Scarica Adobe Flash il player

The Mouths of the Timavo

No place in the Karst region is more sacred, or holds more memories, than the Timavo Springs, where legend and history permeate an evocative landscape.

Over a distance of around fifty metres, three springs emerge from the shade of the magnificent cypress, poplar and plane trees that shelter the white church of San Giovanni Battista.

The first flows through underground passages approximately 70 metres deep and gushes from beneath a wall of rock.

Nearby, a votive chapel built by unknown hands commemorates the cult of the god Timavo that prevailed in these parts, and probably dates from the protohistoric era. It is possibly of Venetian origin, as were the woods and chapel dedicated to Diomedes, Homer’s hero, who is said to have founded several Italian cities and, according to the Greek historian Strabone, had links with the Venetians.

There are also memorial stones dedicated to the cult of Heracles Augustus, Diomedes' companion in numerous adventures, and to Saturn, the Roman god of seed and harvest. There was probably once a temple dedicated to Speranza Augusta where the church now stands, since four memorial stones from various parts of the Empire, thanking her for her favours, have been discovered at the site.

A monastery, which served as a refuge for pilgrims, is thought to have been built alongside the Paleo-Christian church, although both buildings were destroyed by Hungarian invaders.

Archaeological remains found on the third branch of the Timavo indicate the presence of a dock which was in use from the 5th Century B.C. until the 18th Century.

During the First World War the Timavo river formed part of the defensive system around Monte Ermada. It was resolutely defended by the Austrians because it closed the route to Trieste, and was consequently heavily bombarded in a number of offensives. Major Giovanni Randaccio was fatally injured by Austrian forces in this area on 28 May 1917.

Today’s visitors find an oasis of calm where time passes serenely like the waters of the river as they quietly flow to the sea.


[Lucia Lalovich] [Pino Sfregola]



The Mouths of the Timavo can be reached along Strada Provinciale 14 from Trieste towards Monfalcone. The left branch of a fork in the road at San Giovanni di Duino leads to a hard surface car park.

Curiosity chest – The Timavo

The Timavo rises in Croatia and has a course of 40 kilometres in Slovenia before disappears into the Škocjan Caves after. It re-appears in a small number of very deep chasms during its passage beneath the Karst, emerging after another 40 kilometres to join the sea at Duino.