My discovery of the region begins in the capital Trieste, a place that has changed rulers many times in history. Many a ruler, from Caesar to Charlemagne to Napoleon, found the strategic port here attractive enough to occupy it. The port has therefore played a role in almost every regional conflict in recent centuries. “During the Cold War, for example, it was a transit point for spies,” explains my host and food blogger Chiara Giglio.

“But especially for the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Trieste was a glorious gem, ” she adds. “At one time, Trieste was the third city of the Austrian Habsburg Empire, after Vienna and Prague. For Austria Trieste was a very important gateway for trade to Europe and the world. The various cultures and ethnic groups that resided, each left their mark on this city. The various churches, temples and synagogues are evidence of a multicultural Trieste.”

City with a salty breeze
“Life here in Trieste is laid back,” Chiara explains. “We can enjoy life in our elegant cafés, bars and restaurants. This port city is bustling like no other. It is a city that exudes an international atmosphere along with the salty breeze of the Adriatic. Everything lives and functions together. And we especially enjoy it. It is also a city in full bloom. An eclectic yet idyllic location for numerous cinematic shoots,” Chiara concludes.

Indeed, I feel that this city is alive when I walk through the crowd at night. It is a motley composition of cheerful people. The terraces are full. Here people sing, cheer, discuss and laugh.