On the Adriatic Sea, a stone’s throw from Slovenia, lies Trieste, a delightful treat for anyone deciding to visit. This city, once the feather in the hat of the Habsburg Empire and a meeting place, in its splendid, lively cafés, for writers and philosophers such as James Joyce, Italo Svevo, Umberto Saba and Rainer Maria Rilke, has always been a source of inspiration for travellers and intellectuals. This is thanks to its refined spirit, open to anything new, multi-ethnic and appealing, making it a crossroads of Latin, Slavic, Jewish and Germanic cultures.
The elegant centre of Trieste, with its amazingly peaceful atmosphere, will charm you with its numerous Belle Epoque cafés, its picturesque Canal Grande, the perfect spot for a stroll to step back in time, and best of all, its magnificent main square, considered one of Italy’s most beautiful: Piazza Unità d’Italia, opening out onto the Gulf of Trieste. Once you’ve admired the facades of its historic palaces, you can set off to explore the Borgo Teresiano, the district built at the instigation of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria in 1700, and the San Giusto Hill, on top of which stands the Cathedral, built in 1300 and overlooking the city today.
And don’t miss out on the Miramare Castle, less than 10km from the city centre. Built in the mid-1800s for Archduke Maximilian of Habsburg and his wife Charlotte, the castle, surrounded by a luxuriant park, now houses a museum and a vast library. If you take a stroll around its walls, you can admire the building from the outside whilst enjoying some stunning sea views.
If museums are your thing, the Railway Museum at Campo Marzio, the Risiera di San Sabba 5km outside of Trieste and the site of the only Nazi concentration camp in Italy, will not leave you disappointed. Visiting the museum, the buildings where the prisoners were held and the crematorium is a deeply moving experience that’s essential to keep the memory alive.
For those who fancy a change of scenery from the urban bustle with a relaxing trip into the countryside, the province of Trieste is a true paradise. With its numerous nature parks, including the Riserva delle Falesie, and its wonderful stretches of coast, you can enjoy a holiday surrounded by nature and the sea.