Trieste sits on the border between Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea. With a population of 204,000, the city is one of the most prosperous in Italy. Trieste was inhabited as early as the 2nd millennium BC and later became a part of the Roman Republic.
Trieste, a bustling metropolis in northeast Italy, sits on the border between Slovenia and the azure Adriatic Sea. The city’s beautiful churches, stately buildings, picturesque piazzas, magnificent palazzo museums, and quaint coffee shops all contribute to its reputation as a cultural and historical center with a strong maritime tradition. Discover the best things to do in Trieste, Italy.
Friuli Venezia Region, located in Italy’s extreme northeast, shares a border with Slovenia but stands apart from the rest of the country in terms of aesthetics, culture, and history. Trieste, one of the largest cities in this stunning area, is located on the Adriatic Sea coast, not far from Slovenia. Trieste has benefited from the proximity of other countries and regions and, as a result, has absorbed aspects of those cultures and civilizations over time. With a population of 204,000, the city is one of the most prosperous in Italy, thanks to its busy port and thriving commercial shipping industry.
The city of Trieste was inhabited as early as the 2nd millennium BC and later became a part of the Roman Republic. Trieste was an independent commune after the fall of the Roman Empire, a part of the Hapsburg Empire, and a frequent target of Ottoman sieges and attacks throughout the Middle Ages.
A massive economic revival and extensive port development followed the city’s decline during World War 2. Trieste is now widely regarded as one of Italy’s top tourist destinations thanks to its many museums, beautiful beaches, and historical landmarks.
Here’s A List Of The 10 Best Things To Do In Trieste, Italy
Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia
The Piazza Unità d’Italia is Trieste’s central square and an excellent first stop. There is a huge central square surrounded by grand buildings from when the city was part of the Austrian Empire on three sides. The square is said to be the largest seaside square in Europe due to its orientation toward the Adriatic Sea.
The City Hall of Trieste, which can be seen in the background, is the square’s focal point. On either side, you’ll find a number of palaces, some of which are
now used as government offices. The square is also home to several monuments, the most famous of which is the Fontana dei Quattro Continenti. What I find most intriguing is that the architecture here has more in common with Austria than traditional Italian styles. Trieste is definitely not to be confused with other Italian cities like Florence or Bologna.
Experience Trieste’s unique coffee culture
Trieste is known for its traditional Viennese-style coffee houses and is the birthplace of the internationally renowned Illy and Hausbrandt coffee brands. The port city also supplied coffee to the Monarchy. Some of these historic coffee houses have been operating continuously since the late 18th century and remain at the city’s social life center.
The Caffè San Marco is a gorgeous cafe with ornate ceilings made from coffee leaves dating back to 1914. The fact that this cafe is also a bookstore-only adds to its allure, as does the fact that it serves delicious cakes and coffee in a setting reminiscent of another era.
Famous visitors like James Joyce used to hang out at the Piazza Unità’s Caffè degli Specchi, while the ice cream was first served in Trieste at Caffè Tommaseo, the city’s oldest cafe (established in 1825).
The magnificent Miramare Castle is an absolute must-see on any trip to Trieste. It’s the most famous landmark associated with Trieste, despite being located outside of the city proper. Most visitors to Trieste come to see this famous landmark. The palace-like structure on the water is located 8 kilometers north of Trieste and is well worth the trip.
This Habsburg harbor, constructed in the nineteenth century, was a favorite of Archduke Ferdinand. Grand imperial tours of the building’s interior are available. While the castle and harbor are undoubtedly impressive, the formal gardens that fill the park around Miramare are what really set it apart. Those interested in exotic flowers or in need of caffeine should definitely make the trip to the garden’s hidden cafe.
From Trieste, you can take a train to Miramare Castle, or you can take a bus, or you can walk. Since the Line 6 bus departs from the bus terminal several times an hour, taking the bus is the most convenient option. Even though it takes about 1.5 hours, I wouldn’t write off the walk because of its beautiful coastal scenery.
