Things to do in Trieste in one day, Italy

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

As usual every travel or every trip has one or more travel highlights I want to share with you: they can be a particular topic or things I noticed around or even a èparticular destination. Today the main topic is providing you a mini-guide of the best things to do in Trieste in one day.
Trieste is one of the largest cities of the North-eastern Italy and is located close to the Slovenian border: during the history it was occupied by the Austrian-Hungarian Empire then by Italy and for a little period by Jugoslavia. Because of its position, it is a crossroad of different cultures and you can see it if you stroll around this wonderful city.

On the shores of the Adriatic sea, the landscape of Trieste is even more stunning since the city is built on the Karst hills (the same area of the Skocjan caves). However, let's see what you can visit in Trieste.

1) Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia

This is the real and pumping heart of Trieste and is also one of the best squares you can see in Italy. Trieste is also the largest square on the shores of a sea in Europe. The view is absolutely stunning with its six white palaces. This is the "living room" of the city.

The central building is the Town Hall, with its tower and its "Mikeze" and "Jakeze" that ring the bell every hour.
Diaries of an explorer
For example, you can see the Palazzo del Lloyd Adriatico, now headquarters of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region ( or province).
Here you can see Palazzo Vanoli, that hosts a luxury hotel and the famous Caffè degli Specchi, one of the historic cafès of the city. 
In front of the Town Hall you can see the Fountain of the four continents, built during the 18th Century and that represented the fortune of Trieste as tax-free harbor and its four statues represent the symbols of people of the known continents at that time ( Europe, Africa, Asia, America).

Do not miss Piazza d'Unità by night: it is incredible!
2) A walk along the Molo Audace
Once known as Molo San Carlo, the Molo Audace is a 246 meters long and it is worth a walk until the end of it, where you can breath the Adriatic breeze and have a fantastic view of Trieste. It is almost in front of Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia so it's not difficult to recognize it.

 This is the incredible view you can have from the dock of Trieste: the so-called "rive".

3) The Roman theatre and Arco of Riccardo
"Behind" Piazza dell'Unità you can find the Roman theatre, built during the 1st or 2nd Century a.d. by the Emperor Traiano. Its position was probably at the beginning of the Roman Tergeste, developed on the San Giusto Hill.
Not far from the Roman theatre you can see in Piazza Barbacan the Arco of Riccardo, built in 33 b.C., that probably was one of the gates to the old Roman city. These are just a part of the archaeological sites in Trieste, which are also located in Colle San Giusto.

4) Colle San Giusto (San Giusto hill)
Upon this hill, the Romans founded the city of Tergeste and in fact here you can see some archaeological sites like the Forum and the old Basilica.
Close to the Roman forum and the old Basilica, the old medieval town of Trieste was developed. In fact, between the 14th and the 15th Century a castle and some fortifications were built. 
This is the last "version" of the castle, since it was built by Venice and then destroyed and re-built later. Inside you can visit the Castle museum.
Tip: do not miss the path along the walls since you can have one of the best panoramic views over Trieste and its gulf!

Another interesting landmark to visit is the Cathedral, built in the 16th Century resulting from the fusion of two old basilicas. It has a Gothic fleuron and an incredible interior.

5) Piazza della Borsa and the Jewish ghetto
Once you come back from San Giusto hill and go towards Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia, you can find Piazza della Borsa, once the economic centre of the city. 
Between Piazza della Borsa and Piazza dell'Unità you can find a labyrinth of small streets that once formed the so-called Jewish Ghetto, where you can still find some of old libraries and antiquary shops. The local dialect (similar to the Venetian one) used the expression "far gheto", that means "making some noise", inspired probably by the streets crowded by people.

6) Strolling along "Le Rive"
You should absolutely walk along the Rive, since it's one of the most spectacular parts of Trieste. This is also what you can see from the Molo Audace or if you are approaching to the city from the sea.

7) Canal Grande (called also Ponte Rosso)
Well if you compare it to the "real" Canal Grande that splits Venice in two parts, this "replica" can be at the beginning someway ridicolous. However, this Canal Grande can remind a bit the Venetian once, since it was projected by a Venetian in 1754-1756.
In Ponte Rosso, that crossed the Canal Grande, you can also see the statue of James Joyce.
8) Historic cafes

