Trieste is an Italian seaport in the Adriatic Sea. In the 19th century, it was a vibrant and prosperous city and the most important seaport of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This is obvious in the elegant Austro-Hungarian town planning of its spacious piazzas with imposing public buildings, villas, and grand-style palaces facing the seafront. The pristine Piazza Unità d'Italy is Europe’s largest square overlooking the sea. The city’s cultural environment is a melting pot of Latin, Germanic, and Slavic influences, which is reflected in the local architecture. The extensive City Hall complex is built in the typical style, and the Cathedral lies at the top of St. Giusto hills. It was erected with stones coming from Roman, paleo-Christian, and Medieval structures. Built on the Gulf’s only promontory, Castello Miramare will impress you with its gardens and ponds, arranged by Archduke Maximillian himself. Trieste has a sparkling cultural scene with several museums, theatres, and eclectic cafes.
Location: In the northernmost part of the Adriatic Sea
Trieste lies in north-eastern Italy at the mouth of the Gulf of Trieste close to the Slovenian border. It is a railroad gateway to the Balkans. The nearest international airport is Trieste-Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport near Ronchi dei Legionari, 33 km north of the city centre.
Business: Shipping, trade, and commerce
The city’s economy is based on commerce, shipbuilding, and transport, whilst the port continues to be a major trade hub in the commercial shipping business, dealing mostly with oil, coffee, and container traffic to and from south and eastern parts of Europe.
Culture: At the crossroads of three different cultures
The major landmark is San Giusto Cathedral—the symbol of Trieste dedicated to Saint Justus the Martyr, a Roman Catholic saint, known for his many charities. It was built around 1300 on the remains of a 5th century Early Christian basilica, a 11th century church dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, and the Chapel of Saint Justus. Take note of the gabled façade, decorated with a large rose window made of local stone and bas-reliefs dating from the late Roman era. A statue of the Saint dated 1337 and a large clock tower stand outside the cathedral. The wooden keel-shaped roof is decorated in varied style decorations from various periods. A magnificent mosaic in the Chapel of San Giusto portrays the figure of Christ standing against a gold background, resembling Ravenna’s Byzantine mosaics.
Activities: Contemplating on cultural diversity over a cup of coffee
Coffee has played a major role in Trieste’s history and culture, and is part of the daily routine of most Triestians. They still enjoy the ritual of savouring their cup of coffee Vienna-style, engaged in earnest discussions on just about anything. And if you want more solid food for thought, local osterie and restaurants offer a variety of specialties. They are a splendid mix of German, Hungarian, and Slavic dishes blended with the Italian gastronomical tradition.