La Vita Triestina – Notte Bianca


Vita Triestina Notte Bianca

July 5, 2014

What a great idea to start clearing summer merchandise from the store shelves with a Notte Bianca. The stores are open till midnight.

It is another perfect summer evening about 24C. At nine o’clock we head to the citta. The Viale XX Setembre is full of people seated at the bar/caffe tables eating gelato, having a drink.

The main traffic arteries downtown have been closed to cars so along with the large area that is already pedestrian you are in a giant outdoor shopping mall. All the store windows have big signs – Sale, 50% discounts, Saldi.

There are also lots of extra tables and chairs set up in front of all the bars and restaurants.  Because the streets are closed to traffic I see tables set up in front of bars that I did not even previously realize were there!

We reach Ponterosso as the sun is setting. Ponterosso because there used to be two bridges that crossed the Canal Grande, one red (rosso) and one green. The red bridge is now a stone bridge. There is also a new bridge called the Ponte Corto – because of the administrative issues associated with making a change to a historic site it took a long time to build the bridge, it changed design many times in the process and the city ended up with this short bridge! The Ponte Corto, all stainless steel and glass, is a modern addition to the Canal. It is lined with fluorescent green lights, a marked contrast with the faded colors of the Palazzo Gopcevich behind it.   The Venetian inspired brickwork of the Palazzo Gopcevich is a bit faded in the daylight. But now it reflects the pinkish, coral color of the sunset.

The Pizzeria and Caffe Stella Polare have double the usual number of tables outside and all are full. There is no wind at all and the buildings are reflected in the waters of the Canal Grande.

We walk down to waterfront where we see the cargo ships all lit up as they wait their turn to go into the harbour. Piazza Unita is, as always alive with people, and even more splendid, lit up at night. The blue lit posts and potlights in the stone pavings mark the level that the sea reached at the time of Maria Theresa.   There is again a concert stage setup but much smaller than the one set up for the performace of Carmine Burana.

We continue over to Via Cavanna and the Citta Vecchia. The facades here are ochre colored plaster and you are surrounded by a pale yellow light.

The mood is festive. Djs are set up, a radio station is drawing crowds with a country line dancing group in Ponterosso, the Miss and Mr Topolini contest on Via Mazzini, a large crowd in Piazza Unita for a group that is break dancing and fire eating, a couple of young guys are wearing huge masks of Berlusconi and Grillo and doing some kind of parody, a large crowd on Corso Italia where a radio station is blasting music and is holding races where women run down the street in high heels!

What is interesting is that you see people with babies, children, dogs. Everyone is out strolling, chatting, and just enjoying the summer evening.

We get to Piazza della Borsa and you can hardly make your way through the crowds. The bars here are always filled with people but today they are overflowing.   A lot of the younger crowd are walking along with a glass of wine in their hands.

Over to Corso Italia where the street is closed to traffic and the radio station is blaring the countdown for the highheeled races. Now it is time for an Eppi spritz. And here at Eppinger’s, not only the trendy crowd outside, but there are a couple of families already teaching their toddlers how to have an aperitivo (sparkling water and lemon for the toddlers) at a bar! A perfect way to end a pleasant summer evening.

The stores were full of people and the Sunday paper reports that was a profitable night for retailers!


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