I know what you’re thinking. Who is this guy and why does this sound like the next script for “The Notebook Part 2” movie? Well, this may not be the next blockbuster script, but it is a wonderful story none the less.
Emilia (my grandmother) was born in the small Italian port city of Trieste in 1924. For all the people that didn’t pay attention during history class in high school, Trieste was and still is, a very important deep water port. Wars have been fought over this small piece of land for centuries. Why? Maybe it’s the coffee?
Actually, illycaffè was founded there in 1933 and it is considered one of the Italian coffee capitals.
My grandfather was a Sergeant Major in the US Army stationed in Free Territory of Trieste during the Second World War. Legend has it, he asked my grandmother out on a date to the Officers Club, where he worked, and the rest is history. What a charming fellow! The fact that Emilia lived through the war, moved to America without knowing any English, had four boys and remained married for her entire life, still amazes me to this day. Every time I set foot in Trieste I get a feeling of pure nostalgia.
This story is where my passion for Triestina Calcio (meaning football in Italian) comes from. Founded in 1918, the club is actually home to an Italian football legend, Nereo Rocco, who is regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time.
Needless to say we have changed from Serie A to B to C to even D (Italian leagues based on performance) in our history! I know, I know that kinda sounds like the Cincinnati Bengals… but none of that even matters. This team is pure class, everything from the stadium to the team jersey.
There’s nothing quite like attending a Triestina football match and then enjoying a drink with the other tifosi (Italian for fans) at a local bar. You may needed a shot of espresso if you want to make it a long night! It’s easy to do, as the city has loads of concerts every year in the Piazza Unità d’Italia.
Trieste is and will always hold a special place in my heart and will instantly charm you with its mixture of Austrian, Italian, Hungarian and Slovenian influences. There is no better place to enjoy amazing food, sport, music and coffee! It’s a must see destination when traveling to Italy.