Things to do

Seaside mountaineers

From robust bearded men like Julius Kugy and handsome men in knickerbockers like Emilio Comici to tough, non-conformist women like Tiziana Weiss, Trieste has seen its fair share of great mountaineers.
This is still true today, with Trieste's two branches of the Club Alpinistico Italiano (Italian Alpine Club) or CAI (the Società Alpina delle Giulie and the XXX Ottobre "Enzo Cozzolino" branches), which are always very active in organizing courses, outings and other types of activities.

Tradition and the activity of the two CAI branches have resulted in a startling range of "alpine" activities in the Trieste area. The Rosandra Valley in particular offers a few classic multi-pitch climbs that are a true pleasure due to the beautiful setting.
Mountaineering at sea level
The routes in this area are almost always fully or partially bolted, to be used in combination with mobile safety gear like nuts, friends and ropes. Top routes include La Grande, a five-pitch route that climbs to the summit of Mount Stena (letting tourists discover that Mount Stena is not really a mountain) and the educational Spigolo Verde. Both of these routes offer breathtaking views of the canyon created by the Rosandra Stream.

This Karst valley also offers a few alpine-style cliffs that are not suitable for free climbing purists, who might find them difficult from a safety perspective. Frequently used by the CAI for educational purposes, these cliffs include the Concave, Amicizie, Montasio, the long walls of Bianca and Falchi, which also have multi-pitch routes, and the spectacular Altari, which are well worth a visit even for non-climbers since they have a fabulous view of the white rock crags carved by the water.

Maps of the multi-pitch routes and cliffs are provided in the guide "Arrampicare senza frontiere", ("Climbing without frontiers", Edizioni Sidarta, in Italian, Slovenian and English). The guide is available for sale in sporting goods shops that sell climbing gear and the Transalpina Bookshop (at Via Torrebianca 27/a, in the city centre), which has a wide selection of books and manuals on the mountains.
Trekking for experts
For those travelling lighter, without the ropes and gear of the trade, there are a few trails that are quite challenging (grade 3 difficulty rating) and appropriate for expert trekkers. A recommended route is the Sentiero delle Lavandaie, which climbs to the "castighi di Dio" climbing area. The route is particularly enjoyable in April and May, when the purple irises are blooming. People who enjoy via ferratas (fixed-rope climbing routes) can try Le Rose d'Inverno, which is used primarily for teaching purposes and is located near the village of San Lorenzo.

After an outing in the Rosandra Valley, tired, hungry and thirsty trekkers can stop at the Premuda mountain hut in Bagnoli, the lowest elevation CAI mountain hut in continental Italy. Guests can enjoy tankards of beer and Karst plateau specialties and recover from the summer heat in the shade of the large trees lining the stream.

Finally, an important note about safety: although the Rosandra Valley may appear to be less dangerous than the mountains, it is essential to be prudent and follow the safety guidelines adopted in high-altitude environments. Most importantly, always wear a helmet on the multi-pitch routes and cliffs - the rock in this area is quite crumbly and unexpected events occur frequently.

Useful contacts (CAI branches):

Sezione CAI Società Alpina delle Giulie
tel. +39 040 630464

Sezione CAI XXX ottobre "Enzo Cozzolino"
tel. + 39 040 635500