Italian culture: Osmiza

For many residents of Trieste, the arrival of spring means one thing: Going to an osmiza! It is, in fact, the ideal time to go to one of these typical family-run places scattered throughout the Karst region.

But what is an osmiza? It is a place where you can taste and buy wines and typical local produce (usually cold cuts, cheese and eggs) directly in the homes of the peasants who produce them and who indicate that their premises are open with a branch of ivy.

The term “osmiza” comes from the Slovenian “osem”, meaning “eight” and indicating the number of days per year granted to farmers during the Austro-Hungarian period for them to sell their surplus produce. Today, there are about a hundred osmizas. Opening days are obviously more numerous but they must take turns to open and not all osmizas are open during the same period. If you want to know which are open, apart, of course, from using the internet, you can go round the Karst region in search of a branch of ivy!

These small premises are our favourite places to take students to in order to experience an evening in pleasant company, discovering real Italian culture, an ancient tradition of the region, in magical places, surrounded by greenery and in contact with the local inhabitants.

We look forward to getting you to know them!

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