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At the beginning of the 19th century, taking a bath in Trieste was considered an activity to be encouraged for the well-being and health of citizens.

In Trieste the “tociada” took place even before the birth of the bathing establishments. Old Town boys and sailors at the beginning of the 19th century used to dive into the waters of the port or into the Grand Canal between one boat and another, risking being hit by a sailing ship that transported goods. “Anyone found swimming naked between one Lazaretto and the other will inevitably be arrested and punished, and as for the boys, punished will also be punished”. The offending area was the space between the Lazzaretto Vecchio, that of San Carlo (which stood right where the Museo del Mare is today) and the Lazzaretto Nuovo of Maria Teresa in the Roiano area. Taken from a “Notice” dating back to 7 June 1809, signed by Cavalier Ignazio de Capuano, Dean of the Magistrate. “Place of public baths” when this writing appeared on a pole you could bathe. Surely outside the lazarets and especially in Sant’Andrea where sailors could train themselves in swimming. In the first decades of the 19th century, the “floating baths” arose on the stretch of sea in front of the city, anchored to rafts, hence the Triestine saying “let’s go to the bath”.

On 24 May 1823, in front of Piazza Giuseppina (today Piazza Venezia), the first city bathing establishment, the “Soglio di Nettuno”, was opened, accessible by boat or on a footbridge. Inside, tanks were built for taking hot and fresh water baths, a cafeteria with refreshments, an aquarium with flora and fauna of the gulf and even a smoking room. On June 13, 1832, the “Bagno” was visited by the Emperor of Austria Francesco I. The owner and inventor of the bathroom was the merchant Domenico d ‘Angeli.

This was followed by the construction of other floating “Bagni” such as the “Bagno Maria”, moored at the San Carlo pier (today Molo Audace). It was a floating establishment, built in wood, 50 meters long by 26 meters and in summer it was moored at molo San Carlo (today Molo Audace). It had a capacity of two hundred people, reserved, it seems, especially for the customers of the luxurious Hotel “De la Ville”, on the banks. It had been built at the San Rocco shipyard in Muggia and, here, in winter, it would return for maintenance. Built in 1857, active until 1911, when it was destroyed by a storm. The “Bagno Boscaglia” with wooden structure, anchored in the open sea, often disassembled at the end of the bathing season or anchored in a winter bag. A special vaporetto transported bathers to the “Boscaglia”. A few years after its inauguration, it changed owner and became the “Bagno Buchler” and in 1898 it was completely renovated and modernized. In 1891 it was named “National Float”. Unfortunately, the bath was completely destroyed together with the other floating baths, in the night between 13 and 14 June 1911 due to a violent storm that seriously damaged the shores in many places, sinking boats and sailing ships and causing some deaths.

The “Bagno Fontana” was built around 1899 and was not a floating “Bagno” but well positioned on the ground near the Sacchetta. Luxuriously served by the horse-drawn tram, it seems to have been destroyed for the construction of the Campo Marzio station. Joyce mentions the Bagno Fontana in the Trieste column, in a passage entitled “Giorgino”, dedicated to her newborn son: «I used to keep it at sea in the baths of Fontana and …

At the end of the 19th century, the cliff along the Santa Teresa pier (today Fratelli Bandiera) was the favorite place for poor people to sunbathe on the rocks called cape ”(like the lace on the ladies’ dresses). The first public bathing establishment was built in the early 1900s, the inauguration seems to have taken place in 1903 even though previously a bathing establishment, the “Bagno Fortuna”, already existed.

At the end of the 19th century, there was a lack of specific permanent structures that would allow especially the poorest citizens to take advantage of the benefits of the bathroom. In 1903 the Municipality of Trieste built, near the cliff along the Santa Teresa pier (today Fratelli Bandiera), the first public bathing establishment called “Bagno Alla Lanterna” whose name derives from the lantern placed on the pier in 1832 as a maritime lighthouse. The pier, on which the establishment develops, rests on the remains of an ancient structure of Roman derivation that connected the mainland with the islet or rock called dello Zucco on which the foundations of the lighthouse rested. The “Bagno” was then called “El Pedocin” by the people of Trieste, perhaps because there were as many people as there were mussels (in dialect “pedoci”) attached to the rocks, or because the military went there to “snoop” or,

finally, because the people brought “Ciodin” nails (small nail) from home to hang their clothes. It was built in wood complete with a dividing fence between men and women and the penalties against any trespassing between the two areas were very severe.

