Trieste has more than 200,000 inhabitants, making it one of the largest cities in north-eastern Italy and the biggest and most populous in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. The city nestles between the Gulf of the same name and the Karst hills. Thanks to its strategic position, it has always been one of the most active port systems on the Adriatic Coast and a crossroads between different cultures and histories.
Don’t be fooled by the 19th century architecture and the numerous Art Nouveau buildings, because Trieste’s history has its origins in the region’s first human settlements. Empires and states have changed over the centuries, but the importance of Trieste has always been great, from Roman times to the Republic of Venice, from the Habsburg Empire to the Cold War.
A tour of Trieste can only start from the beautiful Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia, the largest seafront square in Europe and the city’s landmark. Just behind the square facing the harbour is the Molo Audace, the long stone dock that still bears the name of the first Italian boat to arrive in Trieste in 1918. From the pier, the view of the Piazza dell’Unità and the profile of Trieste is one of the highlights not to be missed on your sightseeing tour. Moving towards the city centre, wander past the elegant Piazza della Borsa and then explore the narrow streets that criss-cross Trieste’s old Jewish quarter, now a charming district full of quaint shops and trendy clubs, before continuing on to the city’s ancient Roman theatre.
The castle of San Giusto with its cathedral, the Borgo Teresiano, built by Maria Theresa of Austria, is also worth exploring, then continue along the Grand Canal replete with bridges. On the way back to Grado, don’t miss the spectacular Miramare Castle.
For shopping, we recommend a visit to Eataly to stock up on local produce and have a cup of coffee overlooking the Gulf of Trieste. Eataly has a convenient underground car park.
And don’t miss visiting the Caffè degli Specchi in Piazza Unità. The recently reopened Harry’s Bar has been awarded a Michelin star, and is also close by. Harry’s Bar-Bistro serves delicious snacks at lunchtime. Temakinho, an unusual fusion restaurant that combines Japanese cuisine with flavours from Brazil, has caused a sensation.
On your way back, we recommend visiting Porto Piccolo in Sistiana, one of the most luxurious and exciting tourism projects in the region.