Frecce Tricolore June 1st, 2014
I have been in Trieste almost five months now and realize that I have not actually written anything about Trieste. I thought I would start with an event because there have been so many interesting events in the city that I have been lucky enough to enjoy; Carnevale and the band parades, the Viale in Fiore, numerous week-end food events at Ponte Rosso including Chocolate kiosks, Foods of Europe, Artisans. So I am starting with the Giro d’Italia and the fly past of the Frecce Tricolore because it truly reflects how animated the city is and it shows off the spectacular Gulf of Trieste.
The last stage of the Giro d’Italia in 2014 is the arrival in Trieste and a circuit of the streets of Trieste. The downtown streets are closed to both car and pedestrian traffic. The fly past is planned to coincide with the arrival of the cyclists at Barcola about 12km from the city centre. The decision is to go up to Conconella to see the air show from up high.
Of course, we were not the only ones who had the same idea and by the time we get there, every small space along side the narrow road is taken up by a parked car. We do find a space and walk down the road to the belvedere. It is something that continually amazes me about the drivers of Trieste – how they can find a place to park and then how they can maneuver the car ,most often on a hill up or down, into the tiniest little spot. Notice I did not say parking space because parking the car has nothing to do with fitting in between two white lines as we do in Canada!
For the duration of the air acrobatics the sky was a perfect blue with billowy white clouds with the sparkling blue waters of the Adriatic blending seamlessly with the horizon.
The Gulf of Trieste has often been described as the perfect amphitheatre and I can see why. Spread out all below us are the red tiled rooves of the city inside the horseshoe shape of the Gulf.
The planes flew in perfect synchronization often so close to each other they almost seamed like one. They crossed from one side of the Gulf to the other, straight up and out in a fan shape, and straight down seeming to pull up just before they hit the water. The climax of the show is the release of the green, white and red “smoke” , the colors of the Italian flag. It was an exciting show in a spectacular setting.
There were all kinds of boats in the gulf waters and when we looked at the pictures later we could see the streets of Trieste lined with people.
There was also a German cruise ship in the harbour. We saw in the paper that the harbour master had gone aboard to apologise and let the captain know that the streets would be closed and full of people. But he need not have worried. The ship’s captain wrote an e-mail to the mayor the next day to express how much he and his passengers had enjoyed their day in port, the spirit of the city, and how well planned the race and events were. There was also a bit of self-congratulation in the paper, all part of the culture of the city!