A city situated at the crossroads, where the Latin, Germanic, and Slavic cultures meet, visit Trieste which has had a rich and tumultuous past until it was returned to Italy in 1954. Shaped by the hands of the Romans, Venetians, Hapsburgs, and Germans, Trieste is a realm captive between land and sea, and war and peace. Modest and shy, Trieste doesn’t like to brag about its incredible beauty and fascinating attractions but it’s nevertheless one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.
Influenced by the Austrians, Italians, and Slovenians, Trieste’s sights and attractions are truly spectacular. It may be that the majestic cities of Florence, Venice, and Rome are among the most popular destinations in Italy, but Trieste can easily compete with them when it comes to culture, castles, cuisine, and bohemian charm. There’s no city like Trieste in all Europe, a picturesque land framed by the Mediterranean Sea on one side and lush green hills on the other, and guarded by the mighty Dolomites to the north.
Castles and museums
Trieste exudes history through all its pores. However, one of the most beautiful historical attractions in Trieste is Castello Miramare, a richly ornate structure standing proud between cliffs and sea, just 5 km from the city. Built by Archduke Massimiliano of Hapsburgs in 1855, this extraordinary castle that is a testament of the Archduke’s appetite for opulence, wealth, and vanity offers superb views from its balconies and is framed by 22 acres of gardens from where you can hear the roars of the sea.
Built on a hill overlooking the city, the Castle of San Giusto was built between the 15th and 17th centuries on what was the first fortified settlement in Tergeste, back in the Roman times. Currently, the castle houses a museum and delights visitors with superb views of the city and sea, offering access to beautiful Roman ruins.
Duino Castle or Castello Vecchio built between the 10th and 11th century awaits in the suburban area of Trieste, impressive and proud, a fortress that has emerged victorious from many sieges and has passed the test of time. Surrounded by lovely gardens, the castle also houses an impressive bunker that will take you 18 meters underground.
There are many museums in Trieste ready to familiarize visitors with the city’s past, culture, and art. While the Sartorio Civic Museum awaits within the walls of a 19th-century villa decorated with rococo and neo-gothic style furniture and houses an impressive collection of both old and new paintings and sculptures, Museo del Mare tells fascinating stories about a city born of the sea and displays fascinating exhibits related to the Trieste’s maritime past.
Not a castle or a museum per se, but as beautiful and captivating, Trieste’s cathedral is a symbol of the city and an attraction that shouldn’t be missed. Built in 1300, this majestic cathedral is remarkable due to its 14th-century Gothic rose window, gorgeous Byzantine mosaics, and a 14th-century bell tower.
Walks and delights
A city loved by writers and artists, Trieste is an atmospheric destination that boasts a fabulous café culture, gorgeous Austrian architecture, and magnificent sea views. It’s no surprise that the muses loved it here and so did James Joyce, Italo Svevo, and Sigmund Freud. Visit the Joyce and Svevo Museum if you want to take a peek inside the lives of these celebrated authors.
Follow in the steps of Rainer Maria Rilke, a poet from Prague, and walk along the Sentiero Rilke, one of the most beautiful paths in Carso. The walk starts from Sistiana and takes you to the castle of Duino while enchanting you with views of the sea and majestic white cliffs. If you’re up for an adventure, visit the spectacular Grotta Gigante, one of the largest caves in the world and a phenomenal natural attraction.
Spend some time in Piazza Unita d’Italia, one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. The square houses superb architectural masterpieces, such as the Palazzo Modello, Casa Stratti, Palazzo Pitteri, and Palazzo del Lloyd Triestino, as well as pretty old cafes.
The capital of the region Friuli-Venezia Giulia and one of the richest cities in the country, Trieste pampers visitors with luxury hotels, elegant restaurants, and cozy cafes. If you want to delve deeper into Trieste’s café culture, sip a cappuccino at one of its historic cafes, superb places like Caffe San Marco, Caffe San Tommaseo, and Caffe Torinese.
Add a sweet treat to your café and try either Viennese delicacies like sacher and strudel or traditional local desserts such as the pinza and presnitz. The culinary scene in Trieste is as diverse as its culture, introducing into the local menus novelties like Eastern Europe ingredients — cabbage and horseradish, as well as goulash, cabbage rolls, and jota soup.