Day trips from Trieste: visiting the Castle of Duino

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For castles lovers, a stay in Trieste can reserve several beautiful surprises in addition to the most famous names. There are not only San Giusto and Miramare, a day trip from Trieste let you discover another place that’s perhaps less famous but equally interesting: the Castle of Duino.

Castle of Duino

Visiting the Castle of Duino

Perched on a promontory overlooking the sea, Duino Castle shares with Miramare the splendid panorama of the Gulf of Trieste. To reach it you need to go up the coastal road, passing the beach of Sistiana from which you already begin to see the castle in the distance.

The Castle of Duino was built during 1300 on the ruins of a Roman outpost, but before the current structure there was an “Old Castle” whose remains are still visible not far away. Today owned by the noble family of the Principi della Torre e di Tasso, since the early 2000s the castle has opened its doors to the public and you can now visit 18 rooms that retain interesting evidence of the past. Especially of the period between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when this place had become a cultural center visited by the great humanists of the time.

Among the things not to be missed during the visit there is the spiral staircase, a small architectural jewel designed by Andrea Palladio, to admire from below for the most surprising effect. Johann Strauss, Franz Liszt, Paul Valèry, Mark Twain, Rainer Maria Rilke stayed here: to the poet, who wrote his “Duinese Elegies” while staying at the castle, a nearby path was dedicated. The “Rilke trail” connects Duino to Sistiana with a beautiful walk overlooking the sea.

But also the Archduke Maximilian of Habsburg and Charlotte of Belgium, then unfortunate owners of Miramare, and the Empress Elisabeth of Austria stayed at the Duino Castle.

Castello di Duino

The park of Duino Castle and the legend of the White Lady

Although smaller than Miramare, the park of the Castle of Duino is also worth a visit thanks to its terraces on several levels. Moreover, much of the beauty of the castle derives from its splendid panoramic position, which allows you to admire the fortress itself, the Gulf of Trieste and the vegetation of the Karst from different viewpoints.

There are also legends related to the castle, the most famous is certainly the one about the “White Lady“. According to the best known version of the story, the lady was a noblewoman who lived in the Old Castle of Duino with her husband. In an attack of jealousy the latter would throw the woman into the sea: saved before falling into the water by a divine intervention, pitiless by his tragic fate, the White Lady has been transformed into rock and can be admired today in a rock with the appearance of a veiled woman.

Castello Vecchio Duino

How to get to Duino from Trieste

The Castle of Duino can be visited every day from spring to autumn, while in winter it is open on weekends and holidays as indicated on the official website. To reach Duino from Trieste you can use several bus lines including the number 44 and the G51: at the reception of the DoubleTree by Hilton Trieste we are always available to assist you with more information.