WHAT TO DO
At your arrival in Duino you will be amazed by its unique position between the sea and the Karst. Overlooking the village, in the main square of Duino just above the sea, you can find the Castle (XIV century) which has been owned by the Della Torre Tasso family for over 400 years. The castle has been built after the “old” one (X century) was destroyed - which ruins can still be visited. The old castle is also the scene where the legendary tragedy of the “White lady” took place.
“The story tells that in the castle lived a lord of Duino, who was a very cruel man, and his wife. One night, while the two were arguing, the man brutally grabbed his wife and threw her down the walls of the fortress. While she was falling, the poor lady, screamed so heartbreaking that the sky, who felt so sorry, transformed her into rock. Since then, every night, around midnight, the unfortunate “White Lady” breaks from the rock and wanders in the castle in search of the room with the cradle of her child.”
The village develops in “two levels”: the high part of the village, which is situated all around the castle and the main square, and the low part, by the sea, characterized by an attractive small harbor very popular during summer season.
In the village center, just a few steps from the Villa Susy Residence, many useful services are available: supermarket, bakery, newsagent, post office, health clinic, two ATMs, a great fish restaurant ( Al Pescatore) a couple of bars and the bowling club. Regarding public transport, the bus stop is only 20 meters from Villa Susy Residence; Duino is very well-connected to Trieste (25 minutes by car – 40 minutes by bus), Monfalcone, nearest train station (10 minutes by car – 15 minutes by bus) and the Ronchi Dei Legionari airport (15 minutes by car – 25 minutes by bus).
From the center of the village takes off a beautiful path which overlooks the sea, entitled to the famous poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who was one of the many distinguished guests of the castle together with Dante Alighieri, Johann Strauss, Francesco Ferdinando, Gabriele d’Annunzio, etc. Walking along the Rilke path you will be able to admire the natural reserve of Duino’s cliffs, until you will get in Sistiana (30 minutes) a very nice seaside resort. During the day is one of the main destinations for beach lovers; while during the evening is one of the most famous nightlife locations with its clubs, bars and restaurants by the seaside.
On the opposite side - in direction of Monfalcone- a couple of miles from Duino, you arrive to San Giovanni of Duino. This small fraction is characterized by the Timavo river springs, known for its mysterious underground route that starts from the San Canziano caves in Slovenjia and ends in this very small village. Right next to the springs you can find the fascinating Gothic church of San Giovanni in Tuba dated XVI century which was built on top of an ancient early Christian basilica dated from the V century, and of which you can still admire the mosaic works.
This area has always been characterized over the years, by the passage of many populations, since Romans, it has been a much contended territory; in fact, on the hills behind Duino, it has been discovered a cave (Mithres Cave) where an altar dedicated to the good Mithras was hosted during the roman period.
Going up the hill, you’ll get to Mount Ermada, scene of bloody clashes and fights between Italian and Austro-Hungarian army during the World War I, but also "home" of several animal species - deer, wild boars, foxes, badgers, squirrels - that sometimes, if you're lucky enough, you can see.
WHERE TO GO…..to eat and drink
For what concerns eating and drinking we are very well “equipped”! Exploiting the fact this has been a transition area of different cultures for many years, we’ve acquired the best culinary traditions of Austria, Slovenia, Turkey and clearly Italy. The choice is up to you: from the Austrian cuisine with its main courses such as soups (Jota) and gnocchi or sauerkraut and roasts cooked in several ways, to a spicier Balkan/Turkish kitchen with it’s strong tastes and then to the Italian specialties with particular attention to “fish cuisine”.
Right in the center of Duino, exactly opposite the castle entrance, you can find this fascinating restaurant called “Al Pescatore”, which will offer you the best fish specialties at a very cheap price, and will let you enjoy a lovely meal and a bottle of the best wines of the area, in a suggestive courtyard in the shade of a wonderful pergola.
A word must be spent for the “osmice” ( “osmize”). These are family activities which for short time periods during the year can sell their delicious homemade cold cuts (salami, ham…), chesses and Karst typical wines, such as Terrano and Vitovska. The osmizce are a perfect compromise for good and typical quality food and wine at a reasonable price in an extraordinary and unique landscape.
Enjoy your staying!