Trieste

trieste essential Information

Why visit Trieste?

Sitting proudly on the Adriatic coast, little Trieste, which lies hidden away in the north-east corner of Italy, seemingly surrounded by neighbouring Slovenia, is often mistakenly overlooked by tourists heading to the better-known Italian destinations such as Rome, Milan and Florence. Those who do make the choice to visit, however, are greeted by one of Italy‘s most curious cities, replete with elaborate Neoclassical façades and Austro-Hungarian touches throughout. The atmosphere of grandeur is pervasive as you walk through the grid-like heart of Trieste, the Borgo Teresiano, and stroll up to the San Giusto Cathedral, sitting on the hill of the same name, and admire the spectacular views across the city below.

Trieste, Italy (32) - panoramic view of Piazza Unità d'Italia facing Town Hall. visit Trieste

Trieste is also home to some fabulous monuments, many of which are free, and its cultural heritage includes once being the home of the Irish writer James Joyce. Pleasantly, the city is packed with 2nd bookshops and belle époque cafes, perfect for whiling away the day and for those who like to make day trips: the spectacular Castello di Miramare (Miramare Castle) lies just 8km north of the city.

Trieste rating - Hitchhiking, Couchsurfing, Monuments, Weather, Food, Prices, Nature. visit Trieste

Rating: 1 – Bad Experience 5 – Good Experience

History

Originally established as an Illyrian settlement, Trieste became part of the Roman republic in 177 BC and gained the status of a colony under Julius Caesar. The city thrived during Roman times but was destroyed by the Lombard invasions in 567 AD and was incorporated into the Frankish kingdom in 788 AD. In 1081 the city came under the control of the Patriarchate of Aquileia before evolving to a city state at the end of the 12th century.

Trieste, Italy (50) - remains of Forense Roman Basilica on Via San Giusto. visit Trieste

After two centuries of warfare with the local regional power, the Republic of Venice, during which it was briefly occupied twice, in 1283–87 and then again 1368–72, the city state of Trieste appealed for help to the Duke of Austria, who incorporated the city into his Hapsburg Empire in 1382. Venetians were to occupy the city again in 1508 but they were ejected a year later and by the end of the 18th century Trieste was an important port and trading centre of the Hapsburg empire.

During the Napoleonic Wars the city was occupied on several occasions by the French forces and following the wars end, the city was initially designated as a Free City, with trade open to all. It was not long, however, that the city was again under the Austrian umbrella and by the beginning of the 20th century it was a bustling cosmopolitan town, home to such diverse figures as James Joyce and Sigmund Freud, and the centre of Austrian shipbuilding and maritime trade.

Trieste, Italy (22) - illuminated Town Hall on Piazza Unità d'Italia over water from Molo Audace. visit Trieste

Trieste’s unique position on the fault-lines of Germanic, Italian and Slovene cultures was threatened when, following the end of the WW1, the city changed hands as the victorious allies ceded the city to Italy according to provisions of the 1915 Treaty of London. The following Italianisation of the city led to persecution of the Slovene population at the hands of the rising Fascist movement and by the mid 1930s several thousand had emigrated. During this period a Slovene resistance militia was formed and carried out several bomb attacks in the city centre, and several monumental structures were built including the University of Trieste and Faro della Vittoria (Victory Lighthouse).

At the end of WW2 the region was once again declared a Free Territory before later being divided: with Trieste awarded to Italy and the coastal hinterland of Istria, to Yugoslavia.

Trieste, Italy (49) - Statue to the Fallen in the grounds of Castello di San Giusto (close-up). visit Trieste

Weather

Trieste experiences a humid subtropical climate which means pleasantly hot summers and mild winters but with rainfall throughout the year. In the summer months the temperature ranges between 21oC – 28oC and in the winter 4oC – 8oC.

Why visit Trieste: trieste climate graph - weatheronline

sourcewww.weatheronline.co.uk

Weather in Trieste now

Festivals

Trieste is a city packed with events, with the most prominent among them being the Festival Internazional dell’Operetta (International Operetta Festival) which takes place in July & August. The widely attended event is considered one of Europe’s premier Operetta celebrations and you can find out more information at the Teatro Verdi website.

