You may have never heard of the Italian town of Trieste, but I’ll tell you right now–you should definitely visit it. This large Italian port town is tucked away in the northeast region of the country, right across from the Slovenia border. Once occupied by the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, Trieste is full of Austro-Hungarian influences, as well as Italian influences, making it one of the most unique cities in all of Italy. The blend of different cultures in Trieste is fascinating, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with this picturesque port town at first sight. While I would love to keep the charming seaside town of Trieste a secret, I feel that it would be too selfish to keep this Italian gem to myself. So I’m sharing the best sites of Trieste with my fellow travelers, because I know you’ll fall in love with this town just like I did.
While I didn’t originally plan to visit Trieste on my recent trip to Italy, fortune brought me to this northeastern town. To make my spontaneous trip to Trieste possible, I relied on HotelTonight to help me book a great last-minute hotel in Trieste. Within minutes on HotelTonight’s website, I had booked a fantastic hotel in the heart of Trieste, and I was ready to start wandering the streets of this beautiful city.
Trieste is first and foremost a port town, and it has been for centuries. Because of this, it’s almost impossible to visit Trieste without catching a glimpse of the port or the harbor, which take up most of Trieste’s coastline. While much of the harbor is dedicated to commercial shipping operations, there are several areas of the harbor that radiate charm and beauty. The main harbor near Piazza Venezia is full of pretty sailing and fishing boats as well as elegant yachts, and here you’ll have great views of the sea and a charming little port.
I’ve been to my fair share of squares in Italy, but few are more impressive or as unique as the Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia. This sea-facing piazza is expansive, and it’s arguably the heart of this port town. On one side of the piazza is the port, and the other sides of the piazza are comprised of some of Trieste’s most famous landmarks, such as the Palazzo del Lloyd Adriatico, the beautiful Town Hall, the fountain of the four continents, and the Palazzo Vanoli. In addition to all of the historic buildings and monuments, this piazza features many great restaurants and cafes, so it’s a great place to stop for some great Italian fare before exploring more of the city.
Smack dab in the middle of Trieste’s historic old town is the Canale Grande, a beautiful, yet small, canal that dates back to the 1700s. This charming waterway provides the perfect backdrop for photos, and it also provides a scenic walk through the heart of Trieste. I quickly discovered that the Canale Grande was one of my favorite areas to eat, as there are many restaurants and cafes along the canal that offer outdoor seating. There’s just something so calming about watching small boats bob in the canal as you eat delicious seafood dishes at an authentic Italian restaurant.
If you want to experience Trieste like a local, you have to take a stroll along Molo Audace. This old, stone-paved promenade juts out into the sea for 300 meters, providing the perfect place to get a great view of both the city of Trieste and the surrounding coastal scenery. The Molo Audace is a point of pride among Trieste residents, and you’ll find plenty of locals strolling along “Le Rive” at all hours of the day. I was only in Trieste for two days, but I decided to walk along the Molo Audace several times. It’s a beautiful promenade that really captures the heart and soul of this unique Italian city, and you shouldn’t miss it during your time in Trieste.
Trieste is full of idyllic squares, and Piazza della Borsa is certainly one of them. This old square is one of the hubs of locals’ social lives, but it’s also home to historic sites and incredible architecture. If you want to enjoy great food and mingle with some locals, the Piazza della Borsa is the place to be.
While I’ve yet to find an Italian city that I don’t like, Trieste quickly became one of my favorite towns in the country. This port town boasts beautiful views of the gulf as well as stunning architecture and old Roman ruins. There’s plenty to see in this small town, but it’s the culture and lifestyle that really drew me in. If I have another chance to take a spur-of-the-moment trip to Trieste in the future, I will definitely take it. And you can bet that I’ll book my last-minute hotel in Trieste through HotelTonight.