As beautiful in the day as in the night, one side offers ocean views, and on its banks a soldier and two women ve seem to be frozen in time. It has several architectural treasures, and marble and bronze statues. At night, you can have a drink in one of its stylish bars before heading back.
We were on our way to Slovenia (to the pretty village of Piran), when just before reaching Trieste we saw the sign for this castle. As we had to stop for something to eat, we decided to visit. The visit was quick, just a walk around, but the truth is that we all thought it was just like a castle from a fairy tale.
The Arch of Riccardo is in the Piazza del Barbacan in the oldest area of Trieste, only a few steps from the Roman Theatre. This arch was built by Emperor Augustus as an entrance to the city in 33 BC. It's quite narrow, so it's hard to imagine that this was once one of the main gates of the city where the Roman army marched. Now the arch has been integrated into the building next door. It was common practice in the Baroque and Renaissance periods that, when materials were needed to build something, people would just go and ransack the nearest Roman ruins. The area around the arch has since been excavated.
The Piazza Vittorio Veneto is one of the largest squares in the center of Trieste. The old XIX and XX century buildings give the impression that it was part of a later extension of the city, which didn't exist when the old Roman Trieste was surrounded by defensive walls. There is a fountain in the middle that looks like the Roman Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona. The main post office and several of the city's government buildings are located here. Vittorio Veneto is a city located in the province of Treviso, in the Veneto region, not far from Trieste. It has 3000 inhabitants, but deserves such a large square because of its importance during the Roman Empire since the Via Augusta, a major Roman trade route, passed through here.
Trieste is a mostly Catholic city but being on the border between Croatia and Slovenia it also has oriental influences, such as the Serbian orthodox church of St. Spiridone, in Piazza San Antonio Nuove, near the channel of the city center. The church was built next to the Catholic San Antonio church, stressing even more the city's cultural diversity. It was built by the architect Carlo Maciachini and opened in 1868. It is a typical Greek Orthodox church with a square cross and a large central dome and 4 small rounds, covered with mosaics in dark blue tones. The exterior is being renovated but the interior can be visited and is wonderful.
The free port of Trieste has been an international port since its construction in 1719, and thanks to its strategic location, has become very important for the region. It is on the Mediterranean Sea near Croatia, about 20 kilometers from Slovenia. It provides goods and trade for the entire region. It is in the center of new Europe. It is the only port in the Adriatic Sea deep enough to accommodate any boat, even the largest and hence its importance. It then links through the train to Vienna, Munic, Prague, Zurich, knowing that all these cities are not more than 500 kilometers from the port! For travelers, from Trieste you can go to various cities on the Adriatic coast, including Split, Rijeka or the Italian coast on a boat to Venice.
The Basilica of San Silvestro is situated in San Giusto, five minutes from the piazza dell'Unita d'Italia, and is the oldest church in the city. The first stones it is made of are from the early Christian era, when it was just a small Romanesque building. The most recent renovations added Gothic windows next to the bell tower. The church is next to the great basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, and with the growth of the city, became the main service center for the community. The building is made of porous stone of the region, and has a rectangular shape. The interior is divided into two parts with three columns that hold the roof, and the altar is under a dome.
Trieste – Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport is quite small and only has some international Ryanair flights and one daily flight to London. It also has direct flights to Birmingham every day in summer, and three times a week in winter. Getting there isn't difficult - there's a bus that leaves every hour or so from the station, and it costs 3 euros to get to the city center. It takes an hour; if you go by car, it'll take 45 minutes. The nearest town, Montfalcone, is 3km away. The number 51 bus takes you to Trieste, and there are also some buses to Venice. There are no direct buses to Croatia, but the number 51 takes you to a spot where you can take a bus to Rijeka or Pula, as well as Slovenia. There are taxis outside the terminal until midnight. Rental cars are available too, but the possibilities are somewhat limited due to the size of the airport.
The Trieste train station is quite close to the heart of the city, and with a good connection throughout northern Italy, the train provides a means of transport that is rather expensive, but fast and comfortable, and more reliable than the bus. There are a number of trains a day that connect to Udine and Venice, and there is a Eurostar that comes and goes from Milan and Rome. The train arrives in Zurich Cisalpine, and as we come closer to the borders of Slovenia and Croatia, you can easily get to Ljubljana, Budapest, and Zagreb. It is a beautiful trip, through the Alps and then down to the Mediterranean. Italy forms a part of the Eurorail which allows you to travel in the whole area many times within 30 days. if you go through Itality its worth it, but for Croacia and Slovenia, the bus is a lot cheaper.