Trieste also plays host to two separate film festivals: the Festival del Cinema Latino Americano (Latin American Film Festival) which focuses on Latin-American cinema and documentaries and takes place every October, and the Festival del Cinema Alpe Adria (Trieste Film Festival) which showcases work by eastern and central European directors and is held in January.

Additionally, the Barcolana regatta takes to the waters around Trieste on the 2nd Sunday of October and over 2,000 boasts of all shapes and sizes arrive to pack the city.

Trieste, Italy (19) - illuminated Maritime Station, as seen from Molo Audace. visit Trieste

Orientation

Located in the north-west of Italy, the port city of Trieste is situated on the Gulf of Trieste, close to the borders of the Republic of Slovenia to the east and Austria to the north. The historic centre is easily explored on foot and the sea facing Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia (Unity of Italy Square) is a good place by which to orientate yourself. To the north can be found Canal Grande and further on the railway and bus stations which sit off the coastal road Viale Miramare. To the east, the San Giusto hill dominates the old town below and is home to Trieste Cathedral and the Castle of St. Giusto. The main coastal stretch comprises of a series of roads, including the Riva Grumala, Riva Nazario Sauro, Riva del Mandracchio, Riva III Novembre and the Corso Cavour.

Central Square, Trieste, Italy. trieste free walking tour

Trieste Free Walking Tour

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Trieste Monument & Sights Guide

Chiesa di San Spiridione
(Saint Spyridon Church)

Monument Type: Serb Orthodox Church
Address: via San Spirodione 9
Website: –
Opening Times: Tue – Sat: 9 a.m. – midday & 4 p.m. – 6.30 p.m. Sun: 9 a.m. – midday
Price: Free

 

Trieste, Italy (7) - front façade of Saint Spyridon Church. trieste free walking tour

Information: Saint Spyridon Church traces its history back to 1751 when Empress Maria Theresa initiated the free practice of religion for Orthodox Christians which prompted a wave of immigration of Serbian traders from Herceg Novi, Trebinje and Sarajevo to Trieste. The church itself, which was constructed in 1860s on the site of an older temple, is in the Neo-Byzantine style with many typical motifs of Eastern churches including mosaics, bell towers and cupolas. It is formed around the shape of a Greek cross and interesting features include four icons with precious silver decoration of Russian design and the mosaics designed by Milanese painter Giuseppe Bertini.

Piazza della Borsa
(Borsa square)

What is it? Trieste’s 2nd most important square and economic heart
Where is it? Between Piazza Unità d’ Italy and main road Corso Italia

 

Trieste, Italy (30) - Piazza della Borsa with Palazzo, Neptune Fountain & statue to Leopald I. trieste free walking tour

Information: The irregular shaped Piazza della Borsa is dominated by Palazzo della Borsa (the Old Stock Exchange) from which the square’s name derives. The palace which is one of the most important neoclassical constructs in the city, is characterised by four great Doric columns, and is now home to the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Handicraft and Agriculture of Trieste. Other important buildings include Palazzo Tergesteo, Palazzo Dreher (the New Stock Exchange) and the Art Noveu Casa Bartoli designed by M. Fabiani in 1905. In the centre of the square is a statue of Leopold I, former Emperor of Austria, and the newly replaced Neptune Fountain (1755).

Piazza Unità d’Italia
(Unity of Italy Square)

What is it? Main town square of Trieste
Where is it? Located at the foot of San Giusto hill facing the Adriatic Sea.

 

Trieste, Italy (24) - Piazza Unità d'Italia bathed in light. trieste free walking tour

Information: Built during the Austro-Hungarian era, Piazza Unità d’Italia is Europe’s largest sea facing square and contains many of the city’s municipal buildings and other important palaces. It was originally named piazza San Pietro (St. Peter’s square) after a small church that once existed on the site, and subsequently became Piazza Grande before assuming its current name after the city was annexed into the Kingdom of Italy in 1918.

