace a visit of this itinerary to include a visit of the exhibition “Maria Theresa and Trieste. History and culture of the city and its port”, which will open on 6 October at Magazzino delle Idee, in Corso Cavour.
Option to join the group visits arranged by Turismo FVG between April and October (subject to availability and according to schedule).
Option to attend a cooking show at Eataly to learn how to prepare STRUCOLO DE POMI, or apple strudel, an original Austrian recipe.
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