Trieste (/triˈɛst/ tree-EST,[4] Italian: [triˈɛste] (About this soundlisten); Slovene: Trst [tə̀ɾst, tə́ɾst]; German: Triest [tʁiˈɛst] (About this soundlisten)) is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy. It is located towards the end of a narrow strip of Italian territory lying between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia, which lies approximately 10–15 km (6–9 mi) to southeast of the city. Croatia is about 30 km (19 mi) to the south.

Trst  (Slovene)
Comune di Trieste
A collage of Trieste showing the Piazza Unità d'Italia, the Canal Grande (Grand Canal), the Serbian Orthodox church, a narrow street of the Old City, the Castello Miramare, and the city seafront seen from the Molo Audace
A collage of Trieste showing the Piazza Unità d'Italia, the Canal Grande (Grand Canal), the Serbian Orthodox church, a narrow street of the Old City, the Castello Miramare, and the city seafront seen from the Molo Audace
Flag of Trieste
Coat of arms of Trieste
Location of Trieste
Trieste is located in Italy
Location of Trieste in Italy
Trieste is located in Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Trieste (Friuli-Venezia Giulia)
Coordinates: 45°39′01″N 13°46′13″E / 45.65028°N 13.77028°E / 45.65028; 13.77028Coordinates: 45°39′01″N 13°46′13″E / 45.65028°N 13.77028°E / 45.65028; 13.77028
RegionFriuli-Venezia Giulia
ProvinceTrieste[needs update]
FrazioniBanne (Bani), Barcola (Barkovlje), Basovizza (Bazovica), Borgo San Nazario, Cattinara (Katinara), Conconello (Ferlugi), Contovello (Kontovel), Grignano (Grljan), Gropada (Gropada), Longera (Lonjer), Miramare (Miramar), Opicina (Opčine), Padriciano (Padriče), Prosecco (Prosek), Santa Croce (Križ), Servola (Škedenj), Trebiciano (Trebče)
 • MayorRoberto Dipiazza (FI)
 • Total84.49 km2 (32.62 sq mi)
2 m (7 ft)
 • Total204,338 (Comune)
234,638 (Urban)
418,000 (Metro)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code040
Patron saintSt. Justus of Trieste
Saint dayNovember 3
WebsiteOfficial website

Trieste is at the head of the Gulf of Trieste. The city has a long coastline and is surrounded by grassland, forest, karstic areas. The city has a subtropical climate, unusual in relation to its relatively high latitude, due to marine breezes. In 2018, it had a population of about 205,000[3] and is the capital of the autonomous region Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Trieste belonged to the Habsburg Monarchy from 1382 until 1918. In the 19th century the monarchy was one of the Great Powers of Europe and Trieste was its most important seaport. As a prosperous trading hub in the Mediterranean region, Trieste became the fourth largest city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (after Vienna, Budapest, and Prague). In the fin de siècle period it emerged as an important hub for literature and music. Trieste underwent an economic revival during the 1930s, and the Free Territory of Trieste became a major site of the struggle between the Eastern and Western blocs after the Second World War.

Trieste, a deep-water port, is a maritime gateway for Northern Italy, Germany, Austria and Central Europe. It is considered the end point of the Maritime Silk Road, with its connections to the Suez Canal and Turkey. Since the 1960s, Trieste has emerged as a prominent research location in Europe because of its many international organizations and institutions. The city lies at the intersection of Latin, Slavic and Germanic cultures where Central Europe meets the Mediterranean Sea, and is home to diverse ethnic groups and religious communities.

Trieste has the highest percentage of researchers in Europe in relation to population.[5] In 2020, the city was also rated as one of the 25 best small towns in the world for quality of life[6] and one of the ten safest cities in the world in 2021.[7]

"Città della Barcolana", "Città della bora", "Città del vento", "Vienna by the sea" and "City of coffee" are also idioms used to describe Trieste.

Names and etymologyEdit

According to modern scholars the most likely origin is a Celtic word, Tergeste – with the -est- suffix typical of Venetic – derived from a hypothetical Illyrian word *terg- "market", etymologically related to Old Church Slavonic tьrgъ "market" (whence Western South Slavic trg, tržnica, Polish targ, Russian торг and the Scandinavian borrowing torg); cf. also Opitergium, the modern Oderzo.[8][9][10] Roman authors also transliterated the name as Tergestum (according to Strabo, the name of the oppidum Tergestum originated from the three battles the Roman Army had to engage in with local tribes, "TER GESTUM [BELLUM]"). Modern names of the city include: Italian: Trieste, Slovene: Trst, German: Triest, Hungarian: Trieszt, Serbo-Croatian: Trst / Трст, Polish: Triest, Greek: Τεργέστη Tergésti and Czech: Terst.


Satellite view of Trieste

Trieste lies in the northernmost part of the high Adriatic in northeastern Italy, near the border with Slovenia. The city lies on the Gulf of Trieste. Built mostly on a hillside that becomes a mountain, Trieste's urban territory lies at the foot of an imposing escarpment that comes down abruptly from the Karst Plateau towards the sea. The karst hills delimiting the city reach an elevation of 458 metres (1,503 feet) above sea level. It lies at the junction point of the Italian geographical region, the Balkan Peninsula, and Mitteleuropan Area.


The territory of Trieste is composed of several different climate zones depending on the distance from the sea and elevation. The average temperatures (1971/2000) are 5.7 °C (42 °F) in January and 24.1 °C (75 °F) in July.[11] It has a humid subtropical climate (according to the Köppen climate classification). On average, humidity levels are low (~65%), while only two months (January and February) receive slightly less than 60 mm (2 in) of precipitation.

Trieste, like the Istrian Peninsula, has evenly distributed rainfall above 1,000 mm (39 in) in total; it is noteworthy that no true summer drought occurs. Snow occurs on average 0–2 days per year.[12] Temperatures are very mild; lows below 0° are somewhat rare and highs above 30 °C (86 °F) aren't common. Maximum Winter highs are lower than the average temperatures in the Mediterranean zone (~ 5–11 °C) but with quite high minimums (~2–8 °C). Two basic weather patterns alternate — sunny, windy and often very cold days frequently caused a northeastern wind called Bora, as well as rainy days with temperatures of about 6 to 11 °C (43 to 52 °F). Summer is very warm with highs of about 28 °C (82 °F) and lows above 20 °C (68 °F), with hot nights being influenced by the warm sea water. The highest temperature of the last 30 years is 40.1 °C (104 °F) in 2020, whereas the absolute minimum is −7.9 °C (18 °F) in 1996.

The Trieste area is divided into 8a–10a zones according to USDA hardiness zoning; Villa Opicina (320 to 420 MSL) with 8a in upper suburban area down to 10a in especially shielded and windproof valleys close to the Adriatic sea.