The square has been frequently remodelled over the centuries, most notable between 2001 and 2005 when all the buildings were renovated, the asphalt floor was replaced with sandstone blocks and the Fountain of the Four Continents was restored to its original position in front of the Renaissance City Hall. Other important buildings include Government House with its gilded mosaic wall decorations, the monumental Palazzo Stratti & Palazzo Modello and the imposing former head offices of Lloyd Triestino which is now the seat of the Regional government.

Teatro Romano
(Roman Theatre)

What is it? Remains of 1 AD Roman amphitheatre
Where is it? at the foot of San Giusto hill on Via del Teatro Romano

 

Trieste, Italy (9) - Roman Theatre taken on Via del Teatro Romano. trieste free walking tour

Information: Located on the gentle slopes of San Giusto hill, the amphitheatre was probably built in the 1st century AD of stone and wood, and was rediscovered in 1938. Originally built outside the city walls, the site is adorned with three inscriptions to Quinto Petronius Modestus, prosecutor of the Emperor Trajan, who was instrumental in its construction. Its statues are now on display in the Museo Civico (City Museum) and in the summer, the space is used for live concerts and plays.

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
(Basilica of Saint Mary Major)

Monument Type: Church
Address: Via del Collegio, 6
Website: www.santuariosantamariamaggiore.it
Opening Times:
Price: Free

Trieste, Italy (36) - facade of Church of Santa Maria Maggiore and stairs. trieste free walking tour

Information: Opened in 1682 under the guidance of the Jesuit community, the spacious and majestic Basilica of Saint Mary Major is one of Trieste’s most important churches and sits at the top of a grand staircase in the oldest part of the city. Its most important features include the imposing Neoclassical façade and numerous works of art including Madonna in Sorrow, attributed to Sassoferrato, and the frescoed apse depicting the Immaculate Apotheosis by Sebastiano Santi.

Arco di Riccardo
(Richard’s Arch)

What is it? 1st century AD Roman triumphal arch
Where is it? On the slopes of San Giusto hill on Via del Trionfo

Trieste, Italy (56) - the Roman Arco di Riccardo on via del Trionfo. trieste free walking tour

Information: Popular legends holds that the name of the Roman-built arch derives from the Norman and English King Richard the Lionheart, who, returning from the crusades, was imprisoned in Trieste. However, it is more likely that the name is a corruption of Arco del Cardo which marked the entrance to the Cardo Maximus. The arch itself is over 7m tall with an undecorated crown top and with a plant motif.

Cattedrale di San Giusto
(Trieste Cathedral)

Monument Type: Cathedral
Address: Piazza della Cattedrale 2
Website: www.diocesi.trieste.it
Opening Times: Mon – Sat: 7.30 a.m. – 12 p.m. & 3.30 p.m. – 7.30 p.m. Sun: 7.30 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 3.30 p.m. – 7.30 p.m.
Price: Free

Trieste, Italy (40) - front façade and bell tower of Trieste Cathedral. trieste free walking tour

Information: Trieste Cathedral was built in the 14th century and is the work of a combination of two earlier structures: a 5th century Early Christian basilica, which was subsequently destroyed by fire, and the smaller 11th century Chapel of Saint Just. The remodelling left a five nave church with a gabled façade, adorned with a large rose window and bas-reliefs from the Roman era. The interior is notable for the wooden keel-shaped roof decorated with a variety of different era mosaics including a Byzantine inspired piece and a striking figure of Christ against a gold backdrop in the Chapel of St. Just. The Cathedral is also home to a number of important relics including the reliquary of San Giusto and the halberd of San Sergio, the symbol of Trieste.

Castillo di San Giusto
(Castle of St Giusto)

Monument Type: Castle
Address: Piazza della Cattedrale, 3
Website: www.castellodisangiustotrieste.it
Opening Times: Tues – Sun: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Price: General Admission: 6 € Reduced: 4 €

Trieste, Italy (54) - walls of Castello di San Giusto with Italian flag. trieste free walking tour

Information: Built by the Austrian Hapsburgs in 1470 on the site of an older Roman fortress, the Castle of St Giusto is one of Trieste’s most important tourist attractions and offers wonderful views of the town below. After the initial construction phase, the castle was extended by the conquering Venetian Republic who took hold of the city in the early 16th century before finally being completed in 1630 by the returning Austrian forces. Inside the fortress can be found the exhibition rooms of the Museo Civico-Armeria (Armoury Museum) as well as a plethora of Roman archaeological finds including funeral monuments and a wide variety of bas-reliefs. In the summer the space is dedicated to theatrical performances and concerts held in the castle’s courtyards.

