The historic city of Trieste is Italy away from the tourist trail, where centuries if cultural intermingling have created a city rich in history and charm. But despite keeping a low-key Trieste is nothing if not grand and boasts a city centre jam packed with culture, art and monuments. There’s also an excellent retail scene available with entire districts dedicated to retail therapy and a well-documented speciality for preparing some of the best fresh-caught seafood around into ingenious new recipes.
The northern city of Trieste is chock-a-block full of historical monuments, signifying its importance as a cultural crossroads throughout history. For an ambience of timeless elegance you can't beat the 19th-century charm of Savoia Excelsior Palace (Riva del Mandracchio 4) right on the seafront, while Grand Hotel Duchi d'Aosta (Piazza Unita D'Italia 2/1) is another sophisticated choice that oozes old-world appeal. Mid-range seekers will adore the pretty blend of contemporary and traditional in colourful Hotel Abero Nascosto (Via Felice Venezian 18) or can opt for the art deco flair at Residence Liberty (Via Armando Diaz 14).
Would-be shoppers should get their comfortable shoes on as Trieste has a plethora of interesting stores that are worth a day of pounding the pavement for. Head to the Cavana district for the best finds; this area is home to antique and vintage stores galore. Via delle Ombrelle has some of the most interesting antique boutiques. For Italian fashion and leatherware, the city centre is the best place to look. Especially don't miss Re Artu (Via San Spiridione 3) and Spazio (Via Santa Caterina), which both stock a large range of designer brands.
It's all about the seafood here. Bag some of the best fish Trieste has to offer at Al Bagatto (Via Luigi Cadorna 7) where prices may be high but the quality is exceptional. For a special occasion, head to Scabar (Erta di Sant’Anna 63) to indulge in their tasting menu and admire the tumbling panoramas from their hillside setting above town. Less pricy eating can be had at Buffet da Pepi (Via della Casa di Risparmio 3), where the pork-based plates won't break the bank. An evening of drinking in Trieste is best started at Caffé Rossini (Via Rossini 8) and then later moving on to hip Gran Bar Malabar (Piazza San Giovanni).
This world-renowned marathon attracts a whole clutch of elite international stars of the running world. Those not so competitive can also take part in the walk-marathon which is run concurrently.
Teatro Verdi Trieste
This opera festival is dedicated to the music of Verdi with a programme packed full of musical events. The venue for the festival is Trieste's grand Teatro opera hall.
Trieste Summer Rock Festival
This festival brings Italy's favourite bands and singers to the city and is a great chance to experience Italy's thriving music scene. There are plenty of young, up-and-coming bands playing concerts as well.
Trieste Loves Jazz
A celebration of the jazz genre in all its various guises, Trieste Loves Jazz covers the wide-ranging tentacles of jazz from its classic performers to modern offshoots. A whole host of international stars of the scene are featured.
This regatta sees over 2,000 boats set out from Trieste harbour. The competition is open to both professional and amateur sailors and every shape and size of boat. Huge crowds throng the shoreline to cheer them on.