The climate can be severely affected by the Bora, a very dry and usually cool north-to-northeast katabatic wind that can last for some days and reach speeds of up to 140 km/h (87 mph) on the piers of the port, thus sometimes bringing subzero temperatures to the entire city.[13]

Climate data for Trieste Barcola
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 18.2
Average high °C (°F) 7.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.7
Average low °C (°F) 3.8
Record low °C (°F) −7.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 58.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 7.8 6.2 7.8 8.5 8.7 9.3 6.5 7.3 7.1 7.9 9.1 8.4 94.6
Average snowy days 0.7 0.5 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.5 2.0
Average relative humidity (%) 67 64 62 64 64 65 62 62 66 68 67 68 65
Mean monthly sunshine hours 96.1 118.7 142.6 177 226.3 243 288.3 260.4 210 167.4 99 83.7 2,112.5
Source 1: [Atlante Climatico d'Italia del Servizio Meteorologico dell'Aeronautica Militare, data 1971–2011]
Source 2: Rivista Ligure "La neve sulle coste del Maditerraneo" [12]

City districtsEdit

Seven sections of Trieste

Trieste is administratively divided in seven districts, which in turn are further subdivided into parishes (frazioni):

  1. Altipiano Ovest: Borgo San Nazario · Contovello (Kontovel) · Prosecco (Prosek) · Santa Croce (Križ)
  2. Altipiano Est: Banne (Bani) · Basovizza (Bazovica) · Gropada (Gropada) · Opicina (Opčine) · Padriciano (Padriče) · Trebiciano (Trebče)
  3. Barcola (Slovene: Barkovlje)[14] · Cologna (Slovene: Kolonja)[14] · Conconello (Ferlugi) · Gretta (Slovene: Greta)[14] · Grignano (Grljan) · Guardiella (Slovene: Verdelj)[14] · Miramare · Roiano (Slovene: Rojan)[14] · Scorcola (Škorklja)
  4. Barriera Nuova · Borgo Giuseppino · Borgo Teresiano · Città Nuova · Città Vecchia · San Vito · San Giusto · Campi Elisi · Sant'Andrea · Cavana
  5. Barriera Vecchia (Stara Mitnica) · San Giacomo (Sveti Jakob) · Santa Maria Maddalena Superiore (Sveta Marija Magdalena Zgornja)
  6. Cattinara (Katinara) · Chiadino (Slovene: Kadinj)[14] · San Luigi · Guardiella (Verdelj) · Longera (Slovene: Lonjer)[14] · San Giovanni (Sveti IvanRozzol (Slovene: Rocol)[14] · Melara
  7. Chiarbola (Slovene: Čarbola)[14] · Coloncovez (Kolonkovec) · Santa Maria Maddalena Inferiore (Slovene: Spodnja Sveta Marija Magdalena)[14] · Raute · Santa Maria Maddalena Superiore (Slovene: Zgornja Sveta Marija Magdalena)[14] · Servola (Škedenj) · Poggi Paese · Poggi Sant'Anna (Sveta Ana)· Valmaura · Altura · Borgo San Sergio

The iconic city center is Piazza Unità d'Italia, which is located inbetween the large 19th-century avenues (Borgo Teresiano) and the old medieval city, composed of many narrow streets.


Ancient historyEdit

Remains of a Roman arch in Trieste's Old City

Since the second millennium BC, the location was an inhabited site. Originally an Illyrian settlement, the Veneti entered the region in the 10th–9th c. BC and seem to have given the town its name, Tergeste, since terg* is a Venetic word meaning market (q.v. Oderzo whose ancient name was Opitergium). Later, the town was captured by the Carni, a tribe of the Eastern Alps, before becoming part of the Roman republic in 177 BC during the Second Istrian War.

After being attacked by barbarians from the interior in 52 BC,[15] until 46 BC it was granted the status of Roman colony under Julius Caesar, who recorded its name as Tergeste in Commentarii de Bello Gallico (51 BC), in which he recounts events of the Gallic Wars.

In imperial times the border of Roman Italy moved from the Timavo River to Formione (today Risano). Roman Tergeste flourished due to its position on the road from Aquileia, the main Roman city in the area, to Istria, and as a port, some ruins of which are still visible. Emperor Augustus built a line of walls around the city in 33–32 BC, while Trajan built a theatre in the 2nd century. At the same time, the citizens of the town were enrolled in the tribe Pupinia. In 27 BC, Trieste was incorporated in Regio X of Augustan Italia.[16]

In the early Christian era Trieste continued to flourish. Between 138 and 161 AD, its territory was enlarged and nearby Carni and Catali were granted Roman citizenship by the Roman Senate and Emperor Antoninus Pius at the pleading of a leading Tergestine citizen, the quaestor urbanus, Fabius Severus.

Already at the time of the Roman Empire there was a fishing village called Vallicula ("small valley") in the Barcola area. Remains of richly decorated Roman villas, including wellness facilities, piers and extensive gardens suggest that Barcola was already a place for relaxation among the Romans because of its favorable microclimate, as it was located directly on the sea and protected from the Bora. At that time, as Pliny the Elder mentioned the vines of the wine Pulcino ("Vinum Pucinum" - probably today's "Prosecco"), which were grown on the slopes.[17]

Late AntiquityEdit

The city was witness to the Battle of the Frigidus in the Vipava Valley in AD 394, in which Theodosius I defeated Eugenius. Despite the deposition of Romulus Augustulus at Ravenna in 476 and the ascension to power of Odoacer in Italy, Trieste was retained by the Roman Emperor seated at Constantinople, and thus became a Byzantine military outpost. In 539, the Byzantines annexed it to the Exarchate of Ravenna, despite Trieste's being briefly taken by the Lombards in 567, during their invasion of northern Italy, it was held until the time of the coming of the Franks.

Middle AgesEdit

In 788, Trieste submitted to Charlemagne, who placed it under the authority of their count-bishop who in turn was under the Duke of Friùli. From 1081 the city came loosely under the Patriarchate of Aquileia, developing into a free commune by the end of the 12th century.

During the 13th and 14th centuries, Trieste became a maritime trade rival to the Republic of Venice which briefly occupied it in 1283–87, before coming under the patronage of the Patriarchate of Aquileia. After it committed a perceived offence against Venice, the Venetian State declared war against Trieste in July 1368 and by November had occupied the city. Venice intended to keep the city and began rebuilding its defenses, but was forced to leave in 1372. By the Peace of Turin in 1381, Venice renounced its claim to Trieste and the leading citizens of Trieste petitioned Leopold III of Habsburg, Duke of Austria, to make Trieste part of his domains. The agreement of voluntary submission (dedizione) was signed at the castle of Graz on 30 September 1382.[18]

The city maintained a high degree of autonomy under the Habsburgs, but was increasingly losing ground as a trade hub, both to Venice and to Ragusa. In 1463, a number of Istrian communities petitioned Venice to attack Trieste. Trieste was saved from utter ruin by the intervention of Pope Pius II who had previously been bishop of Trieste. However, Venice limited Trieste's territory to three miles (4.8 kilometres) outside the city. Trieste would be assaulted again in 1468–1469 by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III. His sack of the city is remembered as the "Destruction of Trieste."[19] He then restored the city walls for the fourth time.[15] Trieste was fortunate to be spared another sack in 1470 by the Ottomans who burned the village of Prosecco, only about 5.3 miles (8.5 kilometres) from Trieste, while on their way to attack Friuli.

Trieste in the 17th century, in a contemporary image by the Carniolan historian Johann Weikhard von Valvasor

Early modern periodEdit

Following an unsuccessful Habsburg invasion of Venice in the prelude to the 1508–16 War of the League of Cambrai, the Venetians occupied Trieste again in 1508, and were allowed to keep the city under the terms of the peace treaty. However, the Habsburg Empire recovered Trieste a little over one year later, when the conflict resumed. By the 18th century Trieste became an important port and commercial hub for the Austrians. In 1719, it was granted status as a free port within the Habsburg Empire by Emperor Charles VI, and remained a free port until 1 July 1791. The reign of his successor, Maria Theresa of Austria, marked the beginning of a very prosperous era for the city. Serbs settled Trieste largely in the 18th and 19th centuries, and they soon formed an influential and rich community within the city, as a number of Serb traders owned important business and had built palaces across Trieste.[20]

19th centuryEdit

Palazzo Carciotti in Trieste, circa 1850

In the following decades, Trieste was briefly occupied by troops of the French Empire during the Napoleonic Wars on several occasions, in 1797, 1805 and 1809. From 1809 to 1813, Trieste was annexed into Illyrian Provinces, interrupting its status of free port and losing its autonomy. The municipal autonomy was not restored after the return of the city to the Austrian Empire in 1813. Following the Napoleonic Wars, Trieste continued to prosper as the Free Imperial City of Trieste (German: Reichsunmittelbare Stadt Triest), a status that granted economic freedom, but limited its political self-government. The city's role as Austria's main trading port and shipbuilding centre was later emphasized with the foundation of the merchant shipping line Austrian Lloyd in 1836, whose headquarters stood at the corner of the Piazza Grande and Sanità (today's Piazza Unità d'Italia). By 1913 Austrian Lloyd had a fleet of 62 ships comprising a total of 236,000 tons.[21] With the introduction of the constitutionalism in the Austrian Empire in 1860, the municipal autonomy of the city was restored, with Trieste becoming capital of the Austrian Littoral crown land (German: Österreichisches Küstenland).

The Stock Exchange Square in 1854
Stock market in Trieste today

In the later part of the 19th century, Pope Leo XIII considered moving his residence to Trieste or Salzburg because of what he considered a hostile anti-Catholic climate in Italy following the 1870 Capture of Rome by the newly established Kingdom of Italy. However, Emperor Franz Joseph rejected the idea.[22] The modern Austro-Hungarian Navy used Trieste as a base and for shipbuilding. The construction of the first major trunk railway in the Empire, the Vienna-Trieste Austrian Southern Railway, was completed in 1857, a valuable asset for trade and the supply of coal.

A view of Trieste in 1885

In 1882 an Irredentist activist, Guglielmo Oberdan, attempted to assassinate Emperor Franz Joseph, who was visiting Trieste. Oberdan was caught, convicted, and executed. He was regarded as a martyr by radical Irredentists, but as a cowardly villain by the supporters of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Franz Joseph, who reigned another thirty-four years, never visited Trieste again.

20th centuryEdit

At the beginning of the 20th century, Trieste was a bustling cosmopolitan city frequented by artists and philosophers such as James Joyce, Italo Svevo, Sigmund Freud, Zofka Kveder, Dragotin Kette, Ivan Cankar, Scipio Slataper, and Umberto Saba. The city was the major port on the "Austrian Riviera".

World War I, annexation to Italy and the Fascist eraEdit

Italy, in return for entering World War I on the side of the Allied Powers, had been promised substantial territorial gains, which included the former Austrian Littoral and western Inner Carniola. Italy therefore annexed the city of Trieste at the end of the war, in accordance with the provisions of the 1915 Treaty of London and the Italian-Yugoslav 1920 Treaty of Rapallo. Trieste had a large Italian majority.

In the late 1920s, the Slovene militant anti-fascist organization TIGR carried out several bomb attacks in the city centre. In 1930 and 1941, two trials of Slovene activists were held in Trieste by the fascist Special Tribunal for the Security of the State. During the 1920s and 1930s, several monumental buildings were built in the Fascist architectural style, including the impressive University of Trieste and the almost 70 m (229.66 ft) tall Victory Lighthouse (Faro della Vittoria), which became a city landmark. The economy improved in the late 1930s, and several large infrastructure projects were carried out.[23]

The Fascist government encouraged some of the artistic and intellectual subcultures that emerged in the 1920s, and the city became home to an important avant-garde movement in visual arts, centered around the futurist Tullio Crali and the constructivist Avgust Černigoj. In the same period, Trieste consolidated its role as one of the centres of modern Italian literature, with authors such as Umberto Saba, Biagio Marin, Giani Stuparich, and Salvatore Satta. Intellectuals frequented the historic Caffè San Marco, still open today. Some non-Italian intellectuals remained in the city, such as the Austrian author Julius Kugy, the Slovene writer and poet Stanko Vuk, the lawyer and human rights activist Josip Ferfolja and the anti-fascist clergyman Jakob Ukmar.

The promulgation of the anti-Jewish racial laws in 1938 was a severe blow to the city's Jewish community, at the time the third largest in Italy. The fascist anti-semitic campaign resulted in a series of attacks on Jewish property and individuals, culminating in July 1942 when the Synagogue of Trieste was raided and devastated by the Fascist Squads and the mob.[24]

World War II and aftermathEdit

Yugoslav Army entering Trieste (the caption reads "Tito's Army liberated Trieste")

Following the trisection of Slovenia, starting from the winter of 1941, the first Slovene Partisans appeared in Trieste province, although the resistance movement did not become active in the city itself until late 1943.

After the Italian armistice in September 1943, the city was occupied by Wehrmacht troops. Trieste became nominally part of the newly constituted Italian Social Republic, but it was de facto ruled by Germany, who created the Operation Zone of the Adriatic Littoral out of former Italian north-eastern regions, with Trieste as the administrative centre. The new administrative entity was headed by Friedrich Rainer. Under German occupation, the only concentration camp with a crematorium on Italian soil was built in a suburb of Trieste, at the Risiera di San Sabba on 4 April 1944. From October 20, 1943 to the spring of 1944, around 25,000 Jews and partisans were interrogated and tortured in the Risiera. 3,000-4,000 of them were murdered here by shooting, beating or in gas vans. Most were imprisoned before being transferred to other concentration camps.[25]

The city saw intense Italian and Yugoslav partisan activity and suffered from Allied bombings, over twenty air raids in 1944–1945, targeting the oil refineries, port and marshalling yard but also causing considerable collateral damage to the city and 651 deaths among the population.[26] The worst raid took place on 10 June 1944, when a hundred tons of bombs dropped by forty USAAF bombers, targeting the oil refineries, resulted in the destruction of 250 buildings, damage to another 700 and 463 victims.[27][28][29]

The city's Jewish community was deported to extermination camps, where most of them were killed.

Liberation by Yugoslav partisansEdit

A postage stamp issued by the Italian Social Republic with a Yugoslav liberation overprint

On 30 April 1945, the Slovenian and Italian anti-Fascist Osvobodilna fronta (OF) and National Liberation Committee (Comitato di Liberazione Nazionale, or CLN) of Marzari and Savio Fonda, made up of approximately 3,500 volunteers, incited a riot against the Nazi occupiers. On 1 May Allied members of the Yugoslav Partisans' 8th Dalmatian Corps took over most of the city, except for the courts and the castle of San Giusto, where the German garrisons refused to surrender to anyone other than New Zealanders. (The Yugoslavs had a reputation for shooting German and Italian prisoners.)[citation needed] The 2nd New Zealand Division under General Freyberg continued to advance towards Trieste along Route 14 around the northern coast of the Adriatic sea and arrived in the city the following day (see official histories The Italian Campaign[30] and Through the Venetian Line).[31] The German forces surrendered on the evening of 2 May, but were then turned over to the Yugoslav forces.

The Yugoslavs held full control of the city until 12 June, a period known in Italian historiography as the "forty days of Trieste".[32] During this period, hundreds of local Italians and anti-Communist Slovenes were arrested by the Yugoslav authorities, and many of them were never seen again.[33] Some were interned in Yugoslav concentration camps (in particular at Borovnica, Slovenia), while others were murdered on the Karst Plateau.[34] British Field Marshal Harold Alexander condemned the Yugoslav military occupation, stating that "Marshal Tito's apparent intention to establish his claims by force of arms . . . [is] all too reminiscent of Hitler, Mussolini and Japan. It is to prevent such actions that we have been fighting this war."[35][36]

After an agreement between the Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito and Field Marshal Alexander, the Yugoslav forces withdrew from Trieste, which came under a joint British-U.S. military administration. The Julian March was divided by the Morgan Line between Anglo-American and Yugoslav military administration until September 1947 when the Paris Peace Treaty established the Free Territory of Trieste.

Zone A of the Free Territory of Trieste (1947–54)Edit

Trieste and Zone A/B

In 1947, Trieste was declared an independent city state under the protection of the United Nations as the Free Territory of Trieste. The territory was divided into two zones, A and B, along the Morgan Line established in 1945.[37]

From 1947 to 1954, Zone A was occupied and governed by the Allied Military Government, composed of the American "Trieste United States Troops" (TRUST), commanded by Major General Bryant E. Moore, the commanding general of the American 88th Infantry Division, and the "British Element Trieste Forces" (BETFOR),[38] commanded by Sir Terence Airey, who were the joint forces commander and also the military governors.

Cheering crowd for the return of Trieste to Italy on November 4, 1954

Zone A covered almost the same area of the current Italian Province of Trieste, except for four small villages south of Muggia (see below), which were given to Yugoslavia after the dissolution (see London Memorandum of 1954) of the Free Territory in 1954. Occupied Zone B, which was under the administration of Miloš Stamatović, then a colonel in the Yugoslav People's Army, was composed of the north-westernmost portion of the Istrian peninsula, between the Mirna River and the cape Debeli Rtič.

In 1954, in accordance with the Memorandum of London, the vast majority of Zone A—including the city of Trieste—joined Italy, whereas Zone B and four villages from Zone A (Plavje, Spodnje Škofije, Hrvatini, and Elerji) became part of Yugoslavia, divided between Slovenia and Croatia. The final border line with Yugoslavia and the status of the ethnic minorities in the areas was settled bilaterally in 1975 with the Treaty of Osimo. This line now constitutes the border between Italy and Slovenia.


Government palace
Trieste City Hall

This is a list of the mayors of Trieste since 1949:

Mayor Term start Term end   Party
Gianni Bartoli 1949 1957 DC
Mario Franzil 1957 1967 DC
Marcello Spaccini 1967 1978 DC
Manlio Cecovini 1978 1983 LpT
Arduino Agnelli 1983 1985 PSI
Franco Richetti 1985 1986 DC
Giulio Staffieri 1986 1988 LpT
Franco Richetti 1988 1992 DC
Giulio Staffieri 1992 1993 LpT
Riccardo Illy 5 December 1993 24 June 2001 Ind
Roberto Dipiazza 24 June 2001 30 May 2011 FI
Roberto Cosolini 30 May 2011 20 June 2016 PD
Roberto Dipiazza 20 June 2016 incumbent FI


During the Austro-Hungarian era, Trieste became a leading European city in economy, trade and commerce, and was the fourth-largest and most important centre in the empire, after Vienna, Budapest and Prague. The economy of Trieste, however, fell into a decline after the city's annexation to Italy at the end of World War I. But Fascist Italy promoted a huge development of Trieste in the 1930s, with new manufacturing activities related even to naval and armament industries (like the "Cantieri Aeronautici Navali Triestini (CANT)").[39] Allied bombings during World War II destroyed the industrial section of the city (mainly the shipyards). As a consequence, Trieste was a mainly peripheral city during the Cold War. However, since the 1970s, Trieste has experienced a certain economic revival.

Port of Trieste

While Trieste was politically isolated until the end of communism, the fall of the Iron Curtain, the accession of Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the EU and the increasing importance of the maritime Silk Road to Asia and Africa across the Suez Canal resulted in an increase in the Trade via Trieste.[40][41][42] The Port of Trieste is a trade hub with a significant commercial shipping business, busy container and oil terminals, and steel works. The port is part of the Silk Road because it can also be used by container ships with very large drafts.[43][44][45][46][47] In this regard, the Port of Hamburg (HHLA) and the State of Hungary have holdings in the port area of Trieste and the associated facilities will be expanded by the Italian state in 2021 with €400 million.[48]

The oil terminal feeds the Transalpine Pipeline which covers 40% of Germany's energy requirements (100% of the states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg), 90% of Austria and 50% of the Czech Republic's.[49][50] The sea highway connecting the ports of Trieste and Istanbul is one of the busiest RO/RO [roll on roll-off] routes in the Mediterranean. The port is also Italy's and the Mediterranean's (and one of Europe's) greatest coffee ports, supplying more than 40% of Italy's coffee.[51] The city is part of the Corridor 5 project to establish closer transport connections between Western and Eastern Europe, via countries such as Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Ukraine and Bosnia.[52]

One of many coffee sacks that are traded by a Trieste company.

The thriving coffee industry in Trieste began under Austria-Hungary, with the Austro-Hungarian government even awarding tax-free status to the city in order to encourage more commerce. Some remnants of Austria-Hungary's coffee-driven economic ambition remain, such as the Hausbrandt Trieste coffee company. As a result, present-day Trieste boasts many cafes, and is still known to this day as "the coffee capital of Italy". Companies active in the coffee sector have given birth to the Trieste Coffee Cluster as their main umbrella organization, but also as an economic actor in its own right.[53] A large part of Italian coffee imports (approx. 2–2.5 million sacks) are handled and processed in the city.[54]

Two Fortune Global 500 companies have their global or national headquarters in the city, respectively: Assicurazioni Generali and Allianz. Other megacompanies based in Trieste are Fincantieri, one of the world's leading shipbuilding companies and the Italian operations of Wärtsilä. Prominent companies from Trieste include: AcegasApsAmga (Hera Group), Adriatic Assicurazioni SpA Autamarocchi SpA, Banca Generali SpA (BIT: BGN), Genertel, Genertellife, HERA Trading, Illy, Italia Marittima, Modiano, Nuovo Arsenale Cartubi Srl, Jindal Steel and Power Italia SpA; Pacorini SpA, Siderurgica Triestina (Arvedi Group), TBS Groug, U-blox, Telit, and polling and marketing company SWG.

The real estate market in Trieste has been growing in recent years. The relevant land register law comes from the old Austrian legislation and was adopted by the Italian legal system after 1918 in Trieste, as well as in the provinces of Trento, Bolzano and Gorizia as well as in some municipalities of the provinces of Udine, Brescia, Belluno and Vicenza.[55][56][57]

Research and educationEdit

The University of Trieste, founded in 1924, is a medium-size state-supported institution with 12 faculties, and boasts a wide and almost complete range of courses. It currently has about 23,000 students enrolled and 1,000 professors. Trieste also hosts the Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA), a leading graduate and postgraduate teaching and research institution in the study of mathematics, theoretical physics, and neuroscience, and the MIB School of Management Trieste, one of Italy's top-five business schools.

As a result of the combination of research, business and funding, there are a growing number of spin-off companies in Trieste (partnerships in the production world exist with companies such as Cimolai, Danieli, Eni, Fincantieri, Generali, Illy, Mitsubishi, Vodafone) and proportionally the highest number of start-ups in Italy, the city also being referred to as Italy's Silicon Valley.[58][59][60] Neurala, a company specializing in artificial intelligence, has chosen Trieste as its European research center.[61] Trieste has the highest proportion of researchers in Europe in relation to the population. They also appreciate the high quality of life and leisure time, so, as is often said, you can ski and swim by the sea in one day from Trieste.[5]

There are three international schools offering primary and secondary education programs in English in the greater metropolitan area: the International School of Trieste, the European School of Trieste, and the United World College of the Adriatic. Liceo scientifico statale "France Prešeren",[1] and Liceo Anton Martin Slomšek [2] offer public secondary education in Slovene.

Research institutions such as the International Center for Theoretical Physics (logo), SISSA and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics are located in Trieste around Barcola.

The city also hosts numerous national and international scientific research institutions:

The office of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) will be based in Trieste/Porto Vecchio from 2021.[62]

The Central European Initiative (CEI) has had its headquarters in Trieste since 1996.

As a special feature, Trieste is the seat of the Universita del Caffe, founded in 1999 by Illy. This competence center was created to spread the culture of quality coffee through training all over the world and to carry out research and innovation.[63]

Trieste hosts the annual ITS (International Talent Support Awards) young fashion designer competition.[64]

Commercial fishingEdit

Professional fisherman's boat in Barcola, a suburb of Trieste

Fishing boats anchor at Molo Veneziano near Piazza Venezia. In summer it is fished with lampare (large lamps) and in autumn and winter with redi di posta (smaller fishing nets). In the Gulf of Trieste, because of the crystal-clear, nutrient-poor water with little plankton, fishing in itself is challenging. The fishing season basically lasts from May to July. In terms of fish reproduction, fishing is prohibited in August and restricted in winter. As of 2009, there are fewer than 200 professional fishermen in the city. There is also a small fishing port in the suburb Barcola. Some of the fish is sold directly from the boats or delivered to the town's shops and restaurants. The rare alici (anchovies - in the local dialect: Sardoni barcolani) from the Gulf of Trieste near Barcola, which are only caught at Sirocco, are particularly sought after because of their white meat and special taste and fetch high prices for fishermen.[65][66]


Historical population
1921 239,558—    
1931 250,170+4.4%
1936 248,307−0.7%
1951 272,522+9.8%
1961 272,723+0.1%
1971 271,879−0.3%
1981 252,369−7.2%
1991 231,100−8.4%
2001 211,184−8.6%
2009 Est. 205,507−2.7%
2013 204,849−0.3%
Source: ISTAT 2001
ISTAT 2007[67]
Trieste, FVG Italy
Median age 46 years 42 years
Under 18 years old 13.8% 18.1%
Over 65 years old 27.9% 20.1%
Foreign Population 6.2% 5.8%
Births/1000 people 7.63 b 9.45 b

As of 2013 there were 204,849 people residing in Trieste, located in the province of Trieste, Friuli Venezia Giulia, of whom 46.7% were male and 53.3% were female. Trieste had lost roughly ⅓ of its population since the 1970s, due to the crisis of the historical industrial sectors of steel and shipbuilding, a dramatic drop in fertility rates and fast population aging. Minors (children aged 18 and younger) totalled 13.78% of the population compared to pensioners who number 27.9%. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06% (minors) and 19.94% (pensioners).

The average age of Trieste residents is 46 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Trieste declined by 3.5%, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.85%. However, in the last two years[clarify] the city has shown signs of stabilizing thanks to growing immigration fluxes. The crude birth rate in Trieste is only 7.63 per 1,000, one of the lowest in eastern Italy, while the Italian average is 9.45 births.[citation needed]

Since the annexation to Italy after World War I, there has been a steady decline in the Trieste's demographic weight compared to other cities. In 1911, Trieste was the 4th largest city in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (3rd largest in the Austrian part of the Monarchy). In 1921, Trieste was the 8th largest city in the country,[68] in 1961 the 12th largest,[69] in 1981 the 14th largest,[70] while in 2011 it dropped to the 15th place.

At the end of 2012, ISTAT estimated that there were 16,279 foreign-born residents in Trieste, representing 7.7% of the total city population. The largest autochthonous minority are Slovenes, Croats and Serbs,[71] but there is also a large immigrant group from Balkan nations (particularly Serbia, Romania, Croatia and Kosovo): 4.95%, Asia: 0.52%, and sub-saharan Africa: 0.2%. Serbian community consists of both autochthonous[72] and immigrant groups.[73] Trieste is predominantly Roman Catholic, but also has large numbers of Orthodox Christians, mainly Serbs.[citation needed]

Largest resident foreign-born groups (2018)[74]
Country of birth Population
  Serbia 4,490
  Romania 2,976
  Croatia 1,200
  Kosovo 1,195
  China 1,021
  Afghanistan 705
  Pakistan 662
  Ukraine 646
  Albania 607
  Bosnia and Herzegovina 518


A Triestine speaker

The particular Friulian dialect, called tergestino, spoken until the beginning of the 19th century, was gradually overcome by the Triestine dialect of Venetian (a language deriving directly from Vulgar Latin) and other languages, including standard Italian, Slovene, and German. While Triestine and Italian were spoken by the largest part of the population, German was the language of the Austrian bureaucracy and Slovene was predominantly spoken in the surrounding villages. From the last decades of the 19th century, the number of speakers of Slovene grew steadily, reaching 25% of the overall population of Trieste province in 1911.[75]

In the late 19th century, following Austria's loss in the Third Italian War of Independence, the Austro-Hungarian government encouraged Slovenes and other Slavic peoples from other regions of the Empire to immigrate to Trieste with the aim of Slavicizing the city.

According to the 1880 census, Trieste had a total population of 74,544, including 67,995 (91.2%) Italian speakers and 2,817 (3.7%) Slovene speakers.

According to the 1911 census, the proportion of Slovene speakers grew to 12.6% in the city centre (15.9% counting only Austrian citizens), 47.6% in the suburbs (53% counting only Austrian citizens), and 90.5% in the surroundings.[76] They were the largest ethnic group in 9 of the 19 urban neighbourhoods of Trieste, and represented a majority in 7 of them.[76] The Italian speakers, on the other hand, made up 60.1% of the population in the city center, 38.1% in the suburbs, and 6.0% in the surroundings. They were the largest linguistic group in 10 of the 19 urban neighbourhoods, and represented the majority in 7 of them (including all 6 in the city centre). German speakers amounted to 5% of the city's population, with the highest proportions in the city centre.

The city also had several other smaller ethnic communities, including Croats, Czechs, Istro-Romanians, Serbs and Greeks, who mostly assimilated either into the Italian or the Slovene-speaking communities. Altogether, in 1911 51.83% of the population of the municipality of Trieste spoke Italian, 24.79% spoke Slovene, 5.2% spoke German, 1% spoke Croatian, 0.3% spoke "other languages", and 16.8% were foreigners, including a further 12.9% Italians (immigrants from the Kingdom of Italy and thus considered separately from Triestine Italians) and 1.6% Hungarians.[77]

By 1971, following the emigration of Slovenes to neighboring Slovenia and the immigration of Italians from other regions (and from Yugoslav-annexed Istria) to Trieste, the percentage of Italian speakers had risen to 91.8%, and that of Slovenian speakers had dwindled to 5.7%.[78]

Today, the dominant local dialect of Trieste is "Triestine" (triestin, pronounced [tɾi.esˈtiŋ]), a form of Venetian. This dialect and official Italian are spoken in the city, while Slovene is spoken in some of the immediate suburbs.[75] There are also small numbers of Serbian,[79] Croatian, German, Greek, and Hungarian speakers.[citation needed]

Main sights and vistasEdit

Trieste seafront
Piazza Unità d'Italia by night
From left to right: Barcolana near the Victory Lighthouse, a part of the harbour, a street of the Old City

In 2012, Lonely Planet listed the city of Trieste as the world's most underrated travel destination.[80]


The city's old stock exchange
The Ponterosso Square

Castello Miramare (Miramare Castle)Edit

The Castello Miramare, or Miramare Castle, on the waterfront 8 kilometres (5 miles) from Trieste, was built between 1856 and 1860 from a project by Carl Junker working under Archduke Maximilian. The castle gardens are laid out with a variety of trees, chosen by and planted on the orders of Maximilian.[81] Features of the gardens include two ponds, one noted for its swans and the other for lotus flowers, the castle annex ("Castelletto"), a bronze statue of Maximilian, and a small chapel where is kept a cross made from the remains of the "Novara", the flagship on which Maximilian, brother of Emperor Franz Josef, set sail to become Emperor of Mexico.

Much later, the castle was also the home of Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, the last commander of Italian forces in East Africa during the Second World War. During the period of the application of the Instrument for the Provisional Regime of the Free Territory of Trieste, as established in the Treaty of Peace with Italy (Paris 10/02/1947), the castle served as headquarters for the United States Army's TRUST force.

Castel San GiustoEdit

The Castel San Giusto, or Castle of San Giusto, was designed on the remains of previous castles on the site, and took almost two centuries to build. The stages of the development of the castle's defensive structures are marked by the central part built under Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor (1470–1), the round Venetian bastion (1508–9), the Hoyos-Lalio bastion and the Pomis, or "Bastione fiorito" dated 1630.[citation needed]

Places of worshipEdit

Archaeological remainsEdit

  • Arch of Riccardo (33 BC)[82] is a Roman gate built in the Roman walls in 33. It stands in Piazzetta Barbacan, in the narrow streets of the old town. It's called Arco di Riccardo ("Richard's Arch"), where Riccardo is a corruption of "Cardus", the Roman street which crossed it. Folk etymology created a local legend, which says that it was crossed by King Richard I of England on the way back from the Crusades.
  • Basilica Forense (2nd century)
  • Palaeochristian basilica
  • Roman Age Temples: one dedicated to Athena, one to Zeus, both on the San Giusto hill.

The ruins of the temple dedicated to Zeus are next to the Forum, those of Athena's temple are under the basilica, visitors can see its basement.

Roman theatreEdit

The Roman theater lies at the foot of the San Giusto hill, facing the sea. The construction partially exploits the gentle slope of the hill, and much of the theater is made of stone. The topmost portion of the steps and the stage were supposedly made of wood.[citation needed]

The statues that adorned the theater, brought to light in the 1930s, are now preserved at the town museum. Three inscriptions from the Trajanic period mention a certain Q. Petronius Modestus, someone closely connected to the development of the theatre, which was erected during the second half of the 1st century.[citation needed]


In the entire Province of Trieste, there are 10 speleological groups out of 24 in the whole Friuli Venezia Giulia region. The Trieste plateau (Altopiano Triestino), called Kras or the Carso and covering an area of about 200 square kilometres (77 sq mi) within Italy has approximately 1,500 caves of various sizes (like that of Basovizza, now a monument to the Foibe massacres).[citation needed]

Among the most famous are the Grotta Gigante, the largest tourist cave in the world, with a single cavity large enough to contain St Peter's in Rome, and the Cave of Trebiciano, 350 metres (1,150 ft) deep, at the bottom of which flows the Timavo River. This river dives underground at Škocjan Caves in Slovenia (they are on UNESCO list and only a few kilometres from Trieste) and flows about 30 kilometres (19 mi) before emerging about 1 kilometre (0.6 mi) from the sea in a series of springs near Duino, reputed by the Romans to be an entrance to Hades ("the world of the dead").[citation needed]


  • The Austrian Quarter: Half of the city was built under Austro-Hungarian dominion, so there is present a very large number of avenues and palaces that resemble Vienna. The most present architecture styles are Neoclassical, Art Nouveau, Eclectic, Liberty and Baroque.
  • Città Vecchia (Old City): Trieste boasts an extensive old city: there are many narrow and crooked streets with typical medieval houses. Nearly the entire area is closed to traffic.
  • Piazza Unità d'Italia, Trieste's central majestic square surrounded by 19th century architecture, and the largest seafront square in Europe.
Piazza Venezia
  • Piazza Venezia, with a view over the Adriatic to the Alps with the Dolomite Mountains Civetta, Monte Pelmo and Antelao. Since 2009, the monument to Archduke Maximilian has been standing on Piazza Venezia again, who is looking over the Gulf of Trieste to his Miramare Castle in Vice Admiral's uniform. The more than 8 meter high bronze monument with the allegories of the four continents is intended to honor Maximilian's philanthropy and his interest in science and art and was created by the sculptor Johannes Schilling at the request and under the direction of Baron Pasquale Revoltella. It was inaugurated in 1875 in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph, removed after 1918 and relocated to the Miramare Castle Park in 1961.[83][84] Immediately in front of this square with its alley trees, the boats of the Trieste fishermen anchor on the Molo Veneziano. In the area towards Cavana there are now cosmopolitan-inspired bars, cafes and restaurants. In the direction of Stazione Rogers there are numerous shops for fishermen and with nautical accessories. The Stazione Rogers (- the gas station "Aquila" planned by Studio BBPR or Ernesto Nathan Rogers) is considered an important building of Italian rationalism and post-war modernism and is now a multi-purpose center for culture and architecture after the renovation.[85] In the Piazza Venezia is the Museo Revoltella in the style of the Italian Renaissance with its six allegorical statues of the Venetian Francesco Bosa on the roof balustrade. A few meters away is the Molo Sartorio, where for the Republic of Austria the height above sea level is still measured as "meters above the Adriatic". The historic "Antico Magazzino Vini" right next to the Piazza Venezia by the sea was built in 1902 to store wine from Dalmatia and Istria, it has now been revitalized and now houses an Eataly. The former, now renovated fish hall, now a place for exhibitions and art, is also located directly by the sea.
  • Canal Grande, Trieste's grand canal, in the very center of the city.
  • Caffè San Marco, historical cafè in the centre of the city. Cafès play an important role in the Triestine economy, as Trieste developed a thriving coffee industry under Austria-Hungary, and is still known to this day as "the coffee capital of Italy".
  • Barcola, a suburb of Trieste with a special microclimate[17] and a high quality of life since ancient times. On its kilometer-long sea promenade towards Miramare Castle there are cafes and restaurants. On this urban beach area, many locals spend their free time sunbathing, swimming and playing sports. From the northernmost lighthouse in the Mediterranean, the Vittoria Light, located above Barcola, you have a wonderful view of Trieste, the Adriatic Sea, the coast of Istria and the Miramare Castle.[86]
  • Val Rosandra, a national park on the border between the Province of Trieste and Slovenia.


View of Barcola from the Vittoria Lighthouse

Much of Trieste lies directly on the sea and is used as a port area. Nevertheless, there is the possibility to swim in the sea in the city center, as in the bathing establishments "El Pedocin - Bagno marino La Lanterna" and "Ausonia". The "Bagno Marino Ferroviario" has been located in Viale Miramare 30 since 1925.[87] Many locals and students use their lunch break or free time to go to Barcola, which is an urban beach, to meet friends on the famous mile-long embankment. In the evening, many locals walk there between the bars with a view of the sea, the Alpine arc, Istria and the illuminated Trieste. There are restaurants, cafes and ice cream shops there. However, there is no proper bike path from the center to Barcola.

Well-known are the ten popular semicircular units on the bank consisting of a viewing platform, sanitary facilities and changing rooms, which are popularly referred to as "Topolini".[88] In the area of the Excelsior bathing establishment, which is located on a historic sand bank, there were very elegant Roman villas and their sports and bathing facilities in antiquity.[89] And already in the 19th century there were numerous restaurants and cafes with shady vine arbors for the excursion guests. The area of the sea around Miramare Castle is today a nature reserve. There are always fundamental considerations to rebuild the kilometer-long original (as before the construction of the current road) sandy beach between Barcola and Miramare Castle[90][91] and to build a large park-like sports center by the sea in a previously unused part.[92][93]

In the fishing village of Barcola there are some of the few houses and restaurants in Trieste that are directly on the sea. Local fishermen, skippers and captains meet in the "Skipper Point Bar Franza".[94] The pine forest of Barcola is located directly on the sea and is a classic resort for the Trieste people in every season. One of the best running routes in Trieste leads from the port in Barcola along the sea to Miramare Castle and back. On the way there the view of the Alpine arc with the Dolomites and on the way back the view of Trieste and Istria. The small bathing complex Bagno da Sticco is right next to Miramare Castle. Further towards Grignano and Duino there are numerous bays and natural beaches. "Alle Ginestre" is a beach that is very popular with the locals. Due to the currents in the Adriatic, the water in the area of Trieste is very pure and not polluted by suspended matter from rivers. The current is counterclockwise.[95][96][97]


Libreria Antiquaria Umberto Saba
Church of San Nicolò dei Greci
James Joyce, Umberto Saba and their friends were guests of the still existing Caffè Stella Polare.[98]

The literary-intellectual center of Trieste was or is the existing "Libreria Antiquaria Umberto Saba" corner Via Dante Alighieri in the house Via San Nicolo No. 30, in which James Joyce lived (here his son Giorgio was born and Joyce wrote some of the short stories from Dubliners and Stephen Hero), the house Via San Nicolo No. 32, in which the Berlitz School was located where James Joyce taught and came in contact with Italo Svevo, and the house at Via San Nicolo No. 31, where Umberto Saba spent his breaks in the former cafe-milk shop Walter. In this area, at the end of Via San Nicolo, there is now a life-size statue of Umberto Saba. While there are now numerous luxury shops in the pedestrian zone of Via San Nicolo, there used to be numerous cafes and restaurants, especially the Berger beer hall at No. 17, which later became the very famous Berger Grand Restaurant. Via San Nicolo No. 30 is also the symbolic center of the novel of the same name by Roberto Curci from 2015.[99][100]

The Greek Orthodox Church of San Nicolò dei Greci, which is dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of seafarers and whose interior already inspired James Joyce, is located by the sea at the beginning of today's pedestrian zone of Via San Nicolo. This is exactly where the famous, traditional Caffè Tommaseo is located. This coffee house, also located at the beginning of Via San Nicolo, was opened in 1830. It is the oldest coffee house still in operation in Trieste and is still a meeting place for artists, intellectuals and merchants today.[101][102] One of today's most important Art Nouveau buildings in Trieste, the "Casa Smolars", has been in Via San Nicolo since 1905 at No. 36.[103] The traditional Eppinger Caffè has been located nearby since around 1946.[104] The building complex of the former RAS Palais is also at the end of Via San Niccolo with the entrance to Piazza Repubblica. This inside and outside architecturally special building has been completely renovated and has been a hotel since 2019.[105] The Caffe Stella Polare is not far from here. This cosmopolitan coffee house was also frequented by Saba, Joyce, Guido Voghera, Virgilio Giotti and in particular by the former German-speaking minority from Trieste. With the end of World War II and the arrival of the Anglo-Americans in the city, this café became a hangout place of many soldiers and a famous ballroom to meet young women from Trieste.[106]

Trieste has a lively cultural scene with various theatres. Among these are the Opera Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi, Politeama Rossetti, the Teatro La Contrada, the Slovene theatre in Trieste (Slovensko stalno gledališče, since 1902), Teatro Miela, and several smaller ones.

There are also numerous museums. Among these are:

Two important national monuments:

  • The Risiera di San Sabba (Risiera di San Sabba Museum)', a National monument commemorating the holocaust genocide. It was the only Nazi concentration camp with crematorium in Italy.
  • The Foiba di Basovizza, a National monument. It is a reminder of the killings of Italians (and other ethnic groups) by Yugoslav partisans after World War II, the last episode of an interethnic violence begun in the 19th century, with the rise of nationalism, and heavily intensified by the Fascist government.

The Slovenska gospodarsko-kulturna zvezaUnione Economica-Culturale Slovena is the umbrella organization bringing together cultural and economic associations belonging to the Slovene minority.

The power metal band Rhapsody was founded in Trieste by the city's natives Luca Turilli and Alex Staropoli.


  • Radioattività Trieste
  • Radio Fragola
  • Radio Punto Zero


The local calcio (football) club in Trieste is Triestina, one of the oldest clubs in Italy. Notably, Triestina was runner-up in the 1947/1948 season of the Italian first division (Serie A), losing the championship to Torino.

Trieste is notable for having had two football clubs participating in the championships of two different nations at the same time during the period of the Free Territory of Trieste, due to the schism within the city and region created by the post-war demarcation. Triestina played in the Italian first division (Serie A). Although it faced relegation after the first season after the Second World War, the FIGC changed the rules to keep it in, as it was seen as important to keep a club of the city in the Italian league, while Yugoslavia had its eye on the city. In the championship of next season the club played its best season with a 3rd-place finish. Meanwhile, Yugoslavia bought A.S.D. Ponziana, a small team in Trieste, which under a new name, Amatori Ponziana Trst, played in the Yugoslavian league for 3 years.[107] Triestina went bankrupt in the 1990s, but after being re-founded regained a position in the Italian second division (Serie B) in 2002. Ponziana was renamed "Circolo Sportivo Ponziana 1912" and currently plays in Friuli Venezia Giulia Group of Promozione, which is the 7th level of the Italian league.

Trieste also has a well-known basketball team, Pallacanestro Trieste, which reached its zenith in the 1990s under coach Bogdan Tanjević when, with large financial backing from sponsors Stefanel, it was able to sign players such as Dejan Bodiroga, Fernando Gentile and Gregor Fučka, all stars of European basketball. At the end of the 2017–18 season, the team, now trained by coach Eugenio Dalmasson and sponsored by Alma, won promotion to the Lega Basket Serie A, Italy's highest basketball league, fourteen years after its last tenure.

Many sailing clubs have roots in the city which contribute to Trieste's strong tradition in that sport. The Barcolana regatta, which had its first edition in 1969, is the world's largest sailing race by number of participants.

Local sporting facilities include the Stadio Nereo Rocco, a UEFA-certified stadium with seating capacity of 32,500; the Palatrieste, an indoor sporting arena sitting 7,000 people, and Piscina Bruno Bianchi, a large olympic size swimming pool.

An often cited game in Trieste was on August 26, 1985. The American basketball player Michael Jordan dunked so hard during a Nike exhibition game that the backboard was completely broken. The signed jersey and shoes (including one of the tiny shards of glass in the sole of the left shoe) that Michael Jordan wore during the famous Shattered Backboard game were later auctioned. The moment the glass was broken was filmed and is often cited around the world as a particularly important milestone in Jordan's rise.[108]


Trieste has been portrayed on screen a number of times, with films often shot on location in the area. In 1942 the early neorealist Alfa Tau! was filmed partly in the city.

Cinematic interest in Trieste peaked during the height of the "Free Territory" era between 1947 and 1954 with international films such as Sleeping Car to Trieste and Diplomatic Courier portraying it as a hotbed of espionage. These films, and the later The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964) conveyed an impression of the city as a cosmopolitan place of conflict between Great Powers, a portrayal which resembled that of Casablanca (1943). Italian filmmakers, by contrast, portrayed Trieste as unquestionably Italian in a series of patriotic films including Trieste mia! and Ombre su Trieste.[109]

The city hosted in 1963 the first International Festival of Science Fiction Film (Festival internazionale del film di fantascienza), which ran until 1982. Under the name Science Plus Fiction (now Trieste Science+Fiction Festival), the festival was brought back in 2000.[110][111]

Recently a new interest in the city sparked with Italian movies such as The Invisible Boy (2014), its sequel The Invisible Boy—Second Generation and Italian TV series.[112]

Trieste cuisineEdit

Caffe degli Specchi was opened in 1839 in Trieste

It is a multicultural cuisine in which different ethnic groups are expressed through centuries of Central European and port-related influence. Typical dishes are, for example, the Jota, Minestra de Bisi Spacai, Rotolo di Spinaci in Straza, Sardoni Impanai, Capuzi Garbi, Capuzi Garbi in Tecia, Vienna sausages, goulash, ćevapi and Fritto Misto Mare or as desserts Presnitz, Fave Triestine, Titola, Crostoli Speciale, Struccolo de Pomi, Kugelhupf, Rigo Jancsi and the Triester Torte.[113][114][115]

Typical local types of Trieste include the buffet, a small urban tavern with ready-made local dishes served quickly (in addition to "Italian" dishes, fresh ham, meat loaf, goulash, roast meat, Kaiserfleisch, tongue, stilt and belly meat), and the osmizza, a lived original form of the Central European or Habsburg wine tavern with short, blocked opening times for the consumption and sale of self-produced mainly cold farm products from the Trieste Karst.

The "Capo Triestino" (also "Capo in B" or "Capo in bicchiere"), which intellectuals like James Joyce or Italo Svevo are said to have appreciated, is considered a local coffee specialty. This miniature cappuccino in a glass cup is usually taken at the bar.[116]

Of course, the local seafood from the Adriatic is also used in this city. While the tuna fishing has declined, the anchovies from the Gulf of Trieste off Barcola (in the local dialect: "Sardoni barcolani") are a special and sought-after delicacy. These small fish have a particularly delicate taste and white meat and are considered a particularly rare specialty. Sardoni Barcolani are marinated, baked and served grilled.[65][117][118]


The Porto Vecchio, also showing Trieste Centrale railway station
A car of the Opicina Tramway

Maritime transportEdit

Trieste's maritime location and its former long term status as part of the Austrian and, between 1867 and 1918, Austro-Hungarian empires made the Port of Trieste the major commercial port for much of the landlocked areas of central Europe. In the 19th century, a new port district known as the Porto Nuovo was built northeast to the city centre.[119]

There is significant commercial shipping to the container terminal, steel works and oil terminal, all located to the south of the city centre. After many years of stagnation, a change in the leadership placed the port on a steady growth path, recording a 40% increase in shipping traffic as of 2007.[119]

Today the port of Trieste is one of the largest Italian ports and next to Gioia Tauro the only deep water port in the central Mediterranean for seventh generation container ships.[120]

Rail transportEdit

Railways came early to Trieste, due to the importance of its port and the need to transport people and goods inland. The first railroad line to reach Trieste was the Südbahn, launched by the Austrian government in 1857. This railway stretches for 1,400 km (870 mi) to Lviv, Ukraine, via Ljubljana, Slovenia; Sopron, Hungary; Vienna, Austria; and Kraków, Poland, crossing the backbone of the Alps mountains through the Semmering Pass near Graz. It approaches Trieste through the village of Villa Opicina, a few kilometres from the big city but over 300 metres (984 feet) higher in elevation. Due to this, the line takes a 32 kilometres (20 miles) detour to the north, gradually descending before terminating at the Trieste Centrale railway station.

In 1887, the Imperial Royal Austrian State Railways (German: kaiserlich-königliche österreichische Staatsbahnen) opened a new railway line, the Trieste–Hrpelje railway (German: Hrpelje-Bahn), from the new port of Trieste to Hrpelje-Kozina, on the Istrian railway.[121] The intended function of the new line was to reduce the Austrian Empire's dependence on the Südbahn network.[122] Its opening gave Trieste a second station south of the original one, which was named Trieste Sant'Andrea (German: Triest Sankt Andrea). The two stations were connected by a railway line that in the initial plans had to be an interim solution: the Rive railway (German: Rive-Bahn), but which survived until 1981, when it was replaced by the Galleria di Circonvallazione, a 5.7-kilometre (3.5 mi) railway tunnel route to the east of the city.

With the opening of the Transalpina Railway from Vienna, Austria via Jesenice and Nova Gorica in 1906, the St Andrea station was replaced by a new, more capacious, facility, named Trieste stazione dello Stato (German: Triest Staatsbahnhof), later Trieste Campo Marzio, now a railway museum, and the original station came to be identified as Trieste stazione della Meridionale or Trieste Meridionale (German: Triest Südbahnhof). This railway also approached Trieste via Villa Opicina, but it took a rather shorter loop southwards towards the sea front. Freight services from the dock area include container services to northern Italy and to Budapest, Hungary, together with rolling highway services to Salzburg, Austria and Frankfurt, Germany.

There are direct intercity and high-speed trains between Trieste and Venice, Verona, Turin, Milan, Rome, Florence, Naples and Bologna. The Mestre railway hub offers further connecting options with high-speed trains to Rome and Milan. Passenger trains also run between Villa Opicina and Ljubljana.

Air transportEdit

Trieste is served by the Trieste – Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport (IATA: TRS). The airport serves domestic and international destinations and is fully connected to the national railway and highway networks. The Trieste Airport railway station links the passenger terminal directly to the Venice–Trieste railway thanks to a 425-meter long skybridge. A 16 platform bus terminal, a multistorey car park with 500 lots and a car park with 1000 lots give public and private motor vehicles rapid access to the A4 Trieste-Turin highway. At the interchange near Palmanova, the A4 branches off to Autostrada A23 linking to Austria's Süd Autobahn (A2) via Udine and Tarvisio. In the southern direction, this highway also offers seamless interconnection to Slovenia's A1 Motorway, and through that to highway networks in Croatia, Hungary, and the Balkans.

Local transportEdit

Scooters are heavily used in personal transport in Trieste

Local public transport is operated by Trieste Trasporti, which operates a network of around 60 bus routes and two boat services. They also operate the Opicina Tramway, a hybrid between a tramway and funicular railway, providing a more direct link between the city centre and Opicina.[123] However, this tram network has been out of service since an accident in 2016.[124] Works on reopening the line, however, are said to be starting in the near future.

Public Transportation StatisticsEdit

The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in Trieste e Gorizia, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 49 min. 10% of public transit riders, ride for more than 2 hours every day. The average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit is 11 min, while 18% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on average every day. The average distance people usually ride in a single trip with public transit is 4.6 km, while 6% travel for over 12 km in a single direction.[125]

Notable peopleEdit

International relationsEdit

Trieste hosts the Secretariat of the Central European Initiative, an intergovernmental organization among Central and South-Eastern European states.

In recent years, Trieste was chosen to host a number of high level bilateral and multilateral meetings such as: the Western Balkans Summit in 2017; the Italo-Russian Bilateral Summit in 2013 (Letta-Putin) and the Italo-German Bilateral Summit in 2008 (Berlusconi-Merkel); the G8 meetings of Foreign Affairs and Environment Ministers respectively in 2009 and 2001. In December 2020, Trieste hosted three-party talks between the foreign ministers of Italy, Croatia, and Slovenia on the delimitation of their respective exclusive economic zone.

In 2020, Trieste served as the European Science Capital selected by Euroscience.

The city will host the G20 Meeting of Ministers of Innovation and Research planned for 5–6 August 2021.

Sister cities and twin townsEdit

Trieste is twinned with:

See alsoEdit



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External linksEdit