Castello di Miramare
(Miramare Castle)

Monument Type: Castle
Address: Viale Miramare
Website: http://www.castello-miramare.it
Opening Times: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Price: General Admission: 4 € Reduced: 2 €

Trieste, Italy (35) - Miramar Castle from across the Gulf of Trieste 2

Information: The dramatically positioned Castle of Miramare was built on the orders of the Hapsburg Prince Ferdinand Maximilian who desired a residence befitting his rank built on the outskirts of Trieste. Construction began on 1st March 1856, under the guidance of Austrian architect Carl Junker and took over 4 years to complete leaving a very eclectic residence in terms of architectural designs, including Gothic, Medieval and Renaissance touches. Inside, visitors are treated to  Maximilian’s chambers and those of his wife, Charlotte; the guest rooms and an information room retelling the history of the castle and the park’s construction. Other highlights include the music room, a series of paintings by Cesare dell’Acqua depicting the history of Miramare and the splendid Throne Room. To reach the castle, take one of the buses 1, 6, 26, 51 from the centre.

30 Things to do for free in Trieste

Historic Trieste may not be your typical Italian city, with its air of Austria-Hungarian austerity and eastern Slavic influence but it is almost perfect for the shoestring budget traveller. With some weird and wonderful museums and churches to visit, all available without spending a penny, you will never be short of ideas for things to do for free in Trieste…

Museo del Presepio (Museum of the Crib: Via Giardini, 16) contains 150 cribs, offering a broad and comprehensive overview of the Nativity scene in Italy and around the world. It is open on Thursday 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

② The Collezione Sambo (Sambo Collection: Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 4) is a small private art collection housed in Province of Trieste governmental building with works by artists such as Ugo Flumiani. The collection is only available to visit on request.

Chiesa di San Spiridione (Saint Spyridon Church: via San Spirodione 9) was constructed in the 1860s in the Neo-Byzantine style and displays many typical motifs of Eastern churches including mosaics, bell towers and cupolas. It is open Tue – Sat: 9 a.m. – midday & 4 p.m. – 6.30 p.m. Sun: 9 a.m. – midday.

Trieste, Italy (7) - front façade of Saint Spyridon Church

④ Holding a collection of mainly contemporary Italian painters, with some internationally renowned artists thrown in, the Pinacoteca di Ateneo (University Art Gallery: Piazzale Europa, 1) is only available to visit on request but might be worth the effort for Art lovers.

⑤ The irregular shaped Piazza della Borsa (Borsa square) is Trieste’s 2nd most important square and economic heart and is home to important buildings such as Palazzo della Borsa (the Old Stock Exchange) from which the square’s name derives, as well as Palazzo Tergesteo, Palazzo Dreher (The New Stock Exchange) and the Art Noveu Casa Bartoli designed by M. Fabiani in 1905.

Trieste, Italy (30) - Piazza della Borsa with Palazzo, Neptune Fountain & statue to Leopald I

⑥ Located in the district of San Sabba, the Museo della Risiera di San Sabba (Museum of the Rice Mill: Via Giovanni Palatucci, 5) is the only remaining example of a Nazi concentration camp in Italy. Still visible features include the so-called “death cells” and the ruins of the crematorium, destroyed in 1945. It is open 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

⑦ Trieste’s main square Piazza Unità d’Italia (Unity of Italy Square) was built during the Austro-Hungarian era, is Europe’s largest sea facing square and contains many of the city’s municipal buildings and other important palaces including Government House with its gilded mosaic wall decorations, the monumental Palazzo Stratti & Palazzo Modello, and the imposing former head offices of Lloyd Triestino which is now the seat of the Regional government.

