Villa Opicina

Villa Opicina (formerly "Poggioreale del Carso" in Italian) also spelled Opicina (Slovene: Opčine, Triestine: Opcina), is a town in north-eastern Italy, close to the Slovenian border at Fernetti (Slovene: Fernetiči). The first town in Slovenia after the border is Sežana, which is also where the first railway station in Slovenia is located near the small town of Villa Opicina. It is a frazione of the comune of Trieste, the provincial and regional capital.

Villa Opicina
Villa Opicina railway station
Villa Opicina
Location of Villa Opicina
Opčine in Italy
Coordinates: 45°41′15″N 13°47′19″E
Country Italy
Region Friuli-Venezia Giulia
ProvinceTrieste (TS)
330 m (1,080 ft)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code(+39) 040
Patron saintBartholomew the Apostle


It is located on the Carso Plateau 3 miles north of Trieste, a seaport on the Adriatic Sea.

The railway station serves trains entering Italy from Slovenia, but does not provide a direct service to Trieste. The Opicina Tramway, a unique hybrid of tramway and funicular railway, links Villa Opicina village with Piazza Oberdan in Trieste city centre. There are also buses which link Villa Opicina railway station, the village center and Trieste.

History and culture


It is inhabited by a Slovene minority in Italy. According to the last Austrian census of 1911, over 89% of the population was of Slovene ethnicity.[2] In the following decades, this number fell significantly: according to the census of 1971, just above half of the population of the settlement belonged to the Slovene speaking community, while the rest were mostly Italian speakers.[3]

In the last three decades, immigration from the city of Trieste and other predominantly Italian-speaking areas have most probably reduced the Slovene speakers to a minority. However, Slovene language is still widely used in the settlement, both in private and public life. Most of the official signs are bilingual, Italian and Slovene.

The local Slovenes speak a distinctive version of the Inner Carniolan dialect, which shows strong influences of the neighboring Karst dialect.


The name Opicina is of Slovene origin. It derives from "ob p'čine" ("ob pečini" in modern standard Slovene), meaning "by the cliff". Thus, it is among the Italian towns and villages in Friuli Venezia Giulia with a name of Slavic origin. Before World War I, it used to be known in Italian as Opcina, a name still used in the local Triestine dialect. During the Fascist regime, the name was first Italianized into Villa Opicina, and subsequently renamed to Poggioreale del Carso. In 1966 it was renamed again as Villa Opicina. However, it has been frequently referred to as Opicina, including on road signs.

Notable people from Villa Opicina

See also

Notes and references

  1. (in Italian) Infos on
  2. Spezialortsrepertorium der Oesterreichischen Laender. VII. Oesterreichisch-Illyrisches Kuestenland. Wien, 1918, Verlag der K.K. Hof- und Staatsdruckerei
  3. P. Stranj, La comunità sommersa (Trieste: Editoriale Stampa Triestina, 1992).

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