I understood that I had visited so many cities and places, when my Facebook started going crazy, trying to count my check-ins. 🙂
Being very passionate about travelling, I always prepare all my trips well in advance and spend a lot of time doing it. Hundreds of those itineraries will be available for you, here, on my website. You can have them with you during your trip, and follow the points as listed, relaxed and confident that you will see all of the most important sights, without making any unnecessary steps.
This week’s topic is Trieste, the capital of the autonomous region Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
When you visit famous towns, you always have certain expectations and the Italian ones usually exceed mine. Honestly, I was not expecting much from this one, but it totally splashed me with its beauty. The image of its main square and the golden shine of one of its buildings under the afternoon sunrays will always remain in my mind.
- La Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia (Unity of Italy Square)
- La Fontana dei Quattro Continenti (The Fountain of the Four Continents)
- Il Palazzo del Lloyd Triestino (Lloyd Triestino Palace)
- ll Palazzo del Municipio (Trieste’s City Hall)
- Il Palazzo del Governo (The Government House)
- Il Molo Audace
- Le Ragazze di Trieste (The girls of Trieste)
- Il Bersagliere
- Il Palazzo Carciotti (The Carciotti Palace)
- La Chiesa Greco Ortodossa di San Nicolò (Greek Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas)
- Il Canale Grande (the Grand Canal)
- La Chiesa Serbo Ortodossa di San Spiridione (the Serbian Orthodox Church of San Spiridone)
- La statua di James Joyce (James Joyce Statue)
- La Chiesa Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo, (The Church of Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo)
- La Casa Terni Smolars
- La Statua di Umberto Saba (Umberto Saba Statue)
- Il Teatro Romano (The Roman Theatre)
- Il Santuario di Santa Maria Maggiore (The Sanctuary of Santa Maria Maggiore)
- La Cattedrale di San Giusto Martire (The St. Justus Cathedral)
- Il Monumento ai caduti di Trieste (Trieste War Memorial Monument)
- La Scala dei Giganti (Giants’ Stairway)
- La Borsa Vecchia (The Old Stock Exchange)
- La Fontana di Nettuno (The fountain of Neptune)
- Il Castello di Miramare (Miramare Castle)
- Il Faro della Vittoria (The Victory Lighthouse)
We will start our tour from the main square in Trieste, La Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia (Unity of Italy Square), considered the largest Europe’s square facing the Adriatic Sea and built during the period when Trieste was the most important seaport of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.
At the center of the Square there is La Fontana dei Quattro Continenti (The Fountain of the Four Continents), built in the middle of the eighteenth century and named after the four sculptures representing the characteristics of the four continents known at that time: Europe, America, Africa and Asia. On the top of it, there is a woman with open arms, symbol of the city.
There are several, breathtaking buildings here and It is very difficult to say which one of them is the most beautiful.
Il Palazzo del Lloyd Triestino (Lloyd Triestino Palace) built in 1883, imposing and elegant, with La Statua di Venere (the beautiful statue of Venus) on the façade, once was the seat of Lloyd Triestino, today the is host of the Regional Council.
ll Palazzo del Municipio (Trieste’s City Hall) is a monumental building designed by architect Giuseppe Bruni, an excellent facade designer, and a brilliant urban planner. Its clock tower rises from the central section with two bronze Moors striking the hours. It is interesting that at the time of its completion (1875), the building was considered extremely unpleasant and ridiculous.
Il Palazzo del Governo (The Government House), designed by the Viennese architect Emil Artmann in 1905, my favourite building with golden shine is another pearl of the Unità D’Italia Square. Today it houses the Offices of the Regional Commisariat and those of the Prefecture of Trieste.
Right in front of the square, there is The Molo Audace, a great place to stroll and enjoy the sea and a fantastic view of the city at any time of day and in any season. Do not miss two beautiful statues: Le Ragazze di Trieste (The girls of Trieste) sewing the three striped flag, and Il Bersagliere (statue of a soldier with a flag) representing the unification of Italy.
There are two other beautiful buildings to see there: Il Palazzo Carciotti (The Carciotti Palace), (1805) built in the neoclassical style, commissioned by the wealthy Greek textile merchant Demetrio Carciotti, and La Chiesa Greco Ortodossa di San Nicolò (Greek Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas).
Leaving The Molo Audace we will follow Il Canale Grande (the Grand Canal) built in the middle of the 18th century to enable ships to arrive in the heart of Trieste. Today, it is a beautiful place full of small boats.
You can admire La Chiesa Serbo Ortodossa di San Spiridione (the Serbian Orthodox Church of San Spiridone), built in 1869, the jewel of the Piazza Sant’Antonio Nuovo, near the Canal Grande. It is a stunning church from the outside with lovely mosaics that just foretaste the wonderful religious art inside.
At the bridge Ponte Rosso over the Canal Grande, you will find the statue of famous writer intimate to Trieste, James Joyce
There is also La Chiesa Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo, a neo-Classical church. It is a beautiful building at the end of the canal and the largest church in Trieste, built in neoclassical style in 1849, with six impressive columns at the front and six statues of the protectors of the city on the rooftop.
Turning right, after the Serbian Orthodox Church, to Via Dante Alighieri (street), you will find another elegant and beautiful building La Casa Terni Smolars built in pure Art Nouveau style, and marvelously decorated with columns and statues. Just a little bit further, you will encounter La Statua di Umberto Saba (Umberto Saba Statue). What a lovely idea to have another famous writer walking among us!
At the end of Via Dante, you should turn right to Corso Italia, and then take the first street on the left (Via del Teatro Romano) to get to The Roman Theatre. Il Teatro Romano lies at the feet of Colle san Giusto, supposedly built between I and II century A.C. by the Emperor Traiano. Today it can seat about 6,000 spectators, and it hosts various musical and artistic events during the summer months.
You can either go for a long walk up the hill, from the Roman amphitheater to The St. Justus Cathedral, or you can take an elevator in the San Giusto parking garage in the center, that will take you all the way to the top. The first option is much longer, but you can see Il Santuario di Santa Maria Maggiore (The Sanctuary of Santa Maria Maggiore), the unique example in Baroque style among the religious buildings of Trieste.
The view of the city from there is impressive. La Cattedrale di San Giusto Martire (The St. Justus Cathedral) is truly amazing and it is the main symbol of the Christian religiosity of Trieste. It was constructed in the fourteenth century in the same spot where once stood a pagan temple of Ancient Rome by merging two, pre-existing churches. The area is also surrounded by gardens and the outstanding collection of Roman mosaics and sculptures. There is the impressive Monumento ai caduti di Trieste (Trieste War Memorial Monument), a monument devoted to the victims of the First and the Second World Wars.
Go back down the hill using La Scala dei Giganti (Giants’ Stairway) to where you entered the garage. It is a large and steep double stairway built in 1970 in a neoclassical style, full of niches, statues and fountains, which connects the heart of Trieste with its shops and bars, and San Giusto Hill with its archeological site.
Via del Monte will take you straight to Corso Italia and our final destination, a bit further towards the sea, to La Borsa Vecchia (The Old Stock Exchange), very impressive outside, with the beautiful Fontana di Nettuno (The fountain of Neptune) with the trident in front of it.
Everything in Trieste is worth seeing, but following this list, you will cover all the most important spots. If you still have time, you should definitely go to see Il Castello di Miramare (Miramare Castle), the historical museum with a beautiful garden and an awesome view, and Il Faro della Vittoria (The Victory Lighthouse), both outside of the city center.