Central Square, Trieste, Italy - small

⑧ Trieste’s Museo del Risorgimento e Sacrario Oberdan (Museum of the Italian unification and Oberdan Shrine: Via XXIV Maggio, 4) is a monument-museum containing testimonies and memorabilia pertaining to the time of Italian Unification. The Oberdan Shrine, which sits outside the museum, is a monumental statue of the Trieste patriot who attempted to assassinate Emperor Franz Joseph between two winged figures (allegory of home and freedom). It is open on Thursday & Friday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

⑨ The spacious Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica of Saint Mary Major: via del Collegio, 6) is one of Trieste’s most important churches and sits at the top of a grand staircase in the oldest part of the city. Its most important features include the imposing Neoclassical façade and numerous works of art including Madonna in Sorrow, attributed to Sassoferrato, and the frescoed apse depicting the Immaculate Apotheosis by Sebastiano Santi. Located underneath the church is the Sotterranei dei Gesuiti (Underground of the Jesuits) also known as Baroque church of the Jesuits which dates back to the 17th century. Interesting features here include the “Tower of Silence”, the crypt of Petazzi and the “Red Room” with its circular niches. It is open Monday, Wednesday & Friday: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Trieste, Italy (37) - facade of Church of Santa Maria Maggiore and stairs (close-up)

⑩ Located on the ground floor of the historic Palazzo delle Poste, the Museo postale e telegrafico della Mitteleuropa (Postal and Telegraphic Museum of Central Europe: Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 1) charts the history of communications from the earliest forms of post through to the modern age. It is open on Tuesday & Sunday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

⑪ The Museo Dreher (Dreher Museum: via Torrebianca, 41 – 3 piano) is a space dedicated to the collection of hundreds of artefacts of the famous beer factory that once stood in Trieste. The collection is only available to visit on Wednesday: 5 p.m. – 6.30 p.m.

⑫ Located a few hundred metres from Piazza Unità d’Italia, Casa Bartoli (Bartoli House: via Carlo de Marchesetti, 8/3) was designed by Max Fabiani at the turn of the 20th century. The palace is notable for its Art Nouveau flourishes including the beautiful ornamentation cascade of leaves between the windows and the elegant wrought-iron balconies on the upper floors.

⑬ The Museo degli alpini (Alpine Museum: via della Geppa, 2) contains a number of objects showcasing the military history of the Alpine Corps, with uniforms, memorabilia, photographs and testimonials tracing back from its inception to the modern day. It is only available to visit on request.

⑭ The elegant Casa Basevi (Basevi House: via San Giorgio, 5) was constructed at the turn of the 20th century and is most notable for its comprehensive façade replete with friezes and floral garlands, medallions and fluted pilasters. Unfortunately entry is forbidden to the public but you can enjoy the architecture from the outside.

⑮ The compact Museo degli sloveni in Italia (Museum of Slovenians in Italy: via Petronio, 4) documents the history of Slovenian cultural organizations and institutions in Trieste through images, documents, musical instruments and costumes. It is open Mon – Sat: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

⑯ The Roman triumphal Arco di Riccardo (Richard’s Arch) was constructed in the 1st century AD and is over 7m tall and covered with a plant motif. Popular legends dictates the name derives from the Norman and English King Richard the Lionheart, who, returning from the crusades, was imprisoned in Trieste.

⑰ The Museo Fondazione Scaramangà di Altomonte (Museum Foundation Scaramanga Altomonte: via Fabio Filzi 1) was established at the end of the 19th century and is a unique collection of documents and antiques related to the history of Trieste, consisting of over 6,500 piece of furniture, porcelain, silverware, paintings, prints, clocks, prints and books. It is open Tuesday and Friday: 10 a.m. – 12 a.m.

⑱ Built between 1798 – 1801 the Teatro Verdi‘s (Verdi Theatre: Riva 3 Novembre, 1) main façade is characterised by giant Ionic columns and pilasters and adorning sculptures attributable to Bosa Antonio and Bartolomeo Ferrari. The theatre is famous among opera aficionados for its international operetta festival.

