See the section for Italy of the Trento Bike Pages

Mountain Biking in Trieste

Contributed by Riccardo Iancer ( on Wed Dec 7 17:08:30 1994
I live in Trieste, a mid-town (230.000 inhab.) in the Friuli Venezia-Giulia region, NE of Italy (well, actually I live in Muggia, but you'll hardly find it on an Atlas ;-). Trieste territory lies between the Adriatic sea and Slovenia. The climate is mild due the vicinity of the sea, but a strong and cold wind called Bora may blow especially during winters, dropping the temperature below 0C. Possible snow in January-February. and assured fog in November - December's mornings.

Just outside Trieste there's a highland - 300 m o.s.l. - called "Carso" [Kras], part in Italy and part in Slovenia, which lends itself to MTB; but let me use some poor graphics:

                     __                     __
                   /    \                 /    \
                  /      \_______________/      \____ 
                                Italy  <--- | ---> Slovenia
Sea     Trieste  --> Carso
Best periods are March to June and September to mid November; nice weather and beautiful landscapes. The process of formation of the Carso is thought to have taken million of years. In this area limestone is plentiful and, owing its permeability, surface hydrography is practically non-existent here, which leads to the presence of typical phenomena due to the penetration of the water into the soil: the dolines, the grottoes (the best known and most easily accessible is the Grotta Gigante, the central hall is so large that it could contain St. Pter's cathedral) and the swallow holes. The geomorphological aspects of our Carso are such that, when found in other regions they are called karst phenomena.

In planning an excursion to the Carso area, the "Castellieri" must not be forgotten. They are the remains of villages of the Bronze Age built on hills and surrounded by sound loose-laid walls.

The vegetation is a mix of Mediterranean, Sub-Alpine and local flora. So you can find maritime and Aleppo pines, juniper, heath and brooms as well as black pines, larches, beeches, oaks and "sommacco", a typical bush whose leaves, in Fall, become so red that it seems to be burning (the botanical garden "Carsiana" will offer you an overview of all the species). As far as the fauna is concerned, it reflects the eniromental conditions of this area. It is therefore easy to meet fallow and roe deer, hares, hedgehogs, moles, dornice and various species of birds and reptiles.

Carso offers many chances for off-road riding. The roads bed is usually rocky; half of trails are single track, half are "cart-roads". There is a network of fire roads which is increasing year by year. From the top of the hills that surround the Carso the landscape is great. From Mt. Taiano [Slavnik] 1028 meters, in Slovenia, the view ranges from the Adriatic sea to the Alps. For those who prefer road-riding, there are many secondary roads connecting the small villages of this highland.

Food and Drinks

The contact with different ethnic groups (Austrian, Slavic, Hungarian, Greek) has brought about gastronomical customs which canno be found (almost) elsewhere in Italy. A traditional snack can be eaten standing in one of the many buffets scattered around the town; it consists of hot "porzina" (pork meat) with mustard, kaiser-fleisch, sausages, hot "Prague" ham, goulasch, tripe and other dishes, with a glass of good "Terrano" wine or a jug of beer. We also offer typical central-Europe cakes among which the common krapfen and strudel, the Sacher Torte (from Vienna), the "dobos" and "rigojanci" (from Hungary) and the "putiza" and "presnitz" (from Slovenia). In accordance with an old karst tradition, the "osmizze", country wine-cellars selling wine, sausages and boiled eggs of their (not always;-) own production, are opened for short periods.

                 /  "One More ...  |Riccardo Iancer - Students' Secretariat
   __o          /   One Less."     |International School for Advanced Studies
 _`\<,_        /                   |Via Beirut 2-4 ~ 34013 Trieste ~ ITALY
(*)/ (*) _____/  Doris Weyer       |Tel. +39-40-3787452    Fax +39-40-3787528