Trieste Secession (Liberty)

27. Casa Polacco

Corso Italia 22 / Via Matteo Renato Imbriani 1
Romeo Depaoli, 1908

This building got its name from its owner, Gisella Polacco. The ground floor was meant for commercial use. The upper floors housed the residence of the Polacco family. The female figures at the corner under the cornice are the work of Romeo Rathmann, who also designed the statues on the façades of Casa Terni and Palazzo Viviani-Giberti. It is thought that they represent his two lovers.



28. Casa dei Meloni

Via Ippolito Pindemonte 7 / Via dei Bonomo 9
Umberto Fonda, 1910

This building, known as the House of the Melons, got its name from the spherical structures that can be seen on the roof at the corners. The façade shows clear influence of Vienna Secession.




29. Casa Holluscha

Via Tigor 11
Nicolò Drioli, 1910-1911

This façade stands out for the unusual placement of mascarons. We can see them above the first-floor windows, but also as pairs between the second- and fourth-floor windows and as compositions of three above the ground-floor openings. 





30. Casa Cuzzi-Fonda-Leocovich

Via Commerciale 21
Umberto Fonda & Giorgio Zaninovich, 1910-1911

This building was constructed on a lot of land owned by Umberto Fonda. Further north are two structures designed by Giorgio Zaninovich. Compared to the latter, this building has a more exuberant façade decoration.






31. Coroneo Prison

Via del Coroneo 26

This structure was built as a prison and is also a prison today. It has some Liberty-style ornaments on the main façade and the fences adjacent to it. 



32. Casa Piazza-Righetti

Via San Giacomo in Monte 2 / Via del Bosco 54
Romeo Depaoli, 1911

This building has two façades, of which the one on Via San Giacomo in Monte is more attractive. On the first-floor level we can see seashell motifs above the windows and brick circles supported by winged creatures on the sides.




33. Palazzo Dettelbach

Corso Italia 18 / Via San Lazzaro 2-4 / Via Santa Caterina da Siena 1-3
Giacomo Zammattio, 1910-1912

The façades of this building are divided in two parts. The lower part has semicircular arches of the windows and rich floral style decorations above them (by Piero Lucano). The upper part is simple and sober. 



34. Casa Picciola

Via Commerciale 17 / Via Aleardo Aleardi 1
Mario Picciola, 1911-1912

The upper parts of the façades of this building are decorated with paintings on a deep blue background. Above the entrance at the corner of Via Commerciale and Via di Scorcola there are allegorical paintings by Piero Lucano.





35. Casa Fonda

Via dei Navali 8
Umberto Fonda, 1912

This is another building by Umberto Fonda that shows clear influence of Vienna Secession. The façade decorations are predominantly geometric.







36. Central Fish Market

Riva Nazario Sauro 1
Giorgio Polli, 1913

The Central Fish Market of Trieste is an interesting example of the use of the basilica plan for the profane purpose of a market. The Triestines call it ironically Santa Maria del Guato, after a common local fish. It has a reinforced concrete structure, sober brick walls, and large windows. Its prominent bell tower contained a raised seawater tank to serve the sales desks. Today the building hosts exhibition spaces under the name of Salone degli Incanti.





37. Banca di Praga

Via Roma 7 / Via Giuseppe Mazzini 20
Josip Costaperaria & Osvald Polívka, 1911-1914

This building was a branch of the Živnostenská Banka, an Austro-Hungarian bank financed entirely by Czech capital. In its design late-Secession and rationalism are successfully mixed. The building has solid and compact volumes. The bay windows are pronounced and the windows have a stone frame. There are some anthropomorphic decorations on the top floor. At the main entrance there are two bronzed figures depicting Labour and Industry. These latter were the work of the famous Czech sculptor Ladislav Šaloun (cf. Šaloun Villa in Prague).



Osvald Polívka was the architect of many important Art Nouveau buildings in Prague (e.g. a co-author of the Municipal Hall).


38. Via della Raffineria 4

Franco Angeli, 1914

This façade has a monumental look. The details are robust and geometric if one does not include the ironwork of the side entrances.





39. Caffè San Marco 

Via Cesare Battisti 18A

Caffè San Marco operates on the ground floor of Casa Napp (Giorgio Polli, 1902). It has a rich Art Nouveau interior, which includes relief ornaments with plant motifs and various types of paintings. 


Some of the paintings were authored by Guido Marussig, others were created by Napoleone Cozzi, and some are attributed to Vito Timmel. 




Art Nouveau details can also be found on the ceiling and on the walls. 




Some of the café’s furniture, most notably the main counter, display Art Nouveau motifs.  


The café was frequented by writers like Italo Svevo, Umberto Saba, Rainer Maria Rilke, and James Joyce. It was also a popular meeting place of the Italian irredentist crowd. It is one of my favourite historic cafés in all Europe.