Cattedrale di San Giusto (Trieste Cathedral: Piazza della Cattedrale, 2) was built in the 14th century and is the work of a combination of two earlier structures: a 5th century Early Christian basilica, which was subsequently destroyed by fire and the smaller 11th century Chapel of Saint Just. Today, what remains is five a nave church with a gabled façade, adorned with a large rose window and bas-reliefs from the Roman era. It is open Mon – Sat: 7.30 a.m. – 12 p.m. & 3.30 p.m. – 7.30 p.m. Sun: 7.30 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 3.30 p.m. – 7.30 p.m.

Trieste, Italy (39) - front façade and bell tower of Trieste Cathedral (close-up)

⑳ The Museo di Mineralogia e Petrografia (Museum of Mineralogy and Petrology: Via E. Weiss, 6) was established in 1949 and contains three exhibition halls dedicated to the cataloguing and study of minerals and rocks. The collection is only available to visit on request.

㉑ Commissioned at the end of the 18th century, the Palazzo Carciotti (Carciotti Palace: riva November 3, 13/c) is perhaps the best example of neoclassical architecture anywhere in the city. The striking main façade is notable for its six Ionic columns supporting a balcony with six statues of Greek gods and the Napoleonic eagle topping the large copper dome on top. Unfortunately entry is forbidden to the public but you can enjoy the architecture from the outside.

Trieste, Italy (23) - illuminated Palazzo Carciotti & Greek Orthodox Church, from Molo Audace

㉒The Museo Commerciale (Museum of Commerce: Via San Nicolò, 7 – second floor) was established by the Chamber of Commerce in 2005 and is dedicated mainly to the history of Maritime commerce. There are also exhibits on Trieste port and its role in the development of the city. It’s open Mon – Fri: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. & Tue & Thu: 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

L’Antiquarium di via Donota (Antiquarium via Donota: via Donota) is an archaeological site and exhibition, the latter located in the so called Donota tower of the medieval walls. The archaeological excavations have brought to light the remains of a house built on different levels, probably inhabited in the 1st century A.D. It is open to visit on Thursday: 10 a.m. – midday.

㉔ The Centro regionale di studi di storia militare antica e moderna (Regional Centre of studies of ancient and modern military history: via Schiaparelli, 5) is dedicated to the all things military history with a focus on the Italian Armed Forces: uniforms, military helmets, models of military vehicles, soldiers, documents, photographs and other items. It is open Wednesday & Friday 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Civico Museo della civiltà istriana, fiumana e dalmata (Civic Culture Museum of Istria, Fiume and Dalmatia: via Torino, 8) is dedicated to maintaining the culture of the Istrian diaspora and contains objects, photographs & documents. It is open Mon – Sat: 10.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. & 4 p.m. – 6.30 p.m. & Sun: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

㉖ The stunning Castello di Miramare (Miramare Castle: viale Miramare) is one of Trieste’s main attractions, and although there is an entrance fee for the Castle itself, you can enjoy the grounds for free. Built in the 19th century by Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Hapsburg and designed by the Austrian architect Carl Junker, the park is full of valuable plant species and is elegantly designed, with an excellent panoramic position, from its location on the tip of the promontory of Grignano, jutting out into the Gulf of Trieste, about 10 km from the city. The park hours are Nov – Feb: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Mar – Oct: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. & Apr – Sep: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Museo del caffè (Coffee Museum: via San Nicholas 7) is housed in the Commercial Museum and is dedicated to all things coffee. The objects mainly come from private donations and include historical coffee cups, merchandise & raw coffees. It’s open Mon – Fri: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. & Tue & Thu: 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

㉘ The peaceful Orto botanico universitario (University botanical garden: via Giorgeri, 10) is located on the slopes of Monte Valerio in the north of the city and covers an area of 4.2 hectares. It is also a nice place to take a few minutes break from all the free stuff your seeing. It is open to the public 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

29. In honour of Trieste’s most famous adopted son, the Museo Joyciano (Joyce Museum: via Madonna del Mare, 13) pays homage to the Irish writer in a collection focusing on his years in the city. It is open Mon – Sat: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. & Thu: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Trieste, Italy (29) - Jon asking a statue of James Joyce why Ulysses is so difficult

