Earth : Europe : Italy : Northeast Italy : Friuli-Venezia Giulia : Trieste (province) : Trieste
Trieste  (Trst in Slovenian and Croatian, Triest in German) is the capital of the autonomous region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, in North-East Italy. Once a very influential and powerful centre of politics, literature, music, art and culture under Austrian-Hungarian dominion, its importance fell into decline towards the end of the 20th century, and today, Trieste is often forgotten as tourists head off to the big Italian cities like Rome and Milan or the nearby Venice. It is, however, a very charming underestimated city, with a quiet and lovely almost Eastern European atmosphere, several pubs and cafes, some stunning architecture and a beautiful sea view. It was also, for a while, the residence of famous Irish writer James Joyce.
Trieste has 201,261 inhabitants and it is situated on the crossroads of several commercial and cultural flows: German middle Europe to the north, Slavic masses and the Balkans to the east, Italy and then Latin countries to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south.
Its artistic and cultural heritage is linked to its singular "border town" location. You can find some old Roman architecture (a small theater near the sea, a nice arch into old city and an interesting Roman museum), Austrian empire architecture across the city centre (similar to stuff you can find in Vienna) and a nice atmosphere of metissage of Mediterranean styles, as Trieste was a very important port during the 18th century.
Trieste has always been a very cosmopolitan city. This can be seen in the cultural diversity and even in religion: there is a Greek Orthodox church, a Serbian Orthodox church, a Lutheran church, and a synagogue.
There is a tourist office at the edge of Piazza Unità d'Italia, in the Lloyd Triestino building. Information is available in Italian, German, and English, as are tourist maps and brochures of information about attractions in and around the city.
Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere by Jan Morris is a lovely, melancholy book about Trieste. The author arrived in Trieste with British forces at the end of WWII and subsequently spent several years living in the city. It's more lively now than she describes (it was written in the 1990s), but it's a lyrical introduction to the city's history and its places.
The region of Friuli Venezia Giulia is officially quadrilingual (Italian, Slovene, Friulian or Eastern Ladin and German). Signs are often only italian in Trieste, as the city itself is generally Italian speaking and the local dialect (a form of the Venetian language) is called Triestine. Surrounding villages and towns are often inhabited by mostly Slovene speakers. Residents, and those working in the city, can easily find free courses to learn Italian or Slovene or German or English and many other languages.
National flights via Milan, Rome and Genoa. International flights via Milan and Rome (Alitalia ); direct flights from Munich (Air Dolomiti - Lufthansa ); direct flights from London and Birmingham and several other European cities (Ryanair ); direct flights from Belgrade (Jat ); direct flights from Tirana and Prishtina (BelleAir ).
The Trieste-Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport (TRS)  (formerly International Airport of Ronchi dei Legionari) is 33km north of the city centre. A bus service (number 51) runs to the airport from Trieste's bus station (next to the railway station). Weekdays buses leave at 5 minutes and 35 minutes past the hour however on Sundays the service is every 1 to 2 hours. The bus takes about 55 minutes, a taxi (around 50 euro) takes 30-35 minutes. Tickets can be bought from a machine in the airport terminal. You can also take a train from Trieste station to Monfalcone (approximately 25 minutes) and take a short bus / taxi ride to the airport.
The public transport company APT operates bus and coach services linking the airport with:
Tickets can be purchased at city bus/coach stations or at the airport: in the Arrivals Hall, with an automatic machine for selfticketing and at the Post Office.
Taxis are available outside the Arrivals hall from 08.00 to 24.00.
If you are flying to Italy from the US, a trip to Trieste may be cheaper if you fly into Venice Marco Polo airport and taking the train .
Another cost-effective way of reaching Trieste by air is to fly into 'Ljubljana Airport , the airport servicing the capital of Slovenia. From there, it is about one hour by car to Trieste.
There is a daily bus from Maribor (12:50) that runs through Ljubljana and on to Trieste. €31 at station, €19-26 online. You can store baggage at the Trieste bus station for €3/bag, which is cheaper than the train station next door (€5/bag).
A4 Venice-Trieste, toll-gate Monfalcone-Lisert, exit point "Sistiana" (SS 14 "Costiera" ). The town is 24 km from the motorway.
SS 202 Triestina: Motorway A4, toll-gate Lisert, Carso Plateau, Opicina, Padriciano, Trieste
Lots of trains from Venice and Udine, Eurostar from Milan and Rome and Cisalpino from Basel at the Central Railway Station. There are no rail links with Slovenia: once at Sežana's train station you can catch a bus to Trieste, the last leaving at 14:00, only on working days. If you are coming from Jesenice, you can get off at Nova Gorica, catch the bus no.1 to Gorizia station and then a train to Trieste.
