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caffè san marco

La Belle Époque in Northern Europe reached as far as Trieste, with its dances and literary cafés where new ideas and ideologies were created and discussed. Caffè San Marco in Trieste was one of the liveliest probably because it was in a frontier town. It was founded in 1914 by Marcus Lovrinovich from Poreč, and it quickly became a local favourite of intellectuals and students, but also of dissidents and schemers intent on falsifying documents for those who did not get on well with the Austrian authorities. In fact, as soon as it became successful, it was closed down. In 1915 a group of Austro-Hungarian soldiers carried out a violent raid, trashing the venue and sealing it off. Abandoned for a long time, it was brought back to life thanks to the restoration work carried out after the second world war by the insurance company Assicurazioni Generali. Even today Caffè San Marco hovers between the glorious memories of its first year of life that saw Svevo, Saba, and even Joyce amongst its visitors, and its new dimension as a cultural centre and bookshop that gladly welcomes exhibitions of local artists and offers a very pleasant restaurant service.

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