Things to do

1930s Trieste

This route explores the post-World War I history of the city, from the first fascist squads that set fire to the Balkan Hotel to the air raid shelter built by the Nazis.  
In 1919, just after the end of World War I, some of the first fascist combat squads in Italy were established in Trieste. This was a result of "border fascism", a phenomenon that arose from resentment over the "mutilated victory", the failure to annex Dalmatia, and anti-Slavic hatred.

The city was in a sorry state after the war, marked by economic and social hardship, uncertainty about the future and a changing population, with the departing Austrian community being replaced by so-called "regnicoli" Italians (Italians who had been subjects of the Kingdom of Italy rather than the Austro-Hungarian Empire before the war).

Enthusiasm for the arrival of Italy was quickly shattered by reality, as the city realized it was relegated to the country's periphery. It is therefore little surprise that, after the Armistice of 8 September 1943, the first German soldiers entered Trieste by bicycle as if returning from a country outing and saying "Hey, it's us, we're back home". 
One of the most important examples of this historical period is the Oberdan district, one of the main fascist development projects in an area where Austrian barracks once stood. This is where Guglielmo Oberdan, the symbol of irredentism in Trieste, was executed in 1882. It also contains the Courthouse, which was proposed by Austria, redesigned and built in Italian style after World War I, and used as Nazi command headquarters during World War II.

The "1930s Trieste" route covers a small portion of the city, but offers a wealth of historical and symbolic meaning in an area that reveals not only the design of the fascist city, but also the architectural transition from Eclecticism to Modernism.


Piero Ongaro - DiscoverTrieste
DiscoverTrieste: 1930s Trieste