Posts Tagged ‘Triest


NEMBY = nuclear emergency definitely in your backyard! did you know that?

A few months ago I remember spotting at the Town Hall tourist office of my home town Triest among many colorful booklets also a brochure called “Nuclear emergency plan”. Triest is a port and very frequently hosts the US nuclear-powered submarines aicraft carriers and ships. The typical Mitteleuropean pragmatism. Removing danger is not useful, better be informed.

If you are curious to browse it through, here it is. There’s also a plan for the transportation of nuclear raw material/waste, with some accounting regarding transportation done in 2009. Hey, isotope galore!

Continue reading ‘NEMBY = nuclear emergency definitely in your backyard! did you know that?’


A Triestiner: Claudio Magris

Italian author Claudio Magris (Source: dpa)Magris spent most of his life living near the Iron Curtain

Italian author Claudio Magris has been awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade on Sunday. DW spoke with the literary giant about war, peace, the Cold War and the troubles between China and the West.

On Sunday, Claudio Magris receive the Peace Prize, awarded annually for the efforts of artists and scholars to overcome hatred. A native of Trieste, he is a retired professor of German literature who writes essays and novels. He had a brief political career as a Left Alliance senator in Rome for Trieste from 1994 to 1996.

His selection in June for the prize brought renewed interest in his philosophical ideas and incisive writing, and revived speculation that he was in line for the Nobel Prize for Literature. However some German arts commentators criticized the choice, saying his enthusiastic vision of European unity was out of date at a time when many EU citizens are bored with European Union politics and nationalism is rampant again.

Deutsche Welle: Claudio Magris, this weekend you’ll be awarded the 2009 Peace Prize at the Frankfurt Book Fair, let’s talk about peace and war. War plays a big role in your works. Do we have to accept war as a part of our lives?

Claudio Magris: No. Of course there are different kinds of war, not just war where bombs are dropped. There are wars in everyday life – latent wars. There are two dangers. Firstly, that people think that war is unavoidable, that it’s part of life. On the other hand, the false optimism that people think that in our world progress has eliminated wars like immunization has eliminated smallpox. This is a danger, because to fight a disease – and war is a disease – you have to know the disease. You also have to unfortunately be aware of how serious it is and how probable it is that another war will break out.

You’ve mentioned different types of wars, the Cold War, for instance. In Europe we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War. You come from Trieste, one of the places where east met west. You were on the border during the Cold War. How did you experience the end of communism and how Europe grew together?

First of all it was a big surprise for all of us. Nobody could believe in September 1989 that the Berlin Wall would fall so quickly. I couldn’t have imagined it. Even people who were active in bringing down the wall, I talked with some of them, and right up until the day before they never believed that the wall would fall. And they were fighting for this to happen. This is a danger that we blindly believe. We believe that the reality and the situation we are currently in today can never change. This border that was impregnable up until the end – the Iron Curtain – was close to my house. I lived in the center of Trieste, but it’s a small city, so I always felt that someone in spirit I was on the other side of the border. Not on a political level, but because these regions were divided for absurd reasons. Today we have other barriers; invisible, social barriers. Ethnic barriers within our towns that we can’t or don’t want to see. So the borders are still there. Continue reading ‘A Triestiner: Claudio Magris’



The BerlinRomExpress is for the moment only a blog and not a reality. Yet now there is an Autozug linking Triest to Berlin! From the beach of Triest to the beach of Berlin…Wannsee!

Am Autozug-Bahnhof in Berlin-Wannsee werden die Kunden mit Prosecco, Orangensaft und Salzgebäck begrüßt. Während die Gäste die Getränke und die Sonnenstrahlen genießen, werden Motorräder und Pkw auf den Zug verladen. Am nächsten Morgen – nach einer 17-stündigen, sanft ratternden Fahrt auf Schienen – werden sie am Bahnhof in Triest von einer kleinen Musik-Kapelle empfangen, die italienische Schlager schmettert. Dazu gibt es den weit über die Landesgrenzen hinaus berühmten San-Daniele-Schinken sowie Weißwein aus der an Slowenien und Österreich grenzenden italienischen Region Friaul-Julisch Venetien.

E’ arrivato oggi alla stazione di Trieste il primo treno con il servizio Autozug auto-passeggeri di Deutsche Bahn, che colleghera’ fino a ottobre il capoluogo giuliano a Berlino, Amburgo, Dusseldorf e Francoforte. Ad accogliere i primi turisti sono stati i rappresentanti di Deutsche Bahn, Trenitalia, Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia, Comune di Trieste e Agenzia Turismo Fvg, oltre a una banda musicale. I treni (tre o quattro alla settimana) sono composti da quattro carri (per un totale di 48 auto) e da 4-5 carrozze con cuccette, un vagone ristorante e alcuni vagoni letto. Il costo per persona del viaggio notturno parte da circa 60 euro, mentre il trasporto di una macchina costa 149 euro. Il servizio e’ gia’ attivo ad Alessandria, Bolzano e Verona.


someone fit the key(nes) brick, please!


On the website, my favourite place as far as Mitteleuropean métissage is concerned, I read an interesting panoramique by Julius Franzot on the forthcoming german elections.

This synthesis is a powerful stimulus for us to read more about it in the forthcoming weeks…after all, MeinMann and I are tiny taxpayers in Germany. The western economies – also those on the eastern brim of Europe – are undergoing unprecedented changes, even if in Italy the white noise tries to scramble everything.

In Ukraine banks are keeping hostage the citizens’ savings. I know the feeling, august 1998, Moscow, cash was king. Now that for the past year governments have been busy “saving banks” with our money, shouldn’t banks be more generous and lend to individuals who want to start a business? Shouldn’t the govvies incentive the creation or salvation of business – workers buying out the factories, or the shops where they work?

And what about women? Even the left in Italy removed the words “quote rosa”. But let’s face it: women are more cautious when it comes to money. Governments should grant them incentives more than proportionally. Think about Russia. Or Ukraine. Or the South of the World. Their microeconomies rest in the hands of mothers, grandmothers and young women. Why shouldn’t the macroeconomy too be fixed by giving them more space? …provided that they – in the first place – stop voting for male or femalepoliticians who want to maintain the status quo: the reserve army of underemployed/underpaid women.

Continue reading ‘someone fit the key(nes) brick, please!’


Word of the day for home consumption: “New Town”


After every disaster in Italy we witness the emergence of a neologism. After the Vajont, it was invaso, an engineeristic-voyeuristic term for basin. After the Tesero hydrogeological disaster it was tracimazione, a truculent term for overflow.

Today the prime minister – in his super-hero capacity – has declared that L’Aquila will be reconstructed somewhere else. As a New Town. A media-friendly word for ghetto. A new version of a divided town.

After having lived a few months in a north-eastern Departement of Ile-de France in the early 90s, now I know what ville nouvelle means. Artificial towns with long names like Quelquechose-sur-Bidule, Le-Bleu-de-Quoi, without services or schools. In many cases planned by famous architects or, as Franco La Cecla says, by archi-stars.

Ville nouvelle sounds feminine, delicate and fleuri, whereas new town sounds more masculine and resounding. But there’s nothing new, we’ve got plenty of old new towns, around Triest, Milan, Marseille or Rome. Cattinara, Laurentino 38 were the 70s version of the new town.

Mietkasernen with an attitude, if you want. Continue reading ‘Word of the day for home consumption: “New Town”’


here it is forbidden to talk


If my eyes belong to Rome, in today’s crystalline light, maybe my ears listen to Berlin, cuddled up in the green silence embracing the town. But I breath in Triest, where the wind carries the perfume of the sea, and where a mimetic Karst  squats between sea and wind, like a lynx cub, nostrils tense and alert.

This morning the light in Rome was precious. My mind voltiges swift to next sunday, when I will be in Berlin with my brother. But now I’ve read my first ever pages by Boris Pahor. So I am still. I am in Triest, my inner core. My madeleine and my cub imprinting.

And that language, which I could not speak nor understand, the hymns during the mass, is there as well.  A language never used but always present, with clear spots like a leopard skin, sharpening feline intuition in a child.

Slovenian is for me the perfume of pinze fresh from the oven. Of ripe sticky grapes of terran, vintaged in a hurry before the bora comes. It’s Karlo’s bachelor onion omelette, when Milka would visit her family and he would rather stay home. My only language with a perfume.

Boris Pahor – “Qui e’ proibito parlare” (Here it is forbidden to talk) – “Parnik trobi nji”


the pataccari of history


Have you ever been tempted by that fake handbag while strolling in Florence? Did you glance at that remarkably well reproduced Rolex in a Capri pizzeria at dessert time?

There’s much more on offer in Italy, but only for locals. Especially for young locals, or not so attentive baby-boomers. Why should they go through the long decision process and high cost of getting something genuinely authentic, when they can have a fake?

A fake history, for home consumption.

The people who lived WWI and WWII are completing their bow in the sky of life. They can tell the difference between the real stuff and the counterfeited. Some want to shed light, others don’t. But many do not recognize the events they have lived anymore in what is reflected by the media.

There are just too many occasions in which politicians  and journalists behave asymmetrically, with selective memory and amnesia. And other cases they draw symmetry where there is no symmetry at all. They want to confuse our ideas on history. They are faking it. They are PATACCARI.

There are too many journalists who are interviewed on TV by other journalists. A mirror game, you quote me, I quote you back. In the TV interviews some journalists have under their name the “member of parliament” label. Others carry the solemn caption of “historian”.

I thought historians were scholars studying documents in universities, doing research, year after year…not people who did word-crunching for a living. But it is sure that now anybody, politicians and journalists on top, can claim to have a chair at a university in our poor country. Wiki-them, they depict themselves as “historian and journalist…”. So the circle is closed. Tout se tient. These people will write the history books. They are doing it already. After so much boots-licking and microphone-holding, they deserve a comfy office.

If you want to see footage on historical events in Italy, you can try Istituto Luce or RAI Teche. Do send an email to Luce in order to access historical filmed material. They will never answer to you. Try to ask to access the same at RAI. It is locked away by the “managers”, for their private cut-and-paste of history.

There are still journalists who wear out their shoes doing their metier. There are citizens who were witnesses or victims, who speak out (about Genova). BBC in 1989 produced two films on the fascism and we never got to see them. God save YouTube!

Paolo Rumiz is a journalist doing his job of investigating infinite shades of grey, and not selling ready-made all-black or all-white easy solutions from a chair in a university. Here are two articles – in italian I am sorry. They both cover the theme of the day, the foibe. And the asymmetries, forced symmetries, distorted memories, in a word, the fake history.

On the first article, he describes the fascist lagers in Italy. In the second, dated as of today, he reminds us that the Risiera di SanSabba was a nazi lager – because Triest was part of the reich – and so the parallel between foibe and Risiera is a nonsense.

But some politicians (and many journalists) don’t even know where Triest is on the map. Like with the poor woman dead today after 17 years of forced feeding, they just USE people, USE history instrumentally…and forget about them when they have reached their objectives. Their objectives? look where the fakes take you. Follow the tread…tout se tient. Triest is the key. They are looking for friction, and Triest has always been the perfect ignition point.

Both articles are on

Rumiz sulla rimozione della memoria storica in Italia

I volonterosi carnefici del duce

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