Spend Some Time Ambling Along the Canal Grande
The reflection of the surrounding palaces and the picturesque boats on the Canal Grande makes it one of Trieste’s most photogenic attractions (such as the beautiful Palazzo Gopchevich, adorned with geometrical shapes). From the Ponte Rosso, take in the scene at the end of the canal, dominated by the neoclassical Sant’ Antonio Tramaturgo church and the blue domes of the Serbian Orthodox Church of San Spiridone.
This canal was constructed in the middle of the 18th century on the site of the old salt marshes so that ships could bring their cargo straight into the city. In front of the Sant’Antonio church, you’ll find a lively market selling locally grown produce and flowers. In addition, the canal and surrounding streets play host to a charming Christmas market every December.
Castello di San Giusto
The castle, constructed by the Habsburgs in the 15th to 17th centuries to expand a medieval Venetian fortress that had replaced earlier Roman fortifications, sits atop San Giusto Hill. Cross a wooden drawbridge over a shallow moat to reach the castle, where you can climb the ramparts and check out the castle’s vaulted halls.
You can see the whole city, the Gulf of Trieste, and the hills in the distance. The Lapidario Tergestino contains 130 Roman stone finds from the city, including statues from the amphitheater; inside the castle are displays of weapons from the Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century, as well as furniture and tapestries. Stop at Piazza San Silvestro, halfway up Castle Hill, to take in the Baroque splendor of Santa Maria Maggiore, a Jesuit church built in the 17th century.
Visit The City’s Waterfront And Take A Stroll
The “rive” (waterfront) in Trieste is a great place to take in the sunset over the Gulf of Italy and the light signals from the Faro della Vittoria lighthouse. The Molo Audace promenade, jutting 246 meters out into the sea, is a popular spot for watching the sun go down and is highly recommended.
Designed by architect Giorgio Polli in 1913, the once-grand fish market sits right on the water’s edge. Salone Degli Incanti, so named for its vast basilical layout and large glass windows, frequently hosts fascinating exhibitions of modern and contemporary art.
Walk a few blocks to Eataly, a renowned food hall chain branch housed in a stunningly repurposed historic warehouse in the heart of Trieste’s historic center. The waterfront revitalization project included the warehouse and the old fish market. Take in the swaying boats of the marina as you savor the carefully curated Italian specialties displayed behind glass walls.
To Shop For Antique Things
If you’re in the market for antique furniture, lighting, books, tableware, clothing, or decorations, Trieste’s Piazza Unità is where you’ll find the best selection. When the holiday season rolls around in December, Delikatessen on Via Felice Venezian becomes a veritable treasure trove of antique Christmas ornaments, furniture, vintage suitcases, lamps, and postcards.
Other antique shops can be found on the streets surrounding the intersection of Via Felice Venezian, Via Cadorna, and Via dell’Anunziata. The Jewish Ghetto, located behind Piazza Unità and Piazza Della Borsa, is another excellent place to get lost among the shelves of old books, linens, and beautifully restored furniture.
Museo Civico Revoltella
Located on a side street off Piazza Venezia, the Museo Civico Revoltella houses a significant collection of modern art, including over a thousand paintings, eight hundred sculptures, and countless prints and drawings. All the major art movements from the mid-nineteenth century to the modernists are represented across its six levels and forty rooms.
The collections feature the likes of Carlo Carrà, Giorgio Morandi, Lucio Fontana, and Mario Sironi from the 20th century, so it’s only fitting that eminent Italian architect Carlo Scarpa oversaw the renovation of the adjacent Brunner Palace in 1991. The museum’s terrace offers a stunning panorama of the harbor.
Trieste Roman Theatre
Leaving the “modern” elegance of the waterfront, one can take the broad Via del Teatro Romano southeast from Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia to the Roman theater, constructed by the Romans in the first century AD as part of Emperor Octavius’s plan to develop Tergeste.
The stone theater was built into the side of San Giusto Hill; wooden steps and a stage were likely also used. A number of the statues that once graced the theater’s decor can be seen in the Castello San Giusto, which was rediscovered in the 1930s.