Because of its landscape and atmosphere, Trieste has always been a point of reference of artists, poets or writers such as James Joyce, Italo Svevo or Umberto Saba. They were used to meet at some cafes that became a legend and because of the Austrian domination, some of them remind the cafes of Vienna. For sure one of these cafès is the Antico Caffè San Marco, but the most historic ones are for sure the Caffè Tommaseo, the Tergesteo and the more expensive Caffè degli Specchi, as mentioned before. If you want to have an intellectual coffee, well you can choose one of them. :-) Here you can see the Caffè Tommaseo.
9) Eating in an "osmiza"
You can choose one of the restaurants in Trieste and you can find some really good ones, where you can eat some fresh fish food. However, if you want to eat like a local, you should absolutely choose an osmiza, a place where you can buy and eat typical products from local producers or farmers. You can find them outside Trieste in the Karst region: I recommend you Ferluga and Pipan Klaric.
10) Surroundings
I would also recommend to spend 1-2 days and visit the following attractions:
  • The Miramare Castle: you cannot miss it - you can see it from Trieste and it has also a natural park. I will also dedicate a special post regarding Miramare.
  • The Duino Castle: not far from the Miramare Castle, you can find the Duino Castle. If you do not have enough time to do so, at least try to visit Miramare.
  • The Giant Cave: the cave with the highest hall of the world, of course if you are not afraid of the dark and of going underground.
  • The town of Muggia and its Venetian heritage. Here there's also a nice Carnival.

Travel tips: 
  • One day is enough to visit the city: however I would recommend you to spend there a weekend. 
  • If you love the beach, I would recommend you to go the Sistiana Bay, at 10 km far from Trieste.
  • The best place where to have a pizza/eat is for sure the restaurant Al Barattolo. However, the restaurant is specialized in meat & fish too.
  • Special events: do not miss the Barcolana, that takes place in October: it is a sort of boat race where everyone can join the competition. During that week, the city is plenty of events, concerts and people. Do not miss it!
  • You can get there by train, car or by bus from the airport "Ronchi dei Legionari". 
Where to sleep:
  • Budget accomodation: you can choose the Smart Accomodation at only 50 Euros per night per double room or the Smart Rooms at 60 Euros per night per double room, both close to Ponte Rosso.
  • Medium budget: absolutely recommended the Residence Liberty, approx. 110 Euros per night per double room, really close to the central Piazza dell´Unita´ d´Italia.
  • Luxury budget: for sure the 4-star hotel Urban Hotel Design can be a good option since it´s not far from Piazza dell´Unita´ d´Italia with price range 235 - 300 Euros per double room or if you want to sleep in Piazza dell´Unita´ d´Italia you can choose the Grand Hotel Duchi d´Aosta, approx. 320 Euros per night per room.
 So...the next post will be the final trip reports of the Ita-Slovenian Road Trip.

34 commenti:

Sabina Trojanova said...

I visited Trieste couple of years ago and absolutely loved the city. This post definitely brings back great memories! :) I thought the main square was beautiful. The mermaid down by the pier was adorable! And I loved climbing up the hill and seeing the city from a high vantage point. The canals reminded me of Venice, loved that too!

mccooltravel said...

I love exploring places by walking. Looks like you included a full full of exploring in Trieste. And, of course, cannot forget to eat after all that walking!

Sara Thomas said...

Trieste has such gorgeous architecture, wowza! Looks like you definitely made the most of your day.

This Girl Loves

Marco Zannin said...

thanks a lot Sabina! :-) I studied in Trieste so this city will always have a special place in my heart (like other ones...Leeds, Barcelona, Milan and Maastricht) and it was really nice to write down places and things to do there. For example, eating in an "osmiza" is really something that the locals do...or you can find college people in Sistiana or Erasmus students in some pubs :-) Anyway, the view from the hills over the Trieste gulf is really great! :-)

Marco Zannin said...

Hi Charles, thanks for your comment too! In Trieste you can easily walk and see all the main things...well when it comes to eat, you can choose a restaurant, or do like a local, that is going to an osmiza and eat typical food. Well also the fish food is great there :-)

Marco Zannin said...

Wow Sara! lol this is mostly a summary since I lived and studied there so I tried to collect monuments, events and attractions and put them together in a sort of mini-guide...but it was nice since lots of memories came into my mind, like parties in a disco below Piazza dell'Unità, the concerts in the same square or some drinks with friends on the Molo Audace! :-)

Cristina said...

Loved the article and the photos!

Marco Zannin said...

thanks a lot Cristina! :-) glad you liked it! :-)

Cocoa and Lavender said...

I have wanted to visit Trieste since I was 21. I met a young woman whose family is from the, and she gave me a book called Un Sapore di Trieste. I know I will get there sometime... just so many places I want to visit, and so little time! Thanks for this new "sapore di Trieste," Marco! ~ David

Marco Zannin said...

Thanks David! Well at the same age (21) I was studing there and having one of the periods of my life. Sapore di Trieste? it looks interesting, since this city is particular due to its heritage, spirit and since it is similar to other Middle-European cities, Well I hope and suggest you to visit it in the future, since the area is really nice.

bibione hotel said...

Such a lovely photo reportage. Congrats for choosing this marvelous place. It's great for a captivating breakout.

