It was about 17:30. I was on my way back to the apartment after having my hair cut when I crossed paths with a friend who invited me for an aperitivo at a new “locale”.
Three tables, actually vintage sewing machines covered with bright red checkered tablecloths, were tucked into a narrow street in the oldest part of Trieste – Citta Vecchia.
I was sitting outside on a February evening eating baccala mantecato on a slice of crusty bread while enjoying a glass of crisp white wine. The candle light cast a warm golden glow on the walls of the buildings. Some of the buildings around me date back to medieval times. A couple of streets over are the rudiments of a Roman amphitheatre. It all seemed a bit surreal.
I chatted with the owner who wondered by my accent, if I might be Croation. I said no I am Canadian. She replied in English – “Of course I should have known from your hat” . My hat has a black maple leaf inside of a red heart design! I found out that her family were, like my mother’s family, refugees from Istria.
The streets in citta vecchia are filled every evening with people mingling outside their favorite “locale”, glasses of wine in hand, relaxed and in no hurry to leave. Trieste truly has an enviable lifestyle.