30. The Faro della vittoria (Lighthouse of Victory: strada del Friuli, 141) was opened by King Vittorio Emanuele III in 1927 and is dedicated to the Italian sailors who died during the First World War. It is one of the tallest, working lighthouses in the world and offers spectacular views. It is open Apr 1 – Sep 30: Tues & Fri: 9 a.m. – 12:00 & 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. & Wed Thur, Sat, & Sun 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Oct 1 – Mar 31: Sunday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Map: 30 Things to do for free in Trieste

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Accommodation

Staying in Trieste be can be tricky as budget accommodation options are limited to a couple of hostels and a handful of guesthouses. Couchsurfing is an option but is by no means assured, so for all our fellow budget travellers, here are HitchHikersHandbook‘s suggestions for staying in Trieste on the cheap…

staying in trieste: Trieste, Italy (13) - Palace of the Austrian Lloyd shipping company on Piazza Unità d'Italia

Campeggio obelisco (Strada Nouva per Opicina, 37) is Trieste’s camping option and offers spectacular views from its position high in the hills. The campsite can be reached by taking the historic Opicina Tramway from the city centre and the prices in high season are 5.50 € for an adult and 3.50 € for a tent. It is the cheapest accommodation in Trieste and on site there is a restaurant and free WiFi but it is a fair distance from the city centre.

Tergeste Youth Hostel (viale Miramare, 331) is part of the International Youth Hostel chain and is located a short walk from Miramare Castle in a beautiful location overlooking the sea. Prices are a reasonable 18€, including breakfast, and there are common areas with free Wi-fi access, terrace and balconies. There is public transport connecting to the city centre via the #51 bus.

Affittacamere Ghega (via Carlo Ghega 3) is located down-town close to all the city sites, and offers dorm (19.50-21 €) and private (25-35 €) options. The hostel has an early check-out time (10 a.m.) and breakfast is not included but does have WiFi.

Going out

Trieste’s nightlife, much like the city itself, is a gentle affair so don’t expect the buzzing scene you might associate with other Italian cities. Most of the nocturnal activity occurs in cafés / bars in and around Piazza Unità d’Italia and prices vary, but expect to pay more the closer you are to the central square.

Coffee lovers are well serviced by a flood of cafés, which turn into bars by night and the most popular city nightclub is Viale 39. In the summer, large swaths of Trieste’s bars and cafés pack up their things and head 20km north of the city to the Bay of Sistiana where locals spend the day sitting on the beach and the evening drinking hard. Check out our useful map with bars, cafés and nightclubs in Trieste, marked…

Things to try & buy

Trieste is famed for its 2nd hand bookshops and the old town is dotted with places to pick up an interesting read. Coffee is another popular souvenir choice, with ground coffee a particularly manageable present to carry. Trieste is also famous for its antiques with its once monthly Antique Market taking place just off Piazza della Borsa.

To buy like the locals buy, head to the Mercato Coperto food market and select from the array of fruit and vegetable, meat and fish, spices and flowers, and some typical Triestine culinary specialities on offer.

Trieste’s cuisine is the product of its rich and varied historical influences with Germanic and Slavic elements sitting comfortable along the staple Italian and sea food options that you would expect from an Italian coastal city. Highlighting the Slavic influence, Goulash (both meat and fish varieties) is extremely popular and the Austrian style gnocchi comes stuffed with everything from potatoes to plums. You may also want to try Jota a soup prepared with pork, potatoes, cabbage, and finely-ground beans.

Staying in Trieste on the cheap: Trieste, Italy (46) - view across Trieste Old Town & port, taken from Castello di San Giusto

Internet

WiFi in Trieste is never far away. In the centre, along the waterfront and near the university, there are numerous cafés and bars that offer internet services. There is also a pubic WiFI system but we can not attest to its quality. Check out this useful map with some free WiFi spots marked:

Transport

Trieste – Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport is located 30 km north-west of the city in the municipality of Ronchi dei Legionari. There are domestic services run by Alitalia (Milan, Naples, Rome) as well as international routes provided by Ryanair (Beauvais, London-Stansted) and Lufthansa (Munich). The airport is reached by taking bus #51 from Trieste Bus station (3.25 €, 55mins).