In the 1930s, the wooden structures were replaced with concrete and thus the famous wall was born that still divides the plant in half, extending into the sea. “El Pedocin” remains the only bathing establishment in Europe where a wall strictly separates the beach into two areas, one reserved for women and children under the age of 12 and the other for males, arousing the curiosity of journalists and tourists from Worldwide.


Posted By : v.cortese/ 602 0

220 centimeters high, a slender and shapely physique, naked covered only by a veiled drapery against the wind is the sculpture the “Mula de Trieste” created by the Trieste artist Nino Spagnoli in 2005, placed on the rocks near the shipyard of the Cedas harbor

The work depicts a girl who is undressing to immerse herself in the water. It is said that the name given to the statue is Giulia, the girl who inspired the artist who had seen running in viale XX Settembre … 19 years old, long legs and well-rounded shoulders … Mula in the sense of hybrid, cross of more ethnic groups, testimony of the existence of several cultures in the city of Trieste.The statue is a tribute to the beauty and temperament of Trieste women.


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The popular “scoierà” overlooked by the pine forest and the coast was built on the initiative of the Duke of Aosta when he was a guest of the Miramar castle.

The Municipality, in order to allow bathing, prohibited on the cliffs, opened the CEDAS public bath in 1926 which, however, failed to contain the summer mass of bathers. The Cedas was open on a wide expanse of sea and surrounded on three sides by a boundary wall; the highest part of this enclosed the caretaker’s house and two terraces where one took the sun. It was a communal bathroom, and there was no entrance fee; but in the women’s ward there was a large changing room, adjacent to the caretaker’s house, which could be accessed for a very modest surcharge. This lasted until 1966. On November 4 of that year, a violent storm swept away the structures, except those at sea.

In 1935 the municipality commissioned the construction of two pairs of semicircular terraces, distributed between men and women, below the street level so as not to obstruct the view of the gulf for those who passed on the road. In 1945 the factories were destroyed by the Germans and in 1953 the Allied Military Government financed the reconstruction to which another seven were added in 1959 for a total of ten terraces and two embankments, one with a beach and one without. The name Bagno Topolino appeared in the municipality documents for the first time in 1959 and indicated the first four terraces.

The origin of the name probably lay in the fact that the bathroom was as small as a mouse compared to the other establishments of the time in the city, in fact, it was initially called only Topolin and was paired with Pedocin (alla Lanterna). Currently the name has become the “Topolini”, perhaps due to the fact that the ten semicircular terraces coupled two by two seen from above recall the shape of the ears of Miky Mouse, the Mickey Mouse from Walt Disney Studios.

The establishments have transformed the Barcolana Riviera, up to the Miramàr, into a public and free bathing area and even today the Barcola seafront is the usual place for Trieste’s inhabitants who go to sunbathe and swim in the sea or to practice sports activities at the open.



Posted By : Francesco Falco/ 700 0

Barcola, located at 14 meters above sea level, is the first inhabited nucleus you meet when arriving from the coast and the visiting card of the city of Trieste. Due to its extension in a hollow the Romans called it Vallicula, then the name contracted in Valcula and due to its mild climate it became a place of spas and rich Roman villas first and a district of the patrician villas of Trieste later on.

The breadth and position sheltered from the wind of the coast made it easy to dock ships and, as well described by the historians Ireneo della Croce in the seventeenth century and Pietro Kandler in the nineteenth century, the Romans built a very large pier between Barcola and Miramare , capable of accommodating no less than 60 minor woods. In place of the ancient Roman wharf, currently, the small port of Cedas opens, with smaller dimensions and the characteristic U-shape.

