A Quick Tour Of Italy - Trieste
If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider the Friuli-Venezia Giuli region of northeastern Italy, bordering on Austria and Slovenia. For simplicity's sake we abbreviate the region's full name to Friuli. Depending on your interests, Friuli may be an ideal vacation spot. You can get classic Italian food and other specialties, and wash it down with fine local wine. While Friuli is not exactly undiscovered by tourists you usually won't be fighting crowds to see what you want. Like most regions of Italy, it has belonged to many nations over the years. Unlike most regions of Italy it remains multicultural, an exceptional mixture of Italian, Austrian, and Slavic influences. This article explores Trieste, Friuli's capital. A companion article examines several other attractions in this beautiful region.
Trieste, Friuli`s largest city, was settled thousands of years ago and went from one occupier to another over the centuries. The Austro-Hungarian Empire`s major port; Trieste was part and parcel of Central Europe. It only joined Italy in 1954. Given its unique history Trieste is a unique place to visit.
Coffee houses are everywhere; some are centuries old. Look for the Antico Caffe San Marco, and ask for a Bicerin, coffee served in a glass. Trieste's most famous expatriate was James Joyce, a long-term resident during the early 1900s
Trieste hosts historic religious buildings representing many faiths. The mid-Nineteenth Century Serbian-Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity and Saint Spyridion shows a strong Byzantine influence. View its beautiful frescoes and icons. The century-old Israelite Temple of Trieste is Italy's largest synagogue. The Cathedral is dedicated to the city's patron saint, San Guisto, a Fourth Century martyr.
Constructed in the Sixth Century on Roman ruins it was rebuilt several times. Excavations during the 1930s revealed the remains of a Roman forum and other buildings. The Cathedral is adjacent to a castle. Its ramparts provide a great view of the city and its surroundings.
Trieste museums include the City Museum of History and Art with Egyptian, Greek, and Italian antiquities and the Revoltella City Museum and Modern Art Gallery. Don't miss the Museum of the Sea, one of the best such museums in the Mediterranean.
The Gratta Gigante about 9 miles (15 kilometers) north of Trieste is the world's biggest tourist cave. It's big enough to contain Saint Peter's Cathedral in Rome, the largest religious building in the world.