Bus departs early in the morning from Ljubljana to Italy. Soon after Trieste we arrive to majestic Miramare Castle and its splendid park. The castle looks out to the Adriatic sea. Having impression that we have arrived to a fairytale castle, white as snow, we are anxious to visit the interior. The rich original furnishings of the manor testify to the nineteenth-century lifestyle of the Habsburg dynasty, that is, Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, who commissioned the residence.
We continue the tour northwest and take the exit at Sistiana. Some free time to organise own lunch and sightseeing.
After lunch we take a hike along the picturesque Rilke Trail, which is laid on top of the cliffs above the Sistiana Bay and offers incredible views of the Gulf of Trieste. It leads straight to Duino Castle, which was constructed in the late fourteenth century high on the cliffs, on the ruins of a Roman outpost. The location in itself is excuisite, moreover, it is strategically significant for other reasons. This is the northernmost coastal area where the Mediterranean sea reaches the European mainland.
We take a tour of the castle, which has been owned by the Italian-German princely family for centuries. Exciting past, rich gardens, picturesque spaces, and excellent location turned the castle into a cultural, philosophical and artistic centre in the mid eighteenth century. It attracted distinguished visitors, Sisi – the Empress of Austria, Johann Strauss, Franz Liszt, and among others, Rainer Maria Rilke, who wrote Duino Elegies.
We go back to Sistiana and return to Ljubljana early in the evening.