Giacomo Perasti is one of the "villagers" of our fast-growing Facebook community. He is from Trieste and shared a little about his home city, a city he loves.
I'll get onto what Giacomo says about his city in a moment, but I'd first like to say that Trieste is well worth a visit.
This is, perhaps together with Turin, Italy's greatest cafè culture city, with some wonderfully old and elegant cafès, the most famous being the unforgettable Caffè San Marco. Trieste was once known as Vienna-on-Sea, and the elegance of Vienna is still everywhere, in the culture, architecture, and feel of the city.
Where to Stay in Trieste? Consider the James Joyce Hotel (click for details). The hotel can offer advice on the favorite haunts, homes and the museum dedicated to James Joyce, the great writer who spent a lot of his life in Trieste.
The tourist office in Via dell'Orologio 1 on the corner of the main city piazza, Piazza Unità d'Italia, offers maps of the "James Joyce Route" and lots of other information too.
Now it's Giacomo's turn to tell you about his city....
Trieste is embraced by the sea. A natural harbour it has always been unique, unlike any other city in architecture or character.
History has made the city what it is today. The influences are to be seen everywhere from Roman to Venetian to Austrian. Then the terrible century, the world wars and the tragic return to Italy.
This city is another world. It is of the east and of the west, it is crossed by borders, it is a meeting place. Beautiful, surprising with the variety of architecture, fruit of the edict of toleration by Austria which opened the door to religious minorities. It all comes together in the great square: on the shores of the sea, bearing the name of the unification of Italy. There is the municipality, two palaces, a historic Caffè, the old Lloyd's building. From the square, visitors can take in stunning views of the sea and the nearby hills, making it the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a coffee break.
Churches and places of worship are scattered throughout the city, the variety reflects the city's historic role as a bridge between east and west and a delightful fusion of the colorful cultures that have helped to create the unique atmosphere to be felt here. I love the Cathedral of San Giusto, it is one of the most important religious buildings in the city, with its stunning mosaics and beautiful architecture. The city also has the largest Synagogue in Europe, which is a testament to the Jewish community's rich history in Trieste. Do visit the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church as well, they reflect the diversity of the city's cultural heritage....there's so much to see.
One of the highlights of Trieste is its coffee culture, which has been an integral part of the city for centuries. Trieste was once the most important port in the Habsburg Empire, and the coffee trade was a vital part of its economy. The city's coffee houses, such as the historic Caffè degli Specchi, Caffè San Marco and Caffè Tommaseo, have become legendary, attracting artists, writers, and intellectuals from all over Europe. Today, Trieste's coffee culture is still thriving, and you can enjoy a wide range of coffee styles and blends in the city's many cafes and bars.
Another aspect of Trieste's culture is its traditional foods. The city is known for its seafood, and the local cuisine features dishes such as risotto with squid ink, sardoni in savòr (sardines made in a similar way to the traditional Venetian way), and grilled calamari. Trieste is also famous for its ham, known as prosciutto crudo, which is produced in the nearby village of San Daniele. One of the city's most traditional dishes is the goulash, reflecting the city's fusion of eastern and western Europe - we think Trieste is the heart of Europe and we hope your heart will fall in love with our city too.
Trieste is suspended, between the sea, its history and modern Europe, I hope it never changes - you're too good to change Trieste.