TriesteAs the poet Umberto Saba wrote: “Trieste has an unsociable grace. Located between the sea and the mountains of Carso, beautiful and fascinating, she does not like to show off, although she conquers her visitor at first sight.” Tergeste, as Trieste was named during the Roman era, is to be discovered on foot, to fully taste her richness and to breathe, through her streets, buildings and monuments, her 2000-year-old history.
The CitySituated in north-eastern Italy on the border to Slovenia, Trieste has always been the meeting point of trade and culture. The likes of James Joyce, Italo Svevo and Umberto Saba were all frequent visitors to this beautiful city. The historic city flourished as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the period of 1867–1918, making it one of Central Europe’s most prosperous Mediterranean seaports, as well as its capital of literature and music. With its close proximity to Slovenia the region has developed its own dialect. The dominant local Venetian dialect of Trieste is called ‘Triestine’ and is spoken in the city centre, while Slovenian is spoken in several of the city’s suburbs. There is also a large German-speaking population in the region. Trieste itself has been divided into eleven zones (beginning with the most southerly) in order to make things easier for visitors to get oriented. The city centre is highly urbanised, while the south contains of small towns and villages such as Sgonico, Monrupino, Duino, Basovizza and San Pelagio, which are predominantly inhabited by the Slovenian-speaking minority. Visitors to Trieste will foremost notice the numerous examples of Art Nouveau and Neoclassical architecture from its Austrian past. Visits to some of the small towns outside of Trieste are highly recommended, as they – together with the city centre – give a feeling of the ‘true’ Trieste. Its history cannot be forgotten, nor should it, as this is what makes up the Trieste of today.
Do & See
Trieste’s city centre offers a nice walk among criss-cross roads in the Borgo Teresiano part of town, while taking in the many elegant Neo-classical buildings that define the city’s architecture. Situated by the sea front, the city holds some gorgeous scenery, which can be experienced when visiting the Castle of Miramare.
The multicultural atmosphere in Trieste is reflected in the cuisine, where culinary influences from Veneto, Austria, Hungary and Slovenia come together. Among the traditional dishes not to be missed are: Brodeto a la Triestina and Granzievola alla Triestina (fish), Gnocchi di patate o pane filled with raisins and the Jota soup. When it comes to cheese, try these local specialities: Tabor del Carso and a wonderful cream cheese called Liptauer. The local wines are a fine compliment to the local cuisine. Vitoska, a white wine ideal for fish, and Maalvasia, perfect for an aperitif, are highly recommended. Buon Appetito!
In Trieste, the cafés have always been the perfect meeting point to discuss politics, art, literature and philosophy. It is here that the tradition of drinking coffee, prepared in many different ways, started. Tasting the different cakes that Trieste offers is a must. In particular, you need to taste the Putizza, the Strucolo de Pomi and the Palacinke.
Bars & Nightlife
Apart from the “historical caffè”, Trieste is full of nice places where you can have a typical aperitive or snack, in Italian called “spuntini,” as well as coffee, sweets, beer and wine. For those who want to “Tirare Tardi,” Trieste offer night owls many pubs, enoteche, and disco pubs where live music is often played.
Antiques, second-hand books or unique art pieces can all be found in Trieste.