Trieste, Italy

Trieste is often forgotten by tourists in the glamorous attraction of other Italian cities like Rome, Milan, Venice, and Naples. However, a trip to Italy is well worth a visit to Trieste, the capital of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in north eastern Italy. Thanks to its geographic location, it is at the intersection of many European cultures: German and Western Europe to the north, Slavic and Balkan culture to the east, and the Mediterranean to the south, all while remaining very Italian through and through. In fact, Trieste is a finger like extension of Italy around the Mediterranean that is bordering on Slovenian territory to the east.

Historically, Trieste was very important as a powerful hub of politics and culture (with many literary, artistic, and musical contributions) during the Austrian-Hungarian domination of the region. For almost six centuries, it was a vital part (and the oldest part) of the Habsburg Monarchy. Its seaside location secured it as an important port for importation and exportation – this led to its prosperity. In fact, after Vienna, Prague, and Budapest, it was the Habsburgs fourth largest city. While its economic importance started to decline in the early 20th century, it remains one of the richest cities in Italy, and an under appreciated tourist destination for its beauty and unique diversity.

The Canal Grande, Trieste, Friuli-Venezi Giulia, ItalyThere are some great historical sights to be seen in Trieste. Beginning with the beautiful seafront, where some astounding caves and grottos can be explored. Grotto Gigante is the largest tourist cave in the world – its largest single cavity could contain St Peter's cathedral (in Rome). The Cave of Trebiciano is underground at 1,148 feet, and contains an underground river (the Timavo river). These are some truly other worldy sights to be seen in Trieste. There is also a well preserved Ancient Roman theater in the city, which was built during the first half the 1st century. Other archaeological remains include the Arch of Riccardo, a gate built by the Ancient Romans in 33 B.C.E. , Basilica Forense from the 2nd century, and a few early protochristian and Ancient Roman mythological temples.

Miramar castle is perhaps the top tourist attraction in Trieste. It was completed in 1860, and served as the Duke of Aosta's home – Prince Amedeo, who was Italy's last commander of Italian forces in East Africa during WWII. The gardens of Miramar are not to be missed. The Piazza Unità d'Italia, located at the city's center, is a classic example of Eastern European influenced Italian architecture. It faces the Adriatic Sea, and is Europe's largest square by a sea. It is a popular destination with many restaurants and shops, as well as governmental buildings.

The climate of Trieste is typical of northern Italy – Average temperatures are cold in the winter, around 43 degrees F in January, and warm in the summer, around 75 degrees F in July. Precipitation is average for the Mediterranean climate, although sometimes the Bora (a katabatic wind) can lead to high winds during certain times of the year.


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