If you arrive by train, the last 15 minutes of travel you have a beautiful sight, because the railway goes along the sea and if the weather is good it should be very striking.
Update April 2016 - there is a rail link between Sežana (Slovenia), which has rail connections with Ljubliana, and Villa Opicina, which is the first stop in Italy, travel time is 10 minutes and costs euro 1. Trains leave at 6:23, 10:01, 12:31, 16:25, 20:45 and 21:41.* Taxi is euro 10, so catch that train. There are also about 4-5 buses a day from Ljubliana to Trieste, but none past about 5 PM. At Sezana there is Tabor hotel right at the train station -- it is OK for just one night stay. An astonishing number of supermarkets within 400 meters of that hotel.
Update March 2018: Rail services link Ljubljana to Villa Opicina, terminus of the service and first station in Italy. Services run weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Adult price is 9.70€ (as of March 2018).
When you arrive to Villa Opicina, reaching Trieste may be done by tramway. Disembark to the left and walk forward for about 300 meters; then there are curvy, short streets; your destination is tramway stop which is about 45 degrees off the railway direction and about 1 km out -- aim roughly for that intersection point. Tramway is euro 1.35. Travel time is about 20 minutes; tramway changes to funicular at a steepest point.
When you arrive at Trieste, to go to Trieste Centrale, need to backtrack about 30 meters and go to the left -- the train station is roughly 500 meters away, watch how buses go. At the station Left luggage is euro 5 for 6 hours (it is there hidden close to tracks, at very sharp left, opens at 8 AM); it is a pleasant station to wait for a train; walking along the sea / port line is nice if yo uhave 2 hours to kill; good part of Trieste is quite hilly. When standing in front of the train station, facing the square, to the left is a supermarket -- better than options at the station.
Minoan Lines  has ferries sailing to and from Trieste from the ports of Ancona and Ravenna in Italy and Igoumenitsa and Patras in Greece. The Trieste ticket office for Minoan Lines is in the Greek Consulate at Via G. Rossini 6, on the first floor, next to the Grand Canal in Piazza Sant'Antonio Nuovo. The ferry dock is on Via della Rampa near Molo 7 in the industrial port at the south of the city's waterfront. Ferries take walk on passengers, motor vehicles, bicycles, and campers/caravans. If you are on foot, take the taxi to the docks, as the area going in can be hazardous due to freight trains and heavy commercial traffic.
Coach tour of Trieste 040 308536, (040 311529, [email protected]), . Saturday 2-4:30pm. Sightseeing tour starts outside the railway station (Piazza Libertà 8). Booking and ticket purchase (5.20 Euro) at the Eurostar office of Trieste Centrale Railway Station.
Walking Like most of Europe, a stroll through the town to admire its ancient architecture is a very popular activity. You get to travel at your own pace and even get some coffee along the way. Trieste is not particularly big and if you do not have luggage with you there is no need to take a bus.
Bus Trieste has a network of buses running on a strict schedule. This can often be checked on the web . Routes are very frequent through the day but rarer after 9pm in the evening, on Sundays and holidays. Strikes occasionally affect buses but Trieste is a small city and most places of interest can easily be reached on foot. Tickets can be bought from tobacconists and from machines which are found at some of the busier bus stops. They cost €1.25 each.
Bicycle Bicycle rentals are available in some places around the city. Knulp , a popular bar/bookshop/arts venue at Via Madonna del Mare 7/a, has bicycle rentals for reasonable rates, as well as wireless internet access.
San Giusto - Cathedral and Castle
A walk on the Castle ramparts and bastions gives a complete panorama of the city of Trieste, its hills and the sea. The Cathedral is free, but donations are appreciated. €1.50 will grant access to the church's campanile, which provides an even more beautiful view. Be on the lookout for the remains of the Roman monumental gateway inside the Campanile. €1 for just the castle ramparts and bastion. €6 (under age 25: €4) grants access to the ramparts as well as all of the other museum and exhibits listed below.
The Miramare Castle 
Accessed by boarding a westbound bus 6 from a number of places including a stop at the Trieste train station.
