Visiting Trieste and surroundings
The must beautiful places to see in a day-trip in the capital of Friuli-Venezia Giulia
If you are our guest and you are looking for the beauties of our region, you can’t miss a day-trip to Trieste, the capital of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
Visiting Trieste and surroundings means to dive in European’s history, of wich Trieste has been a crucial point thanks to its position and commercial activities.
The city was a kind of bridge between Western Europe and Central-Southern Europe, therefore it has been influenced by a plenty of ethnic groups and populations that were located there.
The harbour was one of the most important of italian peninsula and also the fulcrum of international business transaction.
Despite its (unfair) reputation of “not very hospitable place”, Trieste catalyzed a lot of great poets and international artists, which emphasized its true nature.
Trieste could seem “gruff” at first sight, but if you give it a chance you will never be disappointed.
Great irish poet James Joyce and french writer Stendhal have been here and they were enchanted. Italian poet Umberto Saba was born in Trieste in 1883 and once wrote:
“Trieste has a moody elegance, it’s like a harsh and voracious boy, with blue eyes and hands too big to gift a flower…”
Let’s discover the most beautiful and interesting places to see in Trieste and surroundings.
Miramare Castle is maybe the most suggestive place in Trieste and surroundings.
It was built from 1856 to 1860 by the will of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian and his wife Carlota of Mexico. The Castle was the House of Habsburg’s residence and love nest of the two aristocrats.
A must-see place for whom who visit Trieste in a day-trip, the Castle is placed on a rocky promontory overlooking the sea and includes a seashore park of 22 hectares.
Miramare Castle’s architecture is a mix of Gothic, Medieval and Renaissance styles.
Ferdinand Maximilian was a botanical and nature enthusiast, so he built an extensive park that even now is one of the most attractive location in the city, beloved by tourist and by citizens as well for a walk or a picnic.
Little known (and sad) fact: Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian was killed before he can share the love nest with his wife. Carlota was heartbroken and stayed in the Castle just a few years, before she comes back in Belgium.
Despite conventional thinking, it is not Naples the city with the higher coffee consumption in Italy, but Trieste!
As a result of the harbour strategic relevance during Habsburg Monarchy, it was really simple to find coffee and other goods imported from the colonies to the Gulf of Trieste.
That is how the “coffee culture” was born in the city, and this is why nowadays Trieste hosts some of the largest roasting factories of the country.
Often hosted in magnificent historical buildings, coffee houses in Trieste have been the salon of intellectuals and artists for decades.
In a day-trip in Trieste, you can’t miss a visit to the charming old coffee houses, where you can sip a delicious coffee and honor in this way the ancient coffee tradition.
Piazza Unità d’Italia
Another sign of Trieste’s authenticity and character is represented by “Piazza Unità d’Italia” (Unity of Italy Square). A rectangular square that faces the Adriatic Sea and is surrounded by government buildings and historical palaces.
Situated at the foot of Castle of San Giusto, the square was built during the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, when Trieste was one of the most important seaport in Europe.
Because of its suggestive appearance, this square is the perfect stage for concerts (Santana, Green Day, Iron Maden) and for international meeting.
A place worth visiting, near to Piazza Unità d’Italia, is “Molo Audace”: a 18th century dock that takes its name from the first boat docked here after italian unity.
Gran Canal and James Joyce Statue
If you are a narrative enthusiast and you got a romantic heart, you should take a walk on Grand Canal and honor James Joyce Statue.
Grand Canal was built between 1754 and 1756 by Matteo Pirona, in the place where were situated the ancient salt pans. Salt pans were buried to simplify the town’s development.
Grand Canal was built to allow the merchants to download their goods directly in downtown. Nowadays, the canal is one of the most interesting place to visit in Trieste, both for a romantic night walk and for admire James Joyce Statue.
Dubliners and Ulysses’ author James Joyce got in Trieste in 1905, when he was 22 years old, with his wife Nora. Employed as english language and literature teacher, he quickly learned Trieste’s dialect and found his place among local people.
Faro della Vittoria (Vittoria Light)
Miramare Castle is not the only one point of view to admire the great friulian landscape.
With an height of 223 feet, Vittoria Light is one of the tallest lighthouses in the world and a necessary stop of your trip in Trieste and surroundings.
Built in 1927, Vittoria Light was designed by triestine architect Arduino Berlam with the purpose of erect a victory monument higher than Berlin Victory Column (204 ft).
Vittoria Light celebrates the Italian success and commemorates the fallen sailors of the first world war. The inscription, written by italian poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, says:
"Splendi e ricorda i caduti sul mare MCMXV-MCMXVIII"
("Shine and remind of the fallen on sea 1915-1918")
Visiting Trieste and surroundings is not only an historical and cultural experience. There are a lot of naturalistic points of interest such us Grotta Gigante (Giant Cave).
Grotta Gigante is a ten million years cave discovered in 1840 by Antonio Federico Lindner and nowadays opens to the pubblic.
With a central cavern of 351 ft high, 213 ft wide and 430 ft long, Grotta Gigante is one of the largest tourist cave in the world.
Walking in the cave you can admire many large stalactites and stalagmites of exceptional beauty.
Take your comfortable shoes and a jacket (an internal constant temperature of 11°C) and enjoy a organized tour or educational lesson. Inside the cave are held cultural events and naturalistic meeting throughout the year.
This is the official website of Grotta Gigante, for more information about tours and events.
Finally, whatever the reason that brings you to Trieste, just discover the city without prejudices and get seduced by the “moody elegance” of this extraordinary city.