Places to visit in Trieste

Trieste is the capital city of Venezia Giulia, in north-eastern Italy, and is also the largest city in the area.  The region’s approximate five million inhabitants are served by Trieste Airport, or more commonly known as Ronchi dei Legionari Airport, or even Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport, due to its location in these areas.  It is not a large airport, handling only a million passengers per year, but Trieste is becoming an increasingly popular destination, and certainly offers its visitors a wide array of appealing attractions.  It is a seaside resort, lying in between Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea, and is one of Italy’s most unique cities, filled with grand buildings and interesting sightseeing areas.  Many overlook Trieste and head for the larger and more well-known Italian cities, such as Venice, but those who do stop in Trieste, are definitely not disappointed. 

The city of Trieste has two main districts of interest to visitors.  The New Town district and the older medieval quarter of the Old Town (or Borgo Teresiano).  Both areas have many interesting attractions, such as the Tempio Mariano in the Old Town and the Canal Grande in the newer district.  By foot is by far the best way to view the city of Trieste’s main buildings and landmarks, and much of the most favorite sights are within walking distance of one another. 

Tourists really enjoy Trieste’s monuments and landmarks, such as the Castello di Miramare, or Miramare Castle, the Canal Grande and the Victory Lighthouse, or the Faro della Vittoria.  Situated in Viale Miramare, the Miramare Castle is one of Trieste’s most popular places to visit.  It is a magnificent and beautiful castle, and extremely striking and eye-catching to say the least.  It is also surrounded by lovely landscaped gardens covering an area of over 20 hectares / 50 acres.  The Canal Grande is a lovely place to take a walk and watch the boats go by, while the Victory Lighthouse is much-loved by the locals.  It was built in memory of the soldiers who were lost during World War One, and features a lovely copper statue of Victory.  The top of the lighthouse can be reached by climbing 200 steps, and once at the top, fantastic views over the Gulf of Trieste and the city can be enjoyed.  The Roman Theatre in Trieste is another interesting landmark, dating far back to the 1st century AD, while the Arco di Riccardo is said to be as old as 33 BC, and was once the gateway in the Roman city walls. 

As far as sightseeing goes, Trieste has plenty to offer.  The 14th century Trieste Cathedral, or Cattedrale di San Giusto, is one of the most visited locations in the city, and is open daily between 07:30 and 19:00.  Visitors may view the beautiful interior for free.  In 1945 the Tempio Mariano was built, and it is an odd triangular-shaped church, known by the locals as ‘little cheese’.  It is also free to admire.  The Basilica di San Silvestro is one of those attractions which are hard to miss, standing high atop the Colle Capitolino, Trieste’s landmark hill.  It still has some remnants of the frescoes that were once in the church, and is regarded as a national monument. 

If you are a little tired of visiting Trieste’s older attractions, you can spend a day in the sun enjoying some of the city’s water-related activities.  The Civico Acquario Marino (Aquarium), is a wonderful place to visit, especially if you have young children.  It is located in Riva Nazario Sauro 1, inside a grand old building dating back to the 1930’s.  All sorts of sea creatures reside here, including penguins, turtles and fish, and even some reptiles.  The Aquarium charges an entrance fee, and is open from April to October, Tuesday to Sunday from 09:00 to 19:00.  It is also open from November to March, between 09:00 and 13:00.  L’Ausonia, at Riva Traiana 1, is another great place to cool off with the kids.  It is one of Trieste’s most popular spa centers, offering a sea-water swimming pool, a children’s area and solarium.  There are also places to eat and a bar for refreshments. 

Similar to many other Italian cities, Trieste is filled with history depicted in the fascinating displays of its museums.  There are a number of museums to enjoy, some of which are civic museums looked after by the city authorities, and others are smaller and privately-owned museums.  The Museo di Storia Naturale, or Natural History Museum, is one of Trieste’s top museums, and features wonderful stuffed animal displays and interesting fossilized bones.  It dates back to the 1900’s, and there is a charge for entry.  The Joyce Museum is dedicated to the life of a famous writer in Trieste, James Augustine Aloysius Joyce, and is situated within the Attilio Hortis’ Public Library.  The Science Museum, or the Speleovivarium is the best one of all to visit if you have children, as there is a huge variety of splendid exhibits, and is also rather unusual, located in one of Trieste’s old air-raid shelters.  This air-raid shelter is also built into the hillside.  The museum features cave animals and some aquariums.  Other museums in Trieste include the Museo del Mare, or Museum of the Sea, the Postal Museum and the Kleine Berlin (Little Berlin), located in the underground passageways that were used during World War Two by troop soldiers.  A reservation is required to visit this museum. 

Along with all these attractions and many more, there are also a number of nearby locations that tourists may wish to visit.  Lignano has some lovely beaches, and is also located close to the beautiful Marano Lagoon, while Aquileia is a town with many ancient ruins and attractions.  Gorizia is known for it’s castle dating back to the 11th century, and Grado is a popular seaside resort around 54 km from Trieste. 

The main tourist information center in Trieste is located at the central Piazza Unità d’Italia, and there is also a tourist information desk in the arrivals area of Trieste Airport, known as the Turismo FVG.  These two places can provide you with further details about the sights and attractions in Trieste and its nearby towns and cities.