Take the tram #2 from Piazza Oberdan to Opicina. Alight at the Obelisco, and take a walk along the pedestrian Strada Vicentina (better known as Strada Napoleonica - don't ask for Strada Vicentina if you are asking for directions, nobody will know what it is) to Prosecco. The views are superb. The tram has been recently fixed and is doing the entire route again. Do not miss it if you come to Trieste! (The tram is going to reopen to the public in the summer of 2014)
American Corner Trieste  and Associazione Italo-Americana di Friuli-Venezia Giulia , Piazza Sant'Antonio Nuovo 6, tel: 040 63 03 01, email: [email protected] The AIA/American Corner has an ongoing calendar of events for kids and adults ranging from lectures to movie nights to Italian classes. Wifi available. Their blog  has a daily calendar listing of activities. Open Monday-Friday 4 to 7 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Hours reduced during summer, so check the websites.
Trieste Film Festival  is an international film festival held in January. Films are shown at several venues around the city, including Teatro Miela and Sala Tropcovich. Films often have English subtitles.
Bavisela  the Maratona d'Europa is held every year in early May. It features a marathon and a half marathon, as well as a non-competitive walk for families and young people.
Barcolana  is an annual sailing race held in the Gulf of Trieste the second Sunday of October. It is one of the largest races in the world, in operation since 1969. Over 2,000 sailing vessels participate.
Trieste Science+Fiction  is an annual Science Fiction film festival, usually held in November. It features new and classic science fiction and fantasy films from around the world.
During the 1970s and 1980s Trieste was the number one shopping destination for tourists from Yugoslavia.
The cuisine of Trieste reflects the living traditions of the many populations that have passed through the city over the centuries. In the city's restaurants, called "buffets", you can find delicious examples of the local Austrian and Slavic tradition.
Pizzerias can be easily found in the town center, as in Viale XX Settembre, for instance.
Other typical restaurants include:
Buffets are restaurants that serve pork everything. Lunch is usually sandwiches, with pork of varying types, mustard, and some grated horseradish (kren). Sometimes there are sides like breaded and fried zucchini or eggplant. Dinners are huge platters of pork with kraut, mustard, and bread.
Buffet da Pepi has been in operation for over 120 years. Via della Cassa di Risparmio, tel: 040 366858, just across the street from Piazza della Borsa. Lunch here is inexpensive, with a sandwich and glass of aqua frizzante only €4.50.
If you want to stay on the cheap, there are more than thirty kebab-shops spread through the city. Otherwise you can easily find pizza slices. There is a buger king in Viale XX Settembre 25 and a McDonald's at the ground floor of the mall "Torri D'Europa".
Some local specialties include:
Coffee has been an important part of Trieste since the 1700s. Some of the most famous caffè are known as much for their famous patrons as their food and drink, include:
Trieste has a strong passion for coffee: its inhabitants' consumption per person is twice the national average. Unlike in the rest of Italy, nobody will order just "a coffee", but: "un nero” (an espresso), "un capo" (an espresso with hot milk in a cup), "un capo in b" (an espresso with hot milk in a glass) "caffè latte" (in Trieste it is used as a synonim for "capuccino"), "gocciato" or "goccia" (literally "drop", an espresso with a just a tiny quantity of milk). It is not customary in Trieste to drink coffee with liquor.
If you are more into beer, here is a list of pubs:
If you are a tea-drinker in the land of coffee, you have a couple of nice options.
The helpful tourist information in Piazza Unità can provide you with a list of accommodation and will even make bookings for you. They also have free maps.
Across the countryside you can find a local tradition that must be mentioned, "osmica". Osmicas are wineries predominatly located on the Karst Plateau, small beautiful farms where you will find different kinds of home-made salami, cheese and ham, and a characteristic red wine. Opened for only certain months of the year, the owe their Slovenian name to the word "osem" (meaning "eight" in Slovenian", as under the Austro-Hungarian Empire the farmers were allowed to open them for eight days per year). And maybe along the Riviera (Muggia, Sistiana, Duino) you can find some nice places to sleep, too.
Grotta Gigante - The Giant cave claims to be the biggest tourist cave in the world (since 1997 in the Guinness book of records). 15 km by city bus #42 or the tram of Opicina then 1 hour walking along the path #26. The enormous hall is 107 metres high, 280 metres long and 65 metres large. The multi-lingual guided tour takes about 45 minutes. You can also visit the Museum of Speleology is near the cave and besides the various speleological, geological and paleontological finds it also includes some valuable archeological pieces and a poster collection of the cave. Two wide parking lots are available on the outside. Another cave and World Heritage Site, Skocjan Caves in Slovenia is located just a few minutes from Bassovica, one of the suburbs above Trieste.
