8 May 2015

On Opicina’s tram

It seemed a day like any other, instead…


In Trieste there’s a very special tram, that since 1902 has connected the centre with the plateau.

It’s special because it’s the only tram in Europe that goes up a 800 meter slope (with up to 26% inclination), so steep that the wagon needs to be pushed up hill and restrained when going downhill, by a cable car.

If for tourists it’s an attraction to visit and experience, for me it’s a daily transport system. I use it to go up and down my beloved Carso and I often load my bicycle on too. I sit on the wooden benches and for about 20 minutes I breath in an atmosphere from a different age, when everything was slower and the everyday frenzy hadn’t taken over.



A few days ago, unexpectedly, I found a pleasant surprise on the tram.

Cristina and Riccardo, two “messengers” from the library “Attilio Hortis” in Trieste were accompanying the passengers on their short journey, delighting them with some reading about the city, pages from books and documents of the library. A poem inside a poem…words from a different time, in a place from a different age time….




The reading about yesterday’s Trieste and the slow travelling of the tram created such a magical atmosphere that a passenger offered to share an extract from the book he had with him. In a second we were transported by the words of “Doctor Zivago” of Boris Leonidovič Pasternak, and landed in the Russian capital…





My city is beautiful! Always ready to surprise you and full of emotions for tourists, travelers and dreamers…

How terrible life would be if we knew what will happen to us! The most exciting thing in the career of a traveler is that, as far as he knows, the most improbable place could become of crucial importance for him: he could die or get married in that place.”

Trieste, 5 Ottobre 1881 Richard F. Burton Le Terme di Monfalcone


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