Muggia #3

Muggia, Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy)

 

Muggia territory, limited on the sea-side by an over 7km long shoreline featuring a coast road of exceptional beauty and on the border side by a hill system Monti di Muggia ,including Mt. Castellier, Mt. S. Michele, Mt. Zuc and Monte d'Oro, that dominate over a vast landscape of Italian and Istrian coast, is characterized by a rich sub-continental vegetation of both Carsic and Istrian type. Muggia, last and only flap of Istria still in Italian territory, after Tito diktat in 1945, provides many evident traces of its Venetian traditions and origin. Very ancient, it retains memories of its early ages as an important pre-historic "castelliere" on Mt. Castellier (S. Barbara) and Roman (Castrum Muglae) and medieval remains in Muggia Vecchia (Old Muggia), once one of the guarding castles that in the X century were built to defend the Istrian border against the invasion of the Hungars, that afterwards in year 931 passed under the domain of the Patriarchs of Aquileia. The castle, destroyed in 1353 by the Triestines, retains several remains of the previous period such as the ruins of the walls, but the most important is the nice little basilica devoted to the Virgin of the Assumption. Before the year 1000 a new settlement was built on the seashore, initially named the Village of the Laurel and then Muglae->Muglia->Mulia->Muia->Muggia (muglia seems to be an ancient place-name meaning "coastal swamp"). After the 1200 the new village, now grown to the status of city, pronounced itself a municipality and defined its territory as bordering with those of Trieste and Capodistria (now Koper), but stayed still politically bound to the Patriarchy of Aquileia. From this period are the cathedral and the city hall, the latter having been rebuilt in the last century. Having passed eventually in 1420 under the Seigniory of Venice, Muggia shared thereafter tha fates of the Serenissima and still today this small city retains evident imprints of a century-old sharing of life, interests and customs: the dialect, the gastronomic traditions, the gothic-venetian style of some houses, the devious "calli", the loggias, the ogive arches, the ancient coats of arms on the façades but mostly the main square, a true Venetian "campiello". v Among the occurrences characterizing the socio-cultural life of this small city is well worth mentioning the Carnival of Muggia

 

The Carnival absorbs the "entire population" of Muggia engaging them in the construction of allegoric carts articulated and moving in order to better mock the chosen victim and in the realization of gorgeous costumes. During those seven days the city becomes a true open-air theatre offering a continuous entertainment that previsibly climaxes in the great parade on the last Sunday.

 

 

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Taken on August 19, 2007