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Trieste is the smallest province in Italy, and perhaps also the most isolated. For evidence of this, simply take a look at any map: it consists of a thin stretch of land which runs between the sea and the upland plains which border Slovenia. This border area is fraught with tensions, as the city has not yet learned to co-exist peacefully with its foreign neighbors.
Surrounding the highly urbanized areas in the center and the south, stands a veritable constellation of small towns and villages such as Sgonico, Monrupino, Duino, Basovizza and San Pelagio which are predominantly inhabited by the Slovenian-speaking minority. In recent years, these areas have witnessed the construction of a number of country cottages and villas of considerable market value.
The city's geographical isolation is reflected in its personality. It is at once lonely, mysterious, alluring, conservative, pensive, a little primitive, perennially tired and taciturn. It is chock full of banks (unlike other Italian administrative towns), but is nonetheless lacking in any great entrepreneurial spirit, unlike the nearby Friuili, an industrious boom town. It is a fairly old city and a hotbed of science and the arts, a city that extends a friendly welcome to people of all nationalities. Until 1954, it was under American military rule. It is a carefree city with a love for the finer things in life. What could be more pleasurable than a glass of wine, a walk around Il Carso and a meal in a good restaurant? Just sit back and watch the frenetic pace of everyday life grind slowly to a halt.
Trieste is a beautiful and extraordinary city, anchored to a past that it cannot forget. It is constantly battered by the Bora - an icy and powerful northeasterly wind, which is tolerated as an inevitable feature of life in Trieste. Below, you will see that Trieste has been sub-divided into eleven zones (beginning with the most southerly) in order to make it easy for any visitor to get geographically-orientated.
Trieste offers visitors a good bus service. However, if you are traveling to Il Carso or any other suburban region, make sure you have consulted the bus timetable, or alternatively rent a car as after a certain time (and also in certain areas) buses become less frequent.
Muggia This is a small town (one of six) which lies around ten kilometers from the center of Trieste. It is a seaside town with a strong fishing tradition, and was the last fortification before the state border. It has recently been completely restructured and contains features which are reminiscent of the istroveneto period. Take a walk through its narrow streets, past the fishing boats, which are anchored in its beautiful port. The shops are small and relatively modest, but life here is still extremely pleasant. To get here by sea, simply set sail in the opposite direction to Venice. A giant tourist complex exists where the glorious shipyards of San Rocco once stood. This area is comprised of hundreds of moorings for boats, hotels, sports centers, restaurants and apartments. Accommodation bought here would be a shrewd investment. The industrial region stretches out just beyond the town, but does not in any way affect its tranquil atmosphere of the Muggia .
Val Rosandra Val Rosandra lies to the east, somewhere between Muggia and Trieste. It is the most beautiful and evocative corner of the Carso and consists of the extraordinary valley which has been carved out by the Rosandra river. For those who live locally, this is an ideal place for spiritual retreats as well as for spending relaxing Sunday afternoons in the summer. It is spot that is not to be missed, where you will be able to go on delightful walks and take in enchanting views.
Valmaura - Servola - Chiarbola These districts are all in the immediate periphery of Trieste and are for the most part residential districts. Here, you will find the Stadio Nereo Rocco , the new Palatrieste and the Risiera di San Sabba which was the only Nazi concentration camp in Italy.
House prices here are considerably lower than anywhere else, but the area offers few amenities. However, it is only around 10 to 15 minutes away from the city center. The Servola district, which has unfortunately been polluted by the pungent black smoke from the gigantic railway complex - is also nearby.
Piazza Unità d'Italia - Cittavecchia This area constitutes the heart of Trieste. Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia is the largest seaside piazza in Europe. Right behind it stands the historic Cittavecchia which stretches back to the hills upon which stand the Castello di San Giusto and the San Giusto Cathedral . It is here that you will find the Town Hall, Prefecture, Police Station, Chamber of Commerce, Stock Exchange and several cafes with historical significance, such as Tergesteo , Specchi and Tommaseo - a particular favorite with the locals. A leisurely stroll through this predominantly pedestrian area will enable you to take in the various book and antique shops, the ancient Teatro Romano , the remains of the Forum, the principle museums and the narrow streets of the Cittavecchia . Behind the large piazza stands the beautiful Teatro Verdi . To live here is a luxury permitted only to a select few. The principle reason for this is that bicycles are virtually banned in Trieste. Navigating the numerous steep ascents and sheer drops along the city's streets will therefore exhaust all but the most hardy.
