From end of ’50 the Piazza Ponterosso in the center of Trieste became for all the citizens of Yugoslavia a myth, a favorite destination for shopping. During the ’70 and the ’80 the object that symbolized this myth is the blue jeans. During those years millions of Slavs came to Trieste at least once or twice in a year. In the ’90 with war in Yugoslavia it all came to a halt.

Every spring and autumn people would go there to get a cloths for new season. We would say:”I’m going to Italy”. What we really meant was,”I’m going to Trieste”. What a treat that was! Going to Trieste was like making a “fashion statement”. No one went there for sightseeing or on vacation, just to shop. Trieste was, and still is for Serbian people, the nearest Italian town, just a few kilometers from Slovenian – Italy border.

People where poor, but at that time, 40 years ago, cloths and many other things were cheaper for them in Italy than in Serbia. They would usually go by bus or car, on Friday night. Saturday morning, around 7 am, they arrive and go straight from the bus to Piaca del Ponte Rosso – we called it Ponte Roso market place, where many people would shop not just cloths but many other things also. There was even a bus parking lot few meters from Piaca, thus I’m not exaggerating when I say, straight from the bus. For shoes, some would go to famous shop Bata (at least it was famous to them) and for special treat or drapes or anything for the home, they would go to Giovanni store. Other then that, it was a taboo for most people. And why would they bother?! In these three places (stores), they got it all!


Saint Spyridon Church (Italian: Chiesa di San Spiridione; Serbian: Црква светог Спиридона, Crkva svetog Spiridona) is a Serbian Orthodox church in Trieste, Italy.

The Orthodox community in Trieste was established in 1748 but it wasn’t until 1751 when Empress Maria Theresa allowed free practice of religion for Orthodox Christians, this prompted immigration of Serbian traders from Herceg Novi, Trebinje and Sarajevo to Trieste.[1] In 1781, the community split into two. The first was Greek community and second, from which there is today’s Serbian parish, was the community which embraced the Orthodox South Slavic nations.[2] From 1994[3] up to administrative changes within the dioceses of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the parish in Trieste fell within the Metropolitanate of Zagreb and Ljubljana. Today it is part of the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Central Europe.


Serbian School

In 1782 the Serbian community of Trieste began expressing its desire for a Serbian-language day school, a place for their children to be passed down Serbian culture and language. Jovan Miletic, a wealthy Serb merchant in Trieste, donated 24,000 florins to build a Serbian Elementary School in 1787. On July 1, 1792 the local government approved its opening and the “Jovan Miletic” private school began official operation, located in the city centre, right beside the Saint Spyridon Church. A night school and reading room were opened in 1911.[2] In 1911 an asylum was added to the school, for Serbian political refugees, due to the constant warfare and bloodshed occurring between the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires on the Balkan peninsula. The school represented a pillar of the Serbian community of Trieste, where the children of the wealthy Serbian merchants went to school and integrated into the city’s community. In 1973 the school was shut down due to lack of student enrollment and became a Sunday school for Serbian language and culture. Velimir Djerasimović, the school’s principal and teacher since 1927, retired in 1973. Djerasimović is the father of Italian film actors Ivan Rassimov and Rada Rassimov.

2 thoughts on “Ponterosso”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *