Trieste is one of Italy’s most diverse and interesting seaport cities for its location; it is immediate to the borders of both Slovenia and Croatia to the east and the Adriatic Sea to the west. The geographical location and close neighbors have produced interesting Slavic, Germanic, and Latin influences on Trieste over time. Trieste Italy sits on a long, narrow landmass at the Gulf of Trieste and has a population of less then a quarter million people.
Trieste history dates back to 178 B.C. prior to it becoming a Roman colony. It was one of the oldest cities belonging to the Habsburg Monarchy, between the late 14th and 20th centuries and was a paramount seaport and one of the largest of the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s cities following Prague, Budapest, and Vienna. The port city’s position at the Adriatic’s northernmost point made it as a natural choice in trade routes between eastern and central Europe. Following the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s collapse and WWI, came Trieste’s union with Italy and subsequent boom in the 1930s.
Between the union and economic flourish, Trieste experienced many changes during the Fascist Regime; local infrastructure was greatly strengthened with myriad new city buildings and now-historical attractions including Faro della Vittoria (Victory Lighthouse). At this point, despite the suppressive regime, a rich history of intellectual and artistic movements began in this period as well. Today the economy in Trieste thrives and has become one of the wealthiest areas in the country, exhibiting great strength in shipbuilding, shipping, and the finance sector.
One of the most famous castles near Trieste Italy is Miramare Castle, situated on the Gulf of Trieste. Constructed between 1856 and 1860 for Ferdinand Maximilian, Archduke of Austria, the extensive grounds include a large seashore park (designed exclusively by Maximilian) and broad seaside cliff. The main floor office and bedroom of Miramare is a reproduction of the wardroom and cabin of the ship of which Maximilian was commander in the mid-1850s.
San Giusto Castle in Trieste was constructed during the Middle Ages by the Venetians as a fortress. The castle played an important role as an urban hub throughout the Roman age. During the 1300s it was destroyed upon orders given by Patriarch of Aquileia. In the later 1400s Friedrich II of Habsburg rebuilt San Giusto to include a historical museum. Through the centuries features were added to the castle, including connecting walls and ramparts in 1630. Today, the Trieste Municipality owns the castle, using it for exhibitions, cultural events, and other special shows.
Unity of Italy Square, or Piazza Unita d’Italia, is a defining attraction and the central urban area in Trieste. Situated at the foothills of San Giusto, it was constructed during the height of its importance to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and first named Piazza Grande. It includes palaces and municipal properties. The piazza also offers a fantastic view of the Adriatic Sea and is often credited as Europe’s largest seaside city center. The Roman ruins present a glimpse into Trieste’s ancient history. Trieste’s Roman baths are the best-known of all the ruins in the region. A large collection of artifacts has also been unearthed and put on display in Trieste’s museum.
Close to Villa Opicina, just about 2.5 miles northeast of the city, is Grotto Gigante, the most famous cavern in Trieste, with almost 1.500 caves along the Altopiano Triestino (Trieste Plateau). It is said the cave can hold any one of the greatest and largest basilicas in the world. Grotto Gigante is the largest cave of its kind in Europe that is accessible to people. It takes about 500 steps to reach the deepest depths to where the cave takes you even farther down into the depths of the earth where breathtaking stalagmites and cloak walls and rock formations, creating the illusion of a water-soaked underground cavern.
Trieste Hotels & Lodging
There are more than four dozen hotels within Trieste; small and large, luxurious and bare bones. While some hotels in Trieste Italy are located closer to the city center, many also front the Gulf of Trieste offering beautiful waterfront scenery. Whether traveling on a budget or looking to live it up a little, the choices in Trieste lodging cater to most budgets and lifestyles.