Sistiana is a small village located in the municipality of Devin Nabrezina in the Province of Trieste in Italy. It lies about 70 meters above sea level. The Gulf of Sistiana, which stretches beneath the village, is a popular tourist destination.
The Italian and Slovenian forms of the settlement's name originate from the Latin name Sixtilianum. It was the first or one of the first Roman settlements in the present-day Trieste province. At the end of the 19th century, Sistiana became one of the most popular seaside resorts in the region of Austria-Hungary, in addition to Opatija and Grado. At that time, the place also had the German form of the name, which was Seestein, but now it is no longer used. Famous Parkhotel and Strandhotel hotels were also built during this period. There was an Austrian naval base in the Gulf of Sistiana during the First World War. During the Second World War, however, the Germans used the bay as a submarine base. Nowadays, Sistiana is best known as a tourist destination that attracts many foreign visitors. The bay is characterized by a beautifully landscaped beach with some trees and large parking. The visitors are mostly Slovenes and Italians, also many Germans and Austrians. For Slovenes from the regions of northern Primorska, Karst and Gorizia, Sistiana is the closest beach resort, which is ideal for day trips because of its proximity. The popular and famous Rilke Trail begins over the Gulf of Sistiana, leading to the picturesque new and old Devin Castle. At the new castle, poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote the famous Devine Elegies. The history of the old castle dates back to the 11th century. At that time, the fort was guarded by a high wall, equipped with a toothed overhang, and its position, which allowed the defenders to be able to observe the arrival of enemy ships in time. There was a single, hard-to-cross paved path leading to the castle, run along the walls. Between the two castles is the Dante rock, which is separated from the mainland by the tide. In 1478, the old fortress suffered a devastating Turkish attack. The devastation led that the lords finally moved to the new castle of Devin.
Along the beautifully arranged Rilke's footpath, the walker can see a number of interesting karst phenomena, such as mane, grooves, sprays and more. There is also a small restaurant at the beginning of the trail, offering a wide range of food and refreshments. The restaurant overlooks the bay of Sistiana.