A walking tour around Trieste should begin at San Giusto, the largest hill in the city and the site of many buildings which were erected at a time when Trieste was still the ancient Roman city of Tergestum. Standing here on this large square, between the cattedrale, the castello medioevale (which has become one of the symbols of Trieste) and the partially reconstructed remains of the basilica , you will be able to enjoy a spectacular view. It will take in the gulf, the upland plains and the red roofs of the old houses in the historic city centre, leaving you with unforgettable memories of your stay in this easternmost corner of Italy.
Next, visit the church which was born of the union between the two preceding paleo-Christian basilicas, the castle (an excellent example of a military construction) and then descend towards the sea along the steep, narrow Via della Cattedrale. Here, as you approach the oldest part of the city (which the local council has been in the process of restoring in recent years), you will pass the Museum of Art History, the Orto lapidario (memorial garden), the Benedictine monastery of San Cipriano, and, lower down the Roman basilica of San Silvestro. You will find yourself walking down silent and narrow streets, inhabited predominantly by elderly people, where there are few shops and even fewer cars.
The Arco di Riccardo is a mere ten minutes walk away from San Giusto. This was erected in 30 B.C. and formed an integral part of the city wall during the Augustine period. If it’s lunchtime, you will find a small restaurant (between partially ruined old houses) serving up regional cuisine in a relaxed setting where you can dine inexpensively.
If you continue down the Via Felice Venezian, you will get to the Trieste seafront and a street full of traffic, facing the sea which is partially given over to metered parking spaces. In front, you will see the Stazione Maritima, a beautiful building dating back to the 1930’s which now houses the largest congress centre in the province.
Around fifty or sixty metres away to your right, you will see the Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia which is the largest seaside square in Europe. This piazza is held in very high regard by the people of Trieste, and it is in fact an amazing sight. It contains buildings dating back to the eighteenth century and the early nineteenth century which house the town hall, the prefecture, the regional council, the Assicurazioni Generali, the Duchi d’Aosta Hotel (one of the city’s most elegant) and the Caffè degli Specchi, a large, historic café which attracts hundreds of people from all over Trieste every Sunday morning. It is, in short the heart of Trieste.