Trieste, Italy (16) - Piazza Unità d'Italia with evening strollers

Trieste Centrale railway station (Stazione di Trieste Centrale: Piazza della Libertà 8) lies a 10 min walk north of the city centre. There are frequent services to Venice and Udine, as well as daily routes to Verona, Turin, Milan, Rome, Florence, Naples and Bologna. There are no passenger services to Slovenia.

Trieste Bus station (Trieste Autostazione: Piazza della Libertà, 9) can be found next to the train station and offers numerous national and international routes. Domestic lines encompass frequent services to Udine (5.10 €: 1.1/4 h) and daily connections to Padova & Mestre. International destinations include daily buses to Ljubljana, Slovenia (11.60 €: 2¾ h) and Zagreb (14€: 5h) & Dubrovnik (57€: 15h) in Croatia. There are also buses to Belgrade, Serbia (50€: 10h) and Sofia, Bulgaria (59€: 16.5h) run by the Florentia Bus company

Trieste, Italy (57) - Salone degli Incanti (Congress Centre) on Riva Nazario Sauro

Urban bus routes are run by Trieste Trasporti which provides over 50 day lines as well as 12 night-bus services. Tickets cost 1.25€ and a useful route planner can be found here.

The historic Opicina Tramway is a unique blend of tram and cable car, and leaves from Piazza Oberdan before snaking up to 348m above sea level to the town of Opicina. It departs every 20 min from early morning to early evening and a timetable can be found here.

Furthermore, there is a year round ferry boat departing from Molo Bersaglieri and arriving in the nearby town of Muggia; in the summer there are also additional services to the resorts of Grignano, Duino, Sistiana and Barcola. More information can be found here.

Trieste lies at the end of the A4 motorway which starts in Turin, passes through Milan and Venice, and enters the city from the south after looping around its northern and eastern limits. Trieste also marks the beginning of the proposed Adriatic–Ionian motorway, which, when completed, will run all the way along the Adriatic coast to Greece. In Italy, the already completed part of the highway is called the RA 13 and it heads directly south out of the city to the border with Slovenia. The east running SS14, goes through the town of Basovizza before heading to the Slovenian border. And finally, if you are heading towards the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, the SR58 crosses the hills on the city’s eastern limits, through the town of Opicina and onto the Slovenian border and the major A3 highway on the other side.

Trieste Hitchhiking Out

Hitchhiking out for Trieste is most definitely doable but you will have to take a bus to reach the hitchhiking spots. Also, bear in mind that this is Italy, so waiting times will vary from the extremely short to the ridiculously long. Keep the faith though and eventually you will get where you want to go.

Trieste, Italy (51) - view across Trieste to surrounding hills taken from Via Capitolina

East towards Ljubljana (Slovenia)

Trieste hitchhiking and transport tips: tested by HitchHikersHandbookTake the Opicina Tramway or bus #2 from Piazza Oberdan, exiting either form of transport once you have entered the village of Opicina. From here, it is a short walk through town to find the hitchhiking spot. We tried outside the Nlb D.d. Bank and were able to get a ride to the border within 20 min.

South-east towards Kozina (Slovenia) & Rijeka (Croatia)

From Trieste Bus station take bus #39 across the hills to the town of Basovizza. Once the bus has left the main road to enter the town, get off the bus and head back to the road. Hitchhiking locations are not ideal (as its on a bend) but keep walking until you find a suitable spot.

South towards Koper (Slovenia) & Pula (Croatia)

From either Trieste Bus station or Piazza Oberdan ride bus #20 towards the town of Aquilinia, leaving the bus after passing through an Industrial zone. Follow the bus route on road until reaching a fork in the road with the right heading to Muggia and the left through a tunnel and eventually on the motorway. Either try before the tunnel or walk through and stand on the motorway slip road.

West towards Venice & Udine

Hop on bus #44 from Piazza Oberdan all the way to the town of Duino. Locate the A4 motorway and cross under the path that connects the service stations on both sides of the road. You can start thumbing from the Agip petrol station.

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Trieste - complete budget travel guide

written byJon

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