Borgo Teresiano The old heart of Trieste stands by the sea, near the train station. In order to get here from the Piazza Unità d'Italia , you would simply need to walk along the shore for a couple of hundred meters in the direction of Venice. This area is a little unwelcoming, and visiting at night is not recommended. It is often frequented by Slovenians and Croatians who come to buy discount clothing and merchandise from shops which are small, but always very busy. Recently, a number of commercial enterprises run by the immigrant Chinese community have been set up in the area. From here, you can visit the ancient, glorious port of Trieste.
Corso Italia - Barriera Vecchia - Via Battisti This is the commercial heart of the city, situated around ten minutes from the sea. It is characterized by numerous office blocks, fashion boutiques, chaotic traffic and a frenetic pace. From Via Carducci, Via Milano and Via Battisti to Via Valdirivo and Via Fabio Severo (where you will find the Court of Law and the prison) - you will waste precious time caught between traffic lights. An exception is the Viale XX Settembre - a beautiful tree-lined avenue which runs for several kilometers. Along here you will find over half of the cinemas in Trieste as well as a number of excellent ice cream parlors. At the bottom of this street, in the direction of Longera stands the Il Giulia shopping center, behind which stands the Il Boschetto (or "little wood") - an oasis of green in the middle of the city.
San Giacomo These two major districts are situated on the hills around San Giusto. San Giacomo is fairly self-contained - it has its own shops, nightclubs and restaurants. It is highly valued by its inhabitants, despite perennial parking difficulties and the chaotic traffic. It is also home to the Burlo Garofolo Children's Hospital, which is considered to be one of the best in Italy.
San Vito San Vito is, in fact, a typically residential zone, very quiet and calm. In the neighboring area, the beautiful palazzi of Lloyd Adriatico headquarters (the insurance giant), and Lloyd Triestino, the famous local navigation company which was recently purchased by a huge multinational corporation.
Montebello A non-descript and typically residential area, if there were not the Ippodromo di Montebello and the small, international Exhibition Center of Trieste, many people would not spend a great deal of time here as there is not much traffic.
Università Walking down Via Coroneo, and then Via Fabio Severo, you arrive in the beautiful residential area that contains the University. Here, many departments and different schools of the University of Trieste are located, and there are not many shops.
Barcola – Miramare – Sistiana – Grignano - Duino These districts are found somewhat outside the city, near roads that head towards Venice. The panorama is extraordinary and is a location of many of the city's wealthy residents. Barcola provides visitors with many beautiful walks, at the end of which you find the Castello di Miramare , the magnificent residence of the Viceroy of Lombardy-Veneta, Maximilian (1832-1867), is a powerful symbol for the city of Trieste. Finally, Grignano, Sistiana, and the northern borders of the province, Duino are three smaller and striking horseshoe-shaped area along the sea. This area is full of exclusive bars, fashionable restaurants, delicious seafood and a great place for strolling after a day of sightseeing. You are advised to pay attention when driving along the main street that enters the city: it is very narrow and somewhat dangerous. Apparently, car accidents are no longer counted and the speed limits are very low, so please respect them.
Opicina – Plateau On the outer boundaries of the city, there is Carso , a gorgeous area composed of woods, canyons, and rocky shoreline. No other area of the city is more loved by Triestini, with lovely little hillside towns that produce local products, provide plenty of areas to go walking or bike riding and rock climbing. In this area, you will also find a majority of Trieste's Slovenian community. From the center of the city, it does not take more than 20-30 minutes to get there. Amongst the thousands of places to visit, don't forget the Faro della Vittoria , the Passeggiata Napoleonica and the Tempio Mariano .
Padriciano Padriciano corresponds to the last exit on the autostrada and there is the Area di Ricerca, one of the largest scientific and technological research parks in Europe, under which is the large ring of light that is one of the most notable laboratories, the Sincrotrone Elettra .
The Roman Walls of Via del Seminario, close to the ancient roman theater at the foot of San Giusto hill, are one of the numerous historical Roman relics in Trieste. These walls were ...