Voi Siete Qui

You Are Here

You Are Here

Yesterday my brother and I took the tram up to the obelisk and walked the loop trail up to Monte Grisa then back along the Strada Napoleonica to the tram. Neither of us had been there before, so we weren’t certain about the trails or what we’d find outside of some websites with a little information about the Strada Napoleonica itself. The loop trail is just a little under eight kilometers, or about five miles. There’s some height gain, but not a lot. It’s easy going, though some bits are quite narrow and more a well-worn track than a wide path. Given my dizziness issues, next time I do the loop trail, I’ll bring my hiking poles to keep me slightly steadier.

Trail to Monte Grisa

Trail to Monte Grisa


oak leaves




possibly some kind of wild allium

The Tempio Mariano di Monte Grisa is a church. It’s that odd cheese-wedge looking bump on the Carso that you can see so well in all my photos from Molo Audace. The locals call it Il Formaggino, the little cheese, for just that reason. It’s just as ugly close up as it is from a distance, but kid of interesting anyway. The trail up to it is quite popular, and we ran into a lot of people out running or walking dogs, along with some cyclists and mountain bikers.


Monte Grisa and the bar


Monte Grisa interior


15th Station of the Cross, above Trieste

Along the trail from the obelisk toward the church, there are periodic signs to direct you when you come to turns or intersections with other trails, the maps marked with “voi siete qui” – you are here. You eventually start running into the Stations of the Cross, which begin and end at the church.


this is how Piazza Oberdan looked when we got on the tram

This was how it looked from the Carso

This was how the city looked from the Carso

The weather down in Trieste was mostly cloudy but when we got to the trail things had cleared up. It was sunny and a lovely, moderate temperature that held the entire time we were walking. The views were absolutely spectacular from several points along the walk, including from the cliff side of Monte Grisa itself.

There’s a bar at Monte Grisa, like so many other places in Italy. They also sell tchotchkes, and there’s a small gourmet foods section, too. Presumably this helps with the church’s maintenance, though there seems to be some indication of missionary efforts as well, which does make me rather uncomfortable for a variety of reasons.

wind rose and local points of interest at the viewpoint

wind rose and local points of interest at the viewpoint

Once you pass, Monte Grisa, the path narrows to a little track that takes you out to a viewpoint structure, then down the hill again to the Strada Napoleonica. The Barcola lies directly below, and you can see three countries from the Cliffside – Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia, further to the southeast.

We were both very pleased to have started out with the Monte Grisa part of the loop, as the views along the Strada toward the city are just incredible. The character of the trail changes, from rock climbing cliffs to shady lanes through pine woods. Walking out the Strada with my back to the city wouldn’t have been nearly so nice.


wildflowers on the Strada Napoleonica


Faro della Vittoria and the railway bridge


Cliffs along the Strada


Trieste from the trail


rock climbing class in progress on the Strada


Faro della Vittoria and Trieste


16 thoughts on “Voi Siete Qui

    • I wish I had a clue! Nobody likes the place. It’s this weird 60s brutalist sort of thing, built in honor of the rescue of the city from the Nazis. The site itself is glorious, but the building is just awful. It’s no wonder nobody really visits the place except locals who are usually associated with the parish, or folks who are doing the loop trail. There’s no art there to speak of, nothing good about it but the view. Okay, the coffee wasn’t bad, but it’s Italy, so what do you expect? 😉

      • A local tourism site gives some more information. The designer was Antonio Guacci, who seems to have been faculty at the University of Trieste, based on sketches by Monsignor Antonio Santin, then Bishop of Trieste. He is…obscure.

  1. What fabulous view! The church architecture reminds me a bit of Sieg Hall on the UW campus, built about the same time. It must have been a thing. Off-topic, I was thrilled to be able to read some of the Slovenian on the sign.

    • You’d be tickled. The Free Territory of Trieste people just had a rally downstairs in the piazza, with speeches in Triestino, Italian, Slovenian, German, and English.

      You see a lot of Slovenian signs in the city here.

      Trieste is just and amazing and gorgeous place.

  2. Randolph – thanks for the link. I haven’t seen some of the information there (about various places and things to do) before! Always nice to learn a few new things about where I’m living and the surrounding region.

    • The trail, even the upper loop where there’s not much of a view, is just gorgeous. I was really happy to walk it. And the bar at the church is a good stop off at the more or less halfway point for an espresso and a bathroom break should you need one.

      This is what I meant by my comment to ytaba36, about it looking like it’s from an American city. This, exactly. It would actually fit in much better in most American cities than it does here, sadly to say.

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