CASTELLO DI DUINO
Dimora dei Principi della Torre e Tasso
Standing on a Karst rock spur falling sheer into the sea, with a breathtaking view over the whole gulf of Trieste, the castle of Duino is a charming tourist destination: its beauty is enhanced by the warm and joyful atmosphere that the presence of the owners, the members of the family of the Princes of Thurn and Taxis, provides to this historical dwelling, making it lively, far from the cold museum sternness.
Rich in history combined with folk legends, indissolubly linked to the past of the surrounding territory, which witnessed glorious historical events and visits by illustrious figures, the castle of Duino, a few kilometres from Trieste, is characterized by unique romantic charm.
The large park (which features multicoloured flowers of all species that create picturesque and charming colour effects in the classic Mediterranean vegetation) is enriched by romantic avenues, full of statues and archaeological finds, with terraces overlooking the vast sea.
It is possible to visit over 18 rooms of the castle, which are rich in precious evidence of the history of the family of the Princes of Thurn and Taxis. On request, it is possible to organize guided visits (in foreign languages as well). The castle is provided with a bar and a bookshop.
Do not miss Palladio's staircase, an architectural masterpiece, and the 1810 fortepiano (played by Listz). From the ramparts and from the fourteenth-century tower one enjoys a charming view over the sea.
Moreover, it is possible to visit the bunker, built in 1943 for the German Kriegsmarine to defend the base of Sistiana against a possible landing of the Allies. It was later used as an air-raid shelter and equipped with a gun, and at the end of the war the English army transformed it into a fuel storehouse (1945-1954). It has been open to the public since 2006. Thanks to patient and delicate renovation, it has been transformed into a charming mini-museum with period antiques that are displayed in a large underground room (400 square metres) at 18 metres of depth.
The Castle of Duino is also used as a location for gala dinners, wedding dinners, conferences, art exhibitions, concerts, photo and film shooting, cultural events and food and wine related events.
A curious fact:
The legend tells of a White Lady who was thrown from the walls of an ancient castle by her wicked husband. But the sky felt pity for her and gave her a rock body before she smashed onto the rocks. They say that her soul is still there, on a cliff falling sheer into the bay, near the remains of the ancient castle of Duino, and that during some nights she comes to life again and wanders restlessly.
They also say that Dante stayed at the ancient castle and a cliff is named after him.
In the past great artists stayed at the castle: Strauss, Liszt, D'Annunzio, Twain and Rilke. The spectacular panoramic path of about 2 km that, overlooking the sea, leads to the bay of Sistiana, is dedicated to the great poet from Prague.