I recently had the pleasure of meeting team member Hannah Speranza (née Brooke) on her very last day at COSI, as she prepared to jet off to the city of Trieste, Italy with her husband.
It's a small world: I spent about two years in that very same Italian town. It's a lovely spot, nestled a couple hours away from Venice on the Adriatic coast just a short drive from the border of Slovenia. On a clear day you can see the Alps in the distance, and the city itself boasts a deep natural harbor surrounded by dramatic limestone karsts.
Trieste's architecture mirrors its eclectic heritage: an ancient Roman amphitheater sits in the town center next to a typical Italian piazza bordered by Austrian-style buildings. Coffee, pizza, schnitzel, and gelato shops string almost every street.
You wouldn't expect a relatively-unknown city like that to be a major international hub for physics, but the world is full of surprises. To start there's the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, founded by Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam, located behind a nineteenth-century castle. I worked at the Astronomical Observatory, which was split between two buildings: a hilltop site commissioned by Empress Maria Theresa in 1753 and a villa formerly owned by the Bazzoni family. There's also the University of Trieste, and a post-graduate school called SISSA located up the hill in a former tuberculosis clinic.
Fun place, filled with great science and - perhaps more importantly - great food.
This post is definitely not brought to you by the Trieste Tourism Bureau, but it might as well be.