On another rocky outcrop and standing above the sea is the castle of Duino, the historic residence of the princely family della Torre e Tasso (von Thurm und Taxis).
The older castle, of which little remains, stood on the adjacent promontory. The heart of the new fortress, which has been rebuilt and extended many times over the centuries, was built in the XIVth century on the ruins of a Roman outpost which were then included in the remains of a XVIth century tower still to be seen in today's building. Both from the numerous terraces and the rooms of the residence which are open to the public, visitors can enjoy the marvelous view over the whole Gulf of Trieste so well-appreciated by many famous historical figures.
Statues from the ancient world archeological remains and a well, decorated with the family's coat-of-arms add to the allure of the surrounding gardens, where there are many species of Mediterranean flora. From here there is also access to a former bunker built during the Second World War and now a small museum containing relics of the period displayed in an enormous room 18 metres below ground level.
Point of interest
Among the most famous historical figures to have stayed at the castle are Johann Strauss, Franz Liszt, Eugène Ionesco, Karl Popper, Mark Twain, Paul Valéry, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Rainer Maria Rilke, whose Elegie Duinesi was composed here.