The Slovenian coastal cities of Koper and Piran are about 30 minutes away (1 hour by bus) and make a great day trip. Buses departs from the bus station (EURO 5.30 one way). The twin cities of Gorizia (in Italy) and Nova Gorica (in Slovenia) are around 45 minutes by train from Trieste. From Nova Gorica it's easy to take a connecting train to Lake Bled or other parts of the Slovenian Alps.
During the summer months there are daily ferries to Piran (Slovenia) and Porec, Rovinj and Pula in Croatia costing around 40 euro for a return ticket. The Croatian cities in Istria are all accessible from Trieste by car in little over an hour. Trips to Austria (2 hours by car, 3 hours by train) are possible from Trieste via either Udine or Nova Gorica
At the Trieste Coach Station, bus and coach connections to several European countries, including Slovenia (Izola - Isola, Koper - Capodistria, Ljubljana, Piran - Pirano, Portorož - Portorose, Postojna - Postumia, Sežana - Sesana), Croatia (Dubrovnik, Poreč - Parenzo, Pula - Pola, Opatija - Abbazia, Rijeka - Fiume, Rovinj - Rovigno, Split - Spalato, Zadar - Zara) and Serbia (Belgrade - Belgrado) are available. Trieste's coach station is also linked with Budapest three times per week, every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, the bus leaving Trieste at 2:30. A single ticket costs 50 €. Trieste is also linked once per day with Bucarest and with Sofia. See the station's website http://www.autostazionetrieste.it/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4&Itemid=6 for more information. For bus links with Slovenia, See Veolia's website to check prices: http://www.veolia-transport.si/?iLangID=2 On Veolia's buses, you can buy the ticket directly on the bus. For bus fares to Croatia, see http://autotrans.hr/en-us/home.
Trieste has a reputation of being one of Italy's safest cities possibly due to it being a border city (and therefore formerly full of border police and other security services). There are very few problems with regards to walking the streets at night, taking taxis or pick pocketing. Obviously normal precautions should be taken and like elsewhere in Italy be careful of drivers who tend to think that they own the road.
There are two major hospitals in Trieste:
Cattinara Hospital , Strada di Fiume 447, has cultural mediators available if you are hospitalized or in Emergency. Cultural mediators will speak your language and make communicating with doctors and staff much easier. The regular hours for cultural mediators at Catterina are Mondays and Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is accessible by bus routes n° 22 (Stazione Centrale - Cattinara); no. 25 ( Piazza Borsa - Cattinara); no. 26/ (Largo Osoppo - Cattinara on Sundays only); no.39/ (Aurisina - Cattinara); no. A (only after 9 p.m.); no. 48 (Largo Barriera); no. 49/ (Muggia - Cattinara)
Maggiore Hospital , Piazza dell'Ospedale 2, is located in the city center. It is accessible by bus routes no. 5 (Piazza Perugino - Roiano); no.11 (Ferdinandeo - Piazza della Borsa); no. 22 (Cattinara - Stazione Centrale); no. 23 (Grandi Motori-Stazione centrale); no. 26 (Chiadino -Largo Osoppo); no.37 (Raute - Largo Barriera); no. 40 (San Dorligo - Stazione Centrale).
If you require a cultural mediator when you are not hospitalized or in Emergency, at both Catterina and Maggiore you can go to the Ufficio Relazioni con il Pubblico, the Public Relations offices, where they are available upon request.
Only a few Farmacias are open on Sundays, usually for short hours in the morning, but Farmacia al Castoro at Via Di Cavana 11, Tel: 040 302303, is open continuous hours from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
If you're traveling with a pet and you need an English-speaking veterinarian, Cecilia Luciani  at Via Madonna del Mare 8, Tel: 040 314601 has office hours Monday 9 - 10 a.m. / 4:30 - 7 p.m., Tuesday 10:30 a.m. - 12 / 2:30 - 6 p.m., Wednesday 10:30 a.m. - 12 / 4:30 - 7 p.m. Thursday 10:30 a.m. - 12 / 2:30 - 6 p.m., Friday 9 - 10 a.m. / 4:30 - 7 p.m., Saturday 9 - 11 a.m. She can be contacted for emergencies at Cell: 39 347 1417002 Other veterinarians in her office also speak Italian, Slovenian, Croatian, and Greek.
Speakers of Italian or Slovene or German should find work easily in Trieste. The city has a large number of science parks which employ scientists from all over the world and communication at these centres is usually in English. There are also a small number of English language schools which employ native speakers.