Travel and Culture in
Friuli Venezia Giulia

Trieste: art

Art and monuments in the city



Trieste is an international town and thanks to its history and culture it offers to its visitors many opportunities to be appreciated from the historical and artistic points of view.

The oldest part of the town stands on San Giusto Hill, where you can admire the remains of the Castle that dominates the town and that had been built in the same place where an ancient "castelliere" already existed (see ‘History’ above).

This building has never had a war function, but it was used above all as barracks and storehouse until 1700. Today it holds various exhibitions and it is used for touristic purposes.

Another important monument is the Roman theatre, that was discovered in the thirties during some ordinary repairs and then also the St Giusto Basilica, the town’s symbol, that sums up nineteen centuries of Trieste history, since it is the union of first-century B.C. early Christian buildings with some Trecento ones.

We recommend you to visit the fourteenth-century St John Baptistery, too, that is today part of the basilica and has got an eleventh-century font.

Another town’s feature is the presence of the Trieste historical coffee houses, historical meeting points as: the Tommaseo Coffee House (1830), that overlooks the sea, the San Marco Coffee House, that was the meeting point for the intellectuals from Trieste as Saba and Svevo in the twenties, the Coffee House and Confectionery Pirona, where Joyce was used to go and then the Specchi Coffee House, situated in the heart of the city.

You will also admire the palaces of the Teresiano village in neoclassic, Baroque and rococo style. One of the most interesting palaces is Gopcevich Palace, that was built in 1850 and overlooks Canal Grande. There are also some nineteenth-century Art Nouveau buildings, like those of the Deutsche Bank, of Smