- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Travel to Trieste
Situated in a unique and somewhat historically precarious position between Latin, Germanic and Slavic lands, Trieste is unlike any other city in the world, and is truly one of the most underrated and unfairly overlooked places not only in Italy, but in all of Europe. While Rome, Florence and nearby Venice have been fixtures on the proverbial tourist map for centuries, in terms of cuisine, culture, castles and romance Trieste is second to none. Embraced by green hills on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other, with the snow-capped Dolomites piercing the horizon to the north, no city can honestly claim to have a more majestic setting.
After having served as the most important port and fourth largest city of the Habsburg Empire for some seven centuries, Trieste became part of Italy following World War I, spent nearly a decade as an independent city state (the so-called Free Territory of Trieste) following World War II, and is now the capital and largest city of the Friuli Venezia Giulia autonomous region. The influence of Trieste's Austro-Hungarian heritage is readily apparent nearly a hundred years after the downfall of the Habsburg monarchy, from the grand architecture lining the main squares and boulevards to the buzz of the historic Viennese-style coffeehouses scattered across the city to the hearty central European cuisine and frothy Bavarian beer found in countless pubs.