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One week after arriving, I was availing myself of Trieste’s public transportation one last time, heading for the centrale train station and on my way to Venice and ultimately Zurich. It had been the most ordinary of weeks, getting on and off public busses like any other Triestini on their way to work or school. In the evenings I cooked my dinner and relaxed on my couch with a book and a gelao cone. It was the most akin to simply living in Europe I was to experience during my six week sojourn, especially given Trieste had turned out to be as unadorned and unassuming a sleepy burg as any place I’d lived stateside.
Arrival in Trieste, Italy, perhaps the easternmost city of Western Europe. was in a thick gray soup of gloom and rain. I couldn’t have been happier. The scenery, which would have consisted of the steep rock granite-faced hills known as the Karst was completely blocked by thick fog, as was the Adriatic, turned to dishwater from its sapphire blue of only two days ago. If this keeps up I won’t have anything at all to do or see for a whole week!
Writing in 1807, a French travel writer claimed Trieste reminded him most of Philadelphia, PA. Maybe it was the cholera epidemics every summer, or that the streets of both doubled as sewer systems. I’m not sure. I would imagine just about any sizable city in the world in 1807 would be comparable to each other in terms of pestilence, sanitation and starvation.