James Joyce arrived in Trieste on 20th October 1904 together with his partner Nora Barnacle to teach English to the local middle classes, write some great literary works and enjoy the life of a lively Mediterranean harbour city.
Exactly one hundred years later, on the 20th October 2004, the ‘Comune di Trieste‘, together with the University of Trieste, inaugurated the ‘Museo Joyce Museum‘.
The museum presents visitors with a wide range of information and material (in printed, digital and video form) on the almost eleven years which the Irish author spent in the city; on the various flats where he lived; on the places he used to frequent – churches and taverns, newspaper offices, villas and brothels; on his family – both his children, Giorgio and Lucia, were born in Trieste, and his brother Stanislaus and two of his sisters joined him there; and, naturally, on the great literary works which he wrote or started while there. These comprise The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Exiles and the short poem Giacomo Joyce – his only piece set in Trieste. His masterpiece Ulysses’ first three chapters were conceived and written in Trieste, from where he asked his friend and colleague, Italo Svevo, the favour of bringing them to him in Paris, where he moved in 1919.
His friendship with Svevo, well-documented in the letters they exchanged, was one of the most meaningful relationships which Joyce entertained during his years in Trieste, so much so that the Triestine writer is thought by many to have been one of the models for the protagonist of Ulysses – Leopold Bloom. In honour of the latter, every year on 16th June – as is customary in Dublin – the ‘Museo Joyce Museum’ celebrates the Bloomsday, i.e. an event dedicated to Joyce and his work on the day on which the whole of his masterpiece Ulysses takes place.
via Madonna del Mare 13
Open in the morning from Monday to Saturday 9:00 to 13:00
Guided tours: 4 euro each visitor (2 for schoolchildren)
Phone. 040 6758170 / 8182
How to reach us
By bus n. 24
Who we are
The TRIESTE JOYCE MUSEUM is a joint venture between the Attilio Hortis’ Public Library and the Department of Anglo-German Literature and Culture of the University of Trieste.
What we do
The JOYCE MUSEUM has the following goals:
- To acquire and make available a collection of works by and about James Joyce, including secondary sources, with a special emphasis on his period in Trieste;
- To promote the knowledge and understanding of Joyce and Trieste locally through conference , exhibitions, etc..
The MUSEUM is conceived as a dynamic institution and will continue to add to our knowledge of Joyce and Trieste, and the city’s fundamental role for understanding the Irish writer’s life and works.
The TRIESTE JOYCE MUSEUM was made possible thanks to a generous donation from Dominic Martin. We are hoping to expand our number of sponsors. Donations of books and other materials are also welcome.