The bus station in Trieste makes it easy to connect the two modes of transport. You are within 20 minutes walking to the center of the city, but also to other buses if you're carrying too much baggage. The station is small, and the information centers are bilingual and in Italian and Croatian. You can communicate in English with some people and if they are from the same company, as there is no competition between them in terms of routes, they will help you with no problem. There are several buses for Croatia and Slovenia, between the cities that go to the south to towns such as Pula, Rijeka, or better known in Italian as Fiume, or Sezana City in Slovenia. There is a local bus that goes to Ljubljana too. The bus is not very expensive, like a trip to Rijeka, which takes 3 hours through the mountains, passing through the Opatija, only costs about 8 euros total.
The Trieste Commodity Exchange was built in 1802 and was once one of the most important neoclassical buildings in Trieste. It looks like a Greek temple with four columns and a bell tower above. At ground level, there are four statues representing Africa, Europe, Asia and America that were created by Venetian artists in 1806. This was the site of the stock exchange until 1844 then it was transferred elsewhere. The visit costs 5.00 euros.
The Fusine Lakes are two glacial likes located at just over 900m above sea levels. The upper lake is a big higher, but the lower lake is larger. The lakes are beautiful throughout the year: in winter, the lakes are surrounded by snow and in the summer they're full of picnickers who come to soak up the sun. The water in summer is amazing. It's a deep, deep green that reflects the pine forests on the banks. It's the perfect place to beat the heat.
Trieste is a very old, walled city that was built by Emperor Octavian in 33 BC. The city developed greatly between the 1st and 2nd centuries. The Roman theatre lies at the foot of the San Giusto hill, not far from the sea. The construction takes advantage of the natural slope of the mountain to support the amphitheatre with its rows of seating and covers its length. The statues that decorate the theatre were transferred to the city's museum for conservation. There are summer shows and festivals performed here, and it's lit every night of the year, giving rise to a very special scene. You can visit inside, but you can see a lot from the outside. If there are no shows, I wouldn't recommend paying the entrance fee. It's very well preserved for just an old wreck. Just in front is the police building (with the best care possible), which is grey and modern.
This spectacular basilica comes from the 4th century and was built on the initiative of Bishop Theodore. This first church consisted of two parallel chambers (and one that connected), as well as other rooms and the baptistery, which is still preserved. Subsequently, this first building suffered various modifications over the centuries, such as the plant changing by a cross, or the construction of a crypt under the chancel. It was the seat of the Patriarchate of Aquileia, which played an important role in the history of the area. The first thing a visitor will see when entering the basilica are the mosaics that cover the entire floor of the nave and aisles, and the magnificent frescoes. The basilica is blessed with great light, for that reason, we get a great look at the frescoes and the mosaics. The mosaics actually form the oldest part of the Christian West. This basilica, along with the archaeological site of Aquileia, actually have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO World Heritage. This is definitely one of my favorite spots I have been to in the entire country of ITaly.
From the city centre, the Trieste tram (leaving from the station in Piazza Oberdan) climbs up to the plateau of Opicina. It's practically an honourary citizen, complete with its own Faceook profile. You can take your bikes aboard to avoid the difficult climb.
These 2 streets are perhaps the most beautiful in Trieste. They are in the old center and are on either side of a channel that reaches the Mediterranean Sea. The channel adds a very nice touch to the neighborhood, which has plenty of bars, restaurants, and shops on the waterfront. The rest of the old streets of the center are very narrow, but when it's hot the shadows help give freshness to the houses. Conversely, these 2 streets are open, leaving the whole space for pedestrians and discovering the canal banks. Around the channel are fishing boats and recreational sailboats that pass the summer there quietly. I like to go out to eat something at night, Italian food is delicious too!
The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is a beautiful neoclassical church located at the foot of San Giusto hill. It is in the oldest part of the Trieste on Via del Collegio, above a grand staircase that goes up to the old neighborhood. Building of the church began in 1627, it opened for worship in 1682 but it was not finished - it was only in 1700 that construction was completed. This is due to the tumultuous history of the city, between wars, invasions and conflicts the city had neither the resources nor the energy to make art works that the enemy could destroy within days. Neoclassical in style the church recalls Roman temples with columns. Inside there are various art works, including the Madonna della Salute painting by Sassoferrato, the Immaculate by Sebastiano Santi and The Four Evangelists by Bison.
Urbanis bar was founded in 1919. It's one of the oldest in the city that is still open today. It's just behind the Italian unit square, in a nice pedestrian street full of shops. The bar was formerly a bakery in the early part of the 19th century but was converted into this cafe which is nicely decorated and very convenient if you go shopping in the area or want to relax after a day's visit. Prices, as in any historical and tourist place, are quite high, but nothing like a coffee would cost in Rome or Florence. Trieste is still a small town and much cheaper. The bar is known for its beautiful mosaic-covered floor. They serve a lot of food and snacks and have a wide selection of coffees and wine.