Marco Zannin said...

Thanks a lot! Nice to hear you liked it! :-)

Ishita Sood said...

Love this article and your view on this beautiful town. I visited Trieste in May this year and fell in love completely. So much so, that I want to go again this year! :)

Ishita Sood said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marco Zannin said...

Thanks a lot Ishita! Nice to hear that you liked Trieste! Well I hope it can be a good guide for your next travel :-)

Ishita Sood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jade Graham said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Christiane said...

Love the post want to go to Trieste in a couple of days any other suggestions for the beach? thank you !!!

Unknown said...

Visiting Croatia in August 2016, but having recently read Jan Morris's 'Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere' hope to spend a day across the border in this intriging city. Any other suggestions for a whistle stop visit? Thanks.

Marco Zannin said...

@ Christiane, besides Sistiana i would suggest Grignano and Muggia. There is also Barcola, but it is a "cement" I do not know if you like it. If you need more questions, do not hesitate to ask.

Marco Zannin said...

@unknown, it depends where you are and where you want to go...please be more specific.

Anonymous said...

Marco, a very interesting and informative article. Thanks a lot for the article. I will be visiting Trieste in a week. Since you lived there, can you give me some tip about
1. (Female) Dressing for the weather in September.
2. I am a foodie but vegetarian(no meat, no fish, no egg). I want to explore local food. Do I have any luck?
3. where and what souvenir can I get back to India which is authentic Italian?

Thanks in advance.

Maf Moors said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maf Moors said...

Great write up. I am going to Trieste with a friend in October, I have heard that it rains constantly at that time of year. Can you recommend any local boots that I should wear so I do not suffer from trench foot? Thanking you....

Marco Zannin said...

Hi Maf, thanks for your comment. Well in October the weather is quite variable...I mean it could rain and be sunny. Temperatures can be around 15 degrees so you just need to wear well protected shoes or boots. You can even wear sneakers. You're not in the high mountains so don't worry :-)

Marco Zannin said...

@ Anonymous, well here you find the answers:

1) It could be warm: so you can take summer clothes but do not forget jerseys, pullovers or jacket during the night.

2) try Baracca e burattini, in Via della Torre Bianca 19.

3) You can try Trieste Souvenir, in via Rossini 12.

Maf Moors said...

Thanks for taking the time to reply Marco, I will take your sound advice and pack a few pairs of my stout but flexible walking boots. I shall update everyone when I arrive to keep people abreast of the situation. We are very excited about our holiday and have even bought matching hats!

Marco Zannin said...

You're welcome Maf! Lol that's funny! :-) It is the first time are you visiting Italy? Are you visiting only Trieste or over cities? I love your excitement...I got the same feeling when a travel is coming soon :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Marco! Hope I'm not late to the party :D I will be visiting trieste this weekend and read your page. Awesome! I will also be doing a half day trip to Palmanova by train.

I have a quick question about the beaches. Are they free? Meaning do you have to pay for a spot? Or can anyone just bring a blanket and towel and lay there? I saw you mentioned sistiana, but I think that might be a bit too far since I won't have a car here. But I saw that you mentioned Muggia and Grignano to someone up above. Which do you think is better? I am planning to visit Castello di Miramare so I could combine that with a lazy beach day as well :D

Also how is the Aperitivo there? A friend said they really don't have something like that in Trieste (buffet and drinks), but I figured I would ask someone who lived there! I was suggested to drink the house wine (ombra) in Venice and heard that they have a different name for that in Trieste. What is it?


Marco Zannin said...

Hi, thanks for your comment: regarding the beaches, you must take the bus n. E51 from the bus station close to the railway station. it takes approximately 40 min to get there. If you want something easier, you can take the n. 6 and get to Barcola. They are both free but i recommend Sistiana.

Regarding aperitivo, it is more a spritz with olive and chips and maybe you can add some salami and cheese. To have a sort of aperitivo, try to go to Caffè Eppinger or Osteria da Marino.

I hope you will have fun :-)

Unknown said...

Hey Marco, randomly looked at your blog on our day trip to Trieste from Croatia and saw your recommendation of Al Barattolo. Thanks so much! It was a truly Italian experience. My girlfriend and I are sure that it was the best pasta we'd EVER had! The salads were pretty delicious too!
Luis & Geri (London)

Marco Zannin said...

Hi Luis, I am happy you liked it...i always found the base of the pizza really superb :-) When I was living there, I went to eat there quite often. I am glad you had such great experience!

Alexandru Serban said...

very helpful. thanks a lot

Marco Zannin said...

You're welcome Alexandru :-) Glad you find it helpful :-)

Post a Comment

No spam allowed or comments with link to products or services: your content will be removed. Please check the Contact page for more info.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...