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Welcome to Muggia.
One of the Loveliest Small Towns in Italy

With its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes, Muggia is the town to visit if you crave an authentic Italian experience. Join me as I share with you the secrets of this enchanting town and discover why it deserves a place on your bucket list.

Muggia waterfront area with a view of the castle

My family and I lived in Trieste for many years. Our favorite day trip from Trieste was, and still is, a trip to Muggia. I am always so excited whenever I know a trip to Muggia awaits. Once I get off the bus or ferry from Trieste and step out into Muggia, my spirits soar. 

Forget therapy; I need Muggia. And always will.

What to See in Muggia

The Old Town

Colorful Houses in Muggia

Narrow cobblestone lanes wind their way through centuries-old buildings adorned with colorful facades and decorated with flowers galore and the weekly washing too. 

One of the highlights is the magnificent Castle of Muggia, a towering fortress that dates back to the Middle Ages. It's a bit of a walk up some rather steep lanes and steps through the old town, but it is well worth the effort.

Once you are up here, if you've any energy left, take a walk along the walls, especially in early spring when the trees are all in bloom and flowers paint the scene with splashes of color. It's a beautiful walk, and the views of the surrounding countryside and the sparkling Adriatic Sea far below are stunningly beautiful.

The interior of the castle can't be viewed; it is privately owned by a famous Italian sculptor, Villi Bossi. So, don't be like some of the people I've seen who knock on the doors to try and get in and then write negative reviews on TripAdvisor complaining that the castle is closed.

The road to the castle in MuggiaThe road to the castle in Muggia

The charming Church of St. John and Saint Paul is also a must-see sight.  Dating back to the 13th century, this beautiful church boasts a stunning Gothic facade adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures. Inside are exquisite frescoes and an ornate altar, offering a glimpse into Muggia's rich religious heritage.

Don't miss the 13th-century Church of San Francesco d'Assisi. This historic church, is a serene and cool escape on a hot summer's day. 

Another gem is the charming Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, nestled in the hills overlooking the town. This area was once the old town, but it was destroyed in the 14th century, leaving only the basilica.

The Waterfront

The Muggia waterfrontThe waterfront in Muggia with the castle in the background

Here, fishing boats bob gently in the harbor, and waterfront cafes bustle with activity. The charming cafes and restaurants are perfect for enjoying delicious seafood dishes and savoring a glass of local wine while taking in the stunning views.

One of my favorite spots is Trattoria Birreria Al Porto, a cozy trattoria known for its fresh seafood and warm hospitality. I always enjoy a leisurely meal of grilled octopus and a crisp glass of Friulano wine, savoring every moment of this unforgettable experience.

After lunch, enjoy a gelato from Jimmy Muggia; that's the gelataria in the photo below.

Olive tee in a piazza in MuggiaGelataria Jimmy Muggia

Exploring Muggia's Cultural Treasures:

In addition to its historic landmarks and coastal charms, Muggia is also home to a vibrant cultural scene, with a number of museums, galleries, and cultural institutions that showcase the town's rich artistic heritage.

One of the highlights is the Museo Archeologico di Muggia, a fascinating museum that chronicles the town's ancient history and archaeological treasures. From Roman artifacts to medieval manuscripts, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into Muggia's past.

Another cultural gem is the Teatro Verdi, a beautiful theater that hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, from the Muggia Jazz Festival to concerts and plays. Even Kurt Cobain and Nirvana appeared here way back in 1991. 

For art enthusiasts, Muggia is home to a number of galleries and studios. One of my favorite galleries is Il Museo d'arte moderna Ugo Carà, a modern space that features a rotating selection of contemporary artworks by local and international artists. 

If you are planning to visit in late February or March, then try to time your visit so that you don't miss the Muggia Carnival either. It's not the greatest carnival I've ever been to, but it is a lot of fun to watch how the town comes out and parties.

How about a swim?

Lungomare Muggia

There's a stunning coastal walkway that winds its way along Muggia's rugged coastline, offering breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea and the surrounding countryside.

Along the walkway, at short intervals, you will find these funny little steps that lead down into the water. Perfect if you love swimming and need to cool off during the course of your walk.

