Its being a Hapsburg city but at the same time Mediterranean makes Trieste a unique place, rich in history and interesting places to discover. Ideal for those who love the sea and culture, you can also visit in a weekend.
For those planning a trip for next spring, some ideas on what to do and what to see in a couple of days in the capital of Friuli Venezia Giulia.
1 – Visit the castle of Miramare
DE AGOSTINI / GETTY IMAGES
Miramare Castle, Trieste
The imposing building, overlooking the sea, is about ten kilometers from the center of Trieste. It was built in the mid-1800s at the behest of Duke Ferdinando Massimiliano d’Asburgo. The interiors of the building, perfectly preserved, can be visited throughout the year. Tourists can immerse themselves in what was the daily life of the duke and his wife, Charlotte of Belgium.
The part of the castle that does not face the sea is surrounded by a park of 22 hectares, where vegetation alternates with small works of art. Inside the huge garden there is also the castelletto, a reduced version of the main residence, in which the original owners of the estate lived for a short period, between 1859 and 1860.
The castle of Miramare, for its location and its peculiarities, is a must for those who go to visit the city.
2 – Go up to the top of the San Giusto hill to see the cathedral
GETTY IMAGES / LONELY PLANET IMAGES
Facade of the Cathedral of San Giusto, Trieste
The Cathedral of San Giusto was built, some years after 1300, on the top of a hill. A Gothic double-wheel rose window dominates the facade of the church. Inside there are frescoes dating back to the XIII century; on the floors, traces of the mosaics that once characterized the building.
The church is open throughout the year. Next to the cult building, you can visit the remains of an amphitheater from the Roman era. Who wants, then, can also enter the Castle of San Giusto , another symbol of Trieste: from the outer spaces of the fortress, built right on top of the hill, you can see the whole city.
3 – Walking in Piazza Unità d’Italia
NSIMEONI VIA GETTY IMAGES
Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia
Coming down from the hill of San Giusto you arrive in the largest and most famous square of Trieste. Some say it is the “living room” of the city; it is certainly a place much loved by the inhabitants of Trieste, but also by tourists who visit the capital of Friuli Venezia Giulia.
The buildings that face Piazza Unità d’Italia are today the headquarters of the town hall, the Region and the Prefecture. If you turn your back on the elegant buildings you can see the sea just a few steps away. Piazza Unità d’Italia – which took this name in 1955 – is in fact the largest seaside square in Europe.
4 – The daring pier
ENKIPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
Overview of the city from the Audace pier
After a long walk through the streets of the city, even the most tireless tourist will need some rest. The options, then, are two: sit in one of the many historic cafes that are located in the center of Trieste, or stop for a few minutes to watch the sea, on the Audace pier. It is a walkway about 200 meters long, close to Piazza Unità d’Italia. In the past the ships were mooring right here; today, however, the pier is the favorite destination for those who love walking, smelling the sea or admiring breathtaking sunsets. To see the boats approaching the pier you have to wait for the period of the Barcolana , the famous regatta that takes place every year in the city. In 2017, around 2100 boats participated in the competition; a record for the regatta which, for this reason, is considered the most crowded sailboat race in the world.
5 – The Grand Canal
KASTO80 VIA GETTY IMAGES
The one crossed by the navigable watercourse that after cutting the Borgo Teresiano in two flows into the sea is one of the most evocative areas of the city. On the two banks of the canal are anchored small boats and along the way – via Gioacchino Rossini – it is easy to find stalls selling food. On the Red Bridge, which crosses the canal, the statue of the writer James Joyce was installed in 2004 . Within walking distance is the Berlitz School , where the Irish author taught for a while.
A walk along the Grand Canal is pleasant at all hours of the day, but the time when you can appreciate the beauty of the place is certainly that of sunset.
6 – The Jewish ghetto