PROMENADE OF BARCOLA TRIESTE

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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.