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Perhaps the best way to experience the Slovene culture of the Carso is to find an osmiza, a rustic eating place where farmers sell their own produce, such as cured meats, cheese, olives, hard-boiled eggs, bread and wine. The name comes from the Slovene word osem, “eight days”, which was the period of time allowed by imperial edict for the peasants to sell their wares. The food is simple and cheap, and the locations often stunning. The problem with osmize is that they have limited opening times, vary hugely in quality, and are hard to find – which makes tracking down a good one all the more difficult. Ask the tourist office for a list or look at winterware.it/tsr/ambiente/carso/osmizze.htm (Italian only). Otherwise, as long as you don’t mind taking a few detours, just take a #44 bus from outside the station in Trieste, get off at the villages Prosecco or Contovello, and start asking if there is an osmiza nearby. You’ll know you’re getting close when you see wooden signs and branches of ivy suspended from archways and lampposts.

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