Until the mid-nineteenth century Barcola had mainly been a settlement of fishermen and in 1826 it had 418 inhabitants when the people of Trieste began to build their summer residences in the hamlet.
Upstream of the small port of Cedas, in the autumn of 1887, during excavations for the development of the area, the architectural remains of a large Roman maritime villa came to light. Due to building speculation many of the finds were buried forever while some precious mosaics and a marble statue depicting an athlete were preserved and exhibited in the Tergestino lapidary at the Castle of San Giusto. The Villa ran along the seashore and was divided into a representative area and a residential area, a garden area and some structures open to the sea that connected to thermal and service areas. From the recovery and study of some fragments of bricks bearing the seal of a large family of the Roman aristocracy, the “Crispini”, the Villa perhaps belonged to Calvia Crispinilla, a figure of the power elite in Rome, probably an entrepreneur who he flaunted luxury and power. The whole area later became the property of the Conti family and currently the Janesich family.The villa was especially dear to Giusto Conti for the particular healthiness that he attributed to the place, which remained unscathed from the infection during the cholera epidemics that raged in Trieste in 1836, 1849 and 1855. Further upstream from Barcola, the dominical house of the Burlo, the oldest building in Barcola, with a loggia with round arches in Renaissance architectural style. According to the historian Kandler, during one or more summers of the three-year period 1448-1450, the bishop of Trieste Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who became pope in 1458 with the name of Pius II, was a guest in the house of the Burlo.
Inside the riviera is the Giuliani manor house on the side of which there is still a cylindrical building, tapered upwards, with two floors plus the ground floor, crowned by a wooden balcony and with a “hut” roof in tiles that has, above the entrance door, a small marble coat of arms bearing the date 1719 and the letters F: L: D: M: C :. Some thought that the building had been a military turret intended to defend against enemies coming from the sea or land, others that the tower was a lookout post for tuna fishing and, finally, the most probable hypothesis is that the ‘building had been a granary or a mill.

Behind the Giuliani house there was the Villa of the Prandi counts where on 2 September 1790 Ferdinand IV of Bourbon was hosted, the king of the Two Sicilies, who, traveling from Naples to Vienna, wanted to see “the fun of fishing in Barcola” where he went away. sea. The Prandi possessions were very extensive and reached the sea. Giacomo Prandi (1740-1822) dedicated himself to the wine trade and opened a fish processing plant in Barcola, accumulating great wealth. He built the villa in via San Michele, in the historic center of the city, bought the former Franciscan convent in Grignano which for decades was the family’s summer residence and built a large villa in Barcola which was then sold in 1914 to the “Barone Carlo Foundation. and Baroness Cecilia di Rittmeyer “for an asylum for poor blind people in Trieste.

Behind the church there is still the villa of the countess Regina Nugent. The house with the architectural style of a small castle bears the name of the owner engraved on the door jambs, while the gate is surmounted by a count’s crown and the date of erection 1881. Lavai Nugent, Earl of Westmeath, is buried in the Barcola cemetery. commander of the order of Maria Teresa, one of the heroes of the Austrian army of the Napoleonic era and very important for the liberation of these lands from the French, in fact, in 1813 he signed the surrender agreement of the French asseragliatisi in the castle of San Giusto. Margherita Nugent, Regina’s granddaughter, donated the Leo building and the adjacent former church of San Sebastiano in the historic center of Trieste to the Municipality of Trieste.

After the inauguration of the Trieste-Vienna railway line in July 1857, the imposing railway viaduct was built, which has twenty arches, 270 meters long, with a maximum height from the road surface of 21 m. of Viale Miramare. In the last decade of the nineteenth century many villas were built that transformed Barcola from an agricultural and fishing village into a resort capable of attracting international nobility such as the Venetian-style “Casa Mreule”,

and the “Jakic House” known as the Onion Villa which was built in 1896 by Anton Jakic, a former Dalmatian priest, although rumor has it that he was a spy for the Tsar. Sold by the owner in 1904, it became a popular dating and gambling house for a time.

The “Castelletto Cesare”, in neo-Gothic style, was commissioned by Alessandro Cesare di Salvore in 1890, after his family had obtained the concession of the beach and where,

subsequently, he had built the Excelsior bathhouse and the hotel of the same name currently transformed into private apartments. In June 1904 the headquarters of the new “Società Canottieri Nettuno” was inaugurated. Barcola underwent an important change between the 1950s and 1960s with the construction of the large Barcola Tourist Hotel, intended as a luxury residence for American officers during the Allied Military Government, and with the burial between the Rittmeyer Institute and the seafront, of a large stretch of sea on which the Pineta di Barcola was built in 1958


The work of Duilio Cosma, at the time director of the Public Plantations of the Municipality of Trieste and founder of the Italian Association of Park and Garden Directors, was then bitterly contested by public opinion and today is one of the most loved places by Trieste. La Pineta is a green lung overlooking the gulf that, between maritime pines and holm oaks, leads from the small port of the same name to the Park and Miramare Castle.

Inside the pine forest in 1963 a large fountain called “luminous” was built due to the splashes of water of different colors.

The “Nuotatrice” is the bronze statue made by Ugo Carà in 1986 and placed near the fountain of Barcola in the pine forest overlooking the sea.