This is an old and atmospheric harbour town close to the Slovenian border. Located in the uppermost corner of Italy, it has had huge importance both historically and culturally as a trading port. Trieste is also known as the Gateway to the Balkans.
For hundreds of years this town was one of the most important ports in the Austro-Hungarian empire. It wasn’t until the demise of this empire in 1918 that the town became Italian once again. The historical upheaval is apparent throughout the town and makes the town worth a visit for any aspiring Italian historians.
There is a pedestrian area in the old city centre with a large selection of shops and restaurants to choose from and it has a lively outdoor atmosphere. The city has a lovely park where you can spend hours wandering and lots of seating around the town where you can take a pew and watch the world go by, just like the locals do. The city is surrounded by green hills and has wonderful views from the promenade towards the beautiful Castello di Mirimare located on the seafront just outside the city centre.
The cafe culture in Italy in-fact began here in Triste. Historically the men gathered at cafe's to drink coffee and discuss the problems of the world! There are many cafe's here with significant history including; The Tommaseo from 1830, Il Caffe degli Specchi (the city's most famous café), San Marco from 1914 and Stella Polare Cafe from 1867. The world famous author and poet James Joyce (1882-1941) was a frequent guest at these cafes during the time he lived in the city.