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Posts Tagged ‘Via Trento’

Two things caught my eye in Trieste’s local newspaper ‘Il Piccolo’ the other day. One, the glorious Cafe’ San Marco of literary fame and gold-leafed ceiling, closed down for a month or so since its manager Franco Filippi passed away at the age of 65, is now set to reopen, after much uncertainty, under the management of his wife and daughter.

And two, that ‘la passarella’ over the Canale Grande, meant to  join Cassa di Risparmio to Via Trento has, literally, fallen short. The foot bridge was intended to open another long strip of vie pedonali through the city, so that you can walk unimpeded by cars (or boats I guess) from Piazza Venezian, Piazz Hortis, Via Cavana, Piazza Unita’ to Piazza Borsa, along past Da Pepi’s mythical prosciutto cotto and crudo, wurstel, crauti, mustard and horseradish buffet (the menu hasn’t changed much since 1897), along past the newly renovated and grand Palazzo Ponte Rosso on one side, and another now humbled palazzo inhabited way too long by the carabinieri, with a row of spectacular statues lining the parapets that look on to Via Cassa Risparmio, then tiptoe right over the canal, looking out to the sea to your left, and up to the Chiesa di Sant’Antonio Nuovo on your right, waving in passing at Joyce standing crooked but tall in brass on the Ponte Rosso, then continue on dry land past the lovely but long decayed potential piazza but currently car park where the blackened Lutheran church looms. Once this is all linked up and pedestrianised, the square could become a gem, taking you right into the heart of the Borgo Teresiano, the really neglected part of the city, where Chinese merchants by day (selling incredibly cheap USB cables, padded coats, haircuts and massages) and prostitutes by night, manage to make a meagre but evidently good enough living, on into Via Ghega, the huge artery that curls around to the station. This one road, ahime’, remains as it was when we first lived here in the early 90s and has few hopes of ever being rescued, since its now the main route around and out of the city.

The little pedestrianised bridge (so far only called ‘la passarella’ it seems) was in the news, not because of any grand opening but because a mistake was made in measuring the canal, and the ready-made stainless steel and glass phenomenon, brought intact from Treviso, has fallen a little short.

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Now they’re waiting to extend or engineer the big concrete blocks at either side. In fact, this explains the strange antics I passed by the other day, where two tug of war teams were lined up either side of the canal, pulling on a long metal chain, trying futilely to pull the sides closer together. Another publicity stunt I read about, was a magician from Italian TV’s Canale 5, the ‘Mago Casanova’,  who, in front of four young female witnesses, got into a box on one side of the canal, and appeared shortly after in a box on the other, claiming that magic can overcome these kind of shortcomings, and that he had “the gift of ubiquity”. Great!

So what of these two ‘events’? The demise and return of Caffe’ San Marco and the protracted arrival of La Passarella di Ponte Rosso (you heard the name here first)? My feeling is, just cos it’s old, don’t make it right, and just cos it’s new, don’t make it right either.

I can expand on that if you like… but for now, buona notte!

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