Trieste Tourist Attractions
SituationThe port of Trieste, capital of the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, lies on the Gulf of Trieste, framed by the precipitous slopes of a limestone plateau, in the northeast corner of the Adriatic.
ImportanceTrieste is an important port in the Adriatic. With a greatly increased capacity since its reconstruction after war damage, it has gained considerably in importance compared with the pre-war period as a transshipment point for goods from Central Europe and the Danube region (particularly Austria). An annual Trade Fair is held in Trieste.HistoryTrieste, the Roman Tergeste, was held by Austria from 1382 until 1919. It was made a free port by the Emperor Charles VI in 1719, and from the end of the 18th century, after the construction of an artificial harbor, it captured the trade with the Near East which had been dominated by Venice for more than 500 years. As the last harbor of any size left to Austria Trieste developed into the leading commercial town in the Adriatic, particularly after the construction of the Semmering railroad line (1854) and the new port installations to the north of the town (1867-83). After the First World War the town, mainly inhabited by Italians, was assigned to Italy and thus lost its hinterland; but the consequent decline in trade was made good by the large-scale development of industry. Under the Allied treaty with Italy in 1947 the territory immediately bordering on Trieste, with a predominantly Slav population, was ceded to Yugoslavia and the town itself (in Serbo-Croat Trst) together with part of the Istrian peninsula became a free state under the United Nations, divided into two zones. On the basis of a later treaty between Italy and Yugoslavia (October fifth 1954) Zone A and the town of Trieste were returned to Italian administration (and finally incorporated in Italy in 1963), while Zone B was assigned to Yugoslavia. Since 1962 Trieste has been the capital of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region.
On the west side of Trieste lies the harbor, which has no natural anchorage and is exposed to strong northeast winds (the bora) blowing down from the plateau. To the north the Punta Franco Vecchio (Old Free Port) has four piers and a long breakwater. To the south, beyond the Campo Marzio station, are the Punta Franco Nuovo (New Free Port) and the industrial zone, with a number of large shipyards.
Sights in the South
Piazza Venezia and the Marine Station
On the pier to the south of the Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia is the Marine Station, and farther along the quay the Pescheria (Fish Market), with an interesting Aquarium. Beyond this lies the Piazza Venezia.
Museo Civico Revoltella
At the corner of the Piazza Venezia is the Museo Civico Revoltella, one of Italy's major museums of modern art, with more than a thousand paintings, 800 sculptures as well as prints and drawings. It covers six floors and 40 rooms.
Museum of Natural History
Beyond the Museo Civico Revoltella is the Piazza A. Hortis. On the southeast side of the square are the Museum of Natural History (Museo di Storia Naturale) and the Municipal Library.
Near the Museo di Storia Naturale is the Museo Sartorio, which contains ceramics, majolica, porcelain and pictures, typical equipment of Trieste's villas at the end of the 19th century.
Museum of the Sea
To the south of the harbor the Museum of the Sea (Museo del Mare) has numerous ship models of all times, particularly sailing ships.
Sights in the North
At the end of the canal (Canale Grande) we come to the Neo-Classical church of Sant'Antonio (1849), Trieste's largest church. To the right of this is the Serbian Orthodox church of San Spiridione.
Museo Civico del Risorgimento
A short distance to the east of Sant'Antonio the Via G. Carducci runs northwest from near the castle hill to the Piazza Oberdan, the main square of the newer part of the town. In this square is the Museo Civico del Risorgimento. From the Piazza Oberdan we can go north by tram to the Piazza Scorcola, with the lower station of an electric funicular to Villa Opicina. From the Piazza Oberdan the Via Fabio Severo leads past the massive Palazzo di Giustizia to the university, built in 1939-50.
The surroundings of Trieste include the villa suburb of Villa Opicina and the little port and seaside resort of Duino.
Reached by road from Piazza Oberdan or by funicular from Piazza Scorcola is the villa suburb of Villa Opicina (348m/1,148ft). From the obelisk at Villa Opicina there are magnificent views of Trieste and the sea. A footpath runs northwest from the obelisk to the viewpoints of Villa Opicina (397m/1,310ft) and Vedetta d'Italia (335m/1,100ft), from which there are extensive prospects in all directions.
3km/2mi north of Villa Opicina is the Grotta Gigante, a stalactitic cave with a huge chamber approx. 130m/430ft long and 100m/330ft high; at the entrance is a museum.
Map of Trieste Attractions