Trieste has a remarkable history and a remarkable location. A most Italian city, it entertains close relations with the adjacent Slav and Germanic cultures. Of all Italian cities it is the closest to Mitteleuropa. So close to the centre of Europe, it is also linked by the sea to all the Mediterranean countries to the south and east. It is a crossroad of trade and culture, a city with an incomparable spirit, free and brave, at once popular and aristocratic, casting its spell on every visitor.
Trieste’s setting is particularly beautiful with the combination of the shining whiteness of its rocks, the blue sea and the green hills that surround it. Approaching the town along its wonderful coast road, it appears perfectly inserted in the surrounding territory, irrespective of the boundaries separating it from Istria, the formerly Italian territory that now belongs to Slovenia. Its ancient history can still be seen from the Roman ruins on Capitol Hill, the San Giusto Castle and the Roman theatre. The dark ruins of the first Castellieri stand like guards on the hills, as if it was still there for its defense. Memories and images of the past live on in the streets, from the little alleys that wind through the ancient suburbs with their old houses and ruined walls to the wide central streets that cross the new part of the town with its elegant neo-classical buildings.
This contrast gives rise to that particular atmosphere that so endeared Trieste to Umberto Saba, its favourite son, Scipio Slataper, Italo Svevo, James Joyce and many other illustrious poets – an atmosphere that is deeply felt by locals and visitors alike. The most precious gem that surrounds it is Miramare Castle, conjuring up the memory of an unfortunate love-story. Enshrined in the coastal rocks, it gives visitors the chance to admire the most enchanting sunsets.