Beautiful and erudite, Trieste is the most cosmopolitan city in Italy. Here you can steep yourself in the glorious Hapsburg past that made it “the little Vienna on the sea”. In the crossroads of languages, peoples and religions that still characterise it today, you can really sense its central European and Mediterranean soul.
The heart of the city is its most beautiful and symbolic square, now dedicated to the unification of Italy.
The buildings that overlook it are a perfect synthesis of Trieste’s history. The most spectacular side of the square, however, is the one facing the sea, where the Molo Audace extends for over two hundred metres. From here, you can see from beyond Piazza Unità to monumental palaces, the Greek Orthodox church of San Nicolò, the Grand Canal, the centre of what was once the village built at the behest of Maria Theresa of Austria, with its churches that bear witness to the happy coexistence of different religions.
In the distance, you can see the white outline of Miramare, the romantic castle of Maximilian and Charlotte of Habsburg.
Trieste is also the city of coffee. A free port for the importation of coffee since the 18th century, Trieste is still the most important port city in the Mediterranean for its traffic. But “caffé” in Trieste is also synonymous with literature: there are numerous and beautiful literary cafes, historic spots with a retro charm, places once frequented by great authors such as James Joyce, Italo Svevo, Umberto Saba and even today by much loved writers and intellectuals.
Taking a break in one of Trieste’s historic cafes is a veritable ritual that you must not miss, and there’s a special jargon you need for the occasion: here the espresso is called “nero (black)”, but what on earth are the “gocciato” or the “capo in b”? Finding out will be a pleasure!
Text by turismofvg.it