I was a bit tentative the first time, but once I'd stood on the last step for ten minutes, plucking up my courage while watching the little fish watch me watch them, I decided it was time to take the plunge, and in I went. I loved the experience, and it is something I now always do when I am in Muggia during the summer.

Country lane with flowers in MuggiaThe lane that leads to the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta

A Seagull Is My Tour Guide

Now, you may be wondering: How on earth did a seagull become a tour guide for this charming Italian village?

It all began on a balmy summer's day, when Guido, a plucky seagull with a penchant for adventure, found himself perched atop the ancient bell tower, overlooking the village square.  As Guido watched the comings and goings of the villagers and visitors, a mischievous twinkle sparkled in his beady eyes. He had a revelation: why not share the hidden treasures of Muggia with the world? And thus, Guido the Gull Tours was born!

With a flap of his wings and a squawk of enthusiasm, Guido swooped down to greet unsuspecting tourists with a flourish of feathers. 

One of Guido's favorite stops on his tour is the town's picturesque harbor, where Guido keenly leads his followers to the shore to watch the fishing boats offload their catch. Guido could spend hours here. 

Guido's fame grew, and soon he was starring in viral videos on social media, much to the delight of the villagers.

Guido's pièce de résistance is undoubtedly the Muggia Mystery Tour, where he leads intrepid adventurers on a quest to uncover the village's best-kept secrets. From hidden passageways to secret gardens tucked away behind ivy-covered walls, Guido spares no effort in ensuring his guests experience the magic of Muggia in all its glory. The route, though, does follow the food to some extent. Locals leave bowls of snacks to keep Guido fueled up on his "work" day, and Guido makes sure all his favorite snack stops are included in every tour.

And so, the next time you find yourself in Muggia, keep an eye out for a flash of white feathers, for you may just have the privilege of embarking on a tour with Guido the Gull, Muggia's feathered tour guide extraordinaire!

Where to Stay

Old town of Muggia

It's best to spend at least a night or two in Muggia; that way, you'll get to really savor the atmosphere of the town. There isn't a huge choice of hotels or apartments in Muggia and that is actually a good thing, as it means most of the people in the town are locals. Muggia has avoided the calamity of towns like Venice, where there are more tourist accommodations than homes for local residents.

My hotel recommendation for Muggia is the Panorama Hotel, which lives up to its name by offering sweeping views across the bay. If you'd prefer an apartment, then you can't go far wrong with the San Rocco Sweet Apartments.

When to Visit

Secret garden in MuggiaEarly spring and the flowers are in bloom

Muggia is never overwhelmed by tourists, unlike the Cinque Terre, Venice or Amalfi Coast. However, it can get fairly busy with Italian and Slovenian day trippers in July and August, and it can get pretty hot and humid then too.

My advice is to visit in May, June, or September. Early May is my favorite time, all the spring flowers are in bloom, the weather is often sunny but not too hot, and there is none of the summer haze of July and August. Everything seems fresh and full of promise.

Where to Eat

Lane in MuggiaTrattoria lo Splendor

For those seeking a taste of Muggia's culinary delights, the town is home to a number of local trattorias and osterias where visitors can sample traditional Friulian cuisine. From hearty soups and stews to fresh seafood and homemade pasta, Muggia's restaurants offer a delicious array of dishes that celebrate the region's culinary heritage.

My Recommendations

The Trattoria Birreria Al Porto, is the choice if you want to dine on the waterfront.

If you enjoy traditional Italian family-cooked food without any pretensions and don't mind not having a sea view? Then the Osteria al Corridoio is excellent. 

Excellent, too, is the Taverna delle Streghe. The Taverna delle Streghe is run by three ladies, all family, I believe, and cooking is under the control of wooden spoon-wielding nonna. Trespassers and modern fads are not allowed to mess with her kitchen. Thanks to nonna, the food is wonderful. Just like you'd eat if you were invited to a local resident's home.

The Trattoria lo Splendor was recommended by a friend, but we haven't eaten there. You won't find it on Google, even the name of the place is barely visible on the nameplate outside. So, where is it? You'll find it just off Piazza Santa Lucia, the photo above shows the outside.

Getting to Muggia

You can easily get to Muggia from Trieste. The number 20 bus departs from just outside the Trieste main train station and ends in Muggia, while the ferry leaves from Molo Bersaglieri.

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