This “sparkling” stage from Duino to Prosecco including the Trieste karst is an area that has a lot to offer in terms of its landscape, nature and history. It is a stony, harsh high plateau whose vegetation, fauna and inhabitants have had to adapt. The view from the edge of the karst high plain over the gulf of Trieste is particularly charming. Further into the interior of the karst, the landscape is characterised by fertile red soils, small villages and oak forests.
Distance 23.8 km
Highest point335 m
Lowest point20 m
The cliffs of Duino – a nature reserve comprising scarp slopes on the edge of the karst plateau and the sea lying in front of it – form the ideal setting for Duino Castle. The predominant rock here, both on the surface and underground, is limestone. The landscape here is known as karst due to the thousands of different-sized hollows which have formed within the limestone. The “terra rossa” which is typical of the karst (soil of a glowing red colour, created by the erosion of the limestone) means that particularly full bodied wines with a salty-mineral quality can be cultivated here, such as Terrano. There are good choices for hikers looking for something to eat here, with restaurants, agritourism businesses and simple taverns known as “osmizze”. The vegetation of the karst, which offers nature lovers plenty of surprises and delights at all times of year, provides especially magical moments in autumn with its glowing colours.
In the immediate vicinity of Duino Castle we take the trail named after Rilke: The poet wrote his Duino Elegies during one of his stays at the Castle. The Rilke Trail leads high above the steep coast and offers wonderful views of the gulf of Trieste. We come past the village of Sistiana, which is situated on the national highway SS14, and continue towards Visogliano and over the motorway flyover. Immediately after this we keep to the right and via side roads we come to the gravel track towards Slivia (trail markings CAI 33). On the right-hand side Visogliano, in a protected position in a small sinkhole, is one of the oldest sites of prehistoric discoveries in Europe. Through a wood we come to the village of Slivia and keep in the direction of San Pelagio (CAI 32). We cross wooded sections and pass pasture land which is bounded by skilfully built dry stone walls characteristic of this area, made of uncut limestone. On this stage it is well worth making a small detour to the ancient castelliere: This is one of the numerous pre-Roman hill settlements in the province which were once inhabited by warlike Istrians. From San Pelagio our route takes us on to Ternova Piccola (CAI 10), from where we head into the deciduous forest (CAI 3), up towards Monte San Leonardo and then down again to Samatorza (CAI 45).
We walk past the little church in Samatorza and come to Sales (SP18). Shortly after the village we take the mule track to the lake of Colludrozza. In a southerly direction we come through Colludrozza (places to eat) and via the provincial road SP14 we come to the village of Sgonico. Following the course of the provincial road SP7 we walk past the entrance to the “Carsiana” botanical gardens and come to Gabrovizza. Continuing in a southwest direction, we turn off to the right into the little alleyways of the village, cross the motorway and continue to follow an asphalted section which leads onto the provincial road SP1 at Campo Sacro. As soon as we can we take a gravel track into a wooded area and keep walking in this direction until we come across the marking for trail no. 1, which takes us into the village of Prosecco.