Trieste’s old city, with its winding streets and ancient buildings, is located atop this hill and provides a striking contrast to the more modern, Austrian-Hungarian section of the city below. It’s a great place to take a stroll, and if you’re wondering where to eat in Trieste, you’ll find a wide variety of dining options here.
Take A Trip To Piran For The Day.
It is possible to take day trips from Trieste to the picturesque coastal town of Piran, which is located in Slovenia. It is very simple to arrive in this stunning Adriatic town thanks to the abundance of travel agencies that provide bus and boat tours to Piran.
Piran’s old town and harbor have been remarkably well preserved, and both are located directly on the coast of the water. A wide variety of museums, castles, churches, and picturesque squares can be found in this breathtaking example of the world-famous architecture of Slovenia and Croatia.
Guidelines for Getting Around in Trieste, Italy
The city of Trieste is small and straightforward enough to be explored on foot. The majority of Trieste’s attractions are clustered in its historic downtown, a short distance from each other and ideal for sightseeing on foot. This is a great way to discover unexpected treasures. Trieste has a well-developed bus system that can take you to various attractions, even those located in more remote areas.
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Bus tickets range from 1.35 EUR for an hourly pass to 4.60 EUR for a day pass which can be used for unlimited daily rides. On-bus cash purchases are accepted, or you can purchase a mobile ticket by sending the text TST (for an hour) or TSTG (for a day) to the number 4850850. (valid until midnight on the day of issue). Do not forget to verify your ticket before boarding. In addition to the ticket machines, tickets are available at newsstands, tobacco shops, bookstores, bars, convenience stores, grocery stores, and gas stations.
Best Time To Visit Trieste, Italy
With its mild Mediterranean climate, Trieste has just two distinct seasons: summer and winter. The summer months of May through August in Trieste range from mildly warm to hot and are typically dry. Spring and summer are peak seasons for tourism in Trieste when the weather is warm enough to enjoy the beaches and other seaside activities like boating and windsurfing. Extreme cold (November–January) In the middle of winter, Trieste averages around 8 degrees Celsius, never dipping below freezing. Fog, frost, and snow are the results. Therefore, Trieste is less crowded at this time of year. The months of March through August are ideal for a trip to Trieste.
Because Venice is only two hours away and trains leave extremely frequently, this trip couldn’t possibly be any more convenient. A couple of buses travel to Slovenia each day, and there are significantly more of them when winter is over. Because Trieste is so close to Piran, you shouldn’t have any trouble including it as a stop on your journey from Venice to Slovenia or vice versa because it is so conveniently located.
Physically and mentally, Trieste is cut off from the rest of Italy. That’s why the local language, Triestini, is such an intriguing blend of Italian, Austrian-German, Croatian, and Greek, and the city maintains its own distinct border-town culture.
Trieste is a city that has woven the best aspects of the cultures that shaped it into something uniquely its own, and visitors to the city for even a short time will get a glimpse of this. Trieste offers a wealth of opportunities for those who are game to explore this special but underappreciated corner of Italy. What are the best things to do in Trieste? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
How many days do you need in Trieste Italy?
Though you can see much of Trieste in two days, give it at least three to truly experience the ins and outs of the city. Give yourself five days or more if you want to take day trips to the caves or other nearby cities. Though parts can be hilly, the city is extremely walkable – you can see most of it on foot.
Do people speak English in Trieste?
Many people in and around Trieste speak at least some English, and a lot of them speak it very well, but it’s best not to expect it outside the city proper. The dominant local Venetian dialect of Trieste is called Triestine (in Italian “Triestino”). This dialect and the official Italian language are spoken in the city centre while Slovene is spoken in several of the immediate suburbs. The Venetian and Slovene languages are considered autochthonous to the area.
What is special about Trieste?
Trieste, a deep-water port, is a maritime gateway for northern Italy, Germany, Austria and Central Europe. It is considered the end point of the Maritime Silk Road, with its connections to the Suez Canal and Turkey.