Osmizza: where wine reigns
In the area of Trieste, an Italian city located at the border with Slovenia, there is a truly loved tradition: Osmizza (or Osmica in Slovene).
Osmizza is a place where people can consume typical local products directly where they are produced, host in taverns or farms of the local producers. The farmers can choose the period of the year that they prefer, while the period of opening is calculated in relation to the amount of products available. It is diffused not only in the countryside of Trieste, but also in Slovenia and Austria, becoming an important part of the cultural identity of these areas.
(Keep calm and let’s go to Osmizza, written in the dialect of Trieste)
The history: where does this tradition come from?
Osmizza is an ancient tradition, which belongs to the 8th and 9th century. In this period the emperor Carlo Magno allowed all the winemaker to sell their wine directly in the farms. This practise remained also during the Middle Age period, when Giuseppe II D’Asburgo gave to the farmers the permission to sell their wine for eight days during the year. The name Osmiza comes from “osem”, which means eight and indicates the duration of this event. Around 1784 Maria Theresa extended this practise to the sale not only of wine but also of livestock, crops and edible crafts.
What can you eat?
Italy is famous for its food, and Osmize are the right places to try the delicious meals that this bordering area has to offer! The most important element is of course wine, specially Malvasia, Terrano and Refosco, famous also in other regions of Italy, and local wines like Vitovska. They are usually accompanied by typical types of cheese and ham, like aged ham, coppa or ossocollo.
Some Osmize are specialized in traditional regional dishes, like:
Patate in tecia: potatoes cooked with ham
Jota: stew with beans, sauerkraut, potatoes, bacon and spare ribs
Strucklo cotto: sweet boiled pastry eaten with sugar
Palacinke: a roll of sweet pasta eaten with chocolate or jam
What else can you do?
It is the perfect place to meet new people, chat with the local population or start a conversation with who is there for the first time too. Being shy is forbidden! If it is still difficult to enter in the atmosphere of Osmizza, well, a glass of wine is always helpful…
Who already knows the place usually brings some musical instruments and starts playing traditional Italian songs: some of them are sung only in this particular occasion, so it is a good way to experience part of the traditions! People,music,wine and good food make this experience unforgettable and one of the best way to spend an evening in this area.
How can you find it?
Following the tradition, the owner of a Osmizza has to expose a twig of ivy so that the visitors can find it, usually accompanied by a red arrow or advertisement. So let’s take a bike, ask around and follow the red signs! It will be a nice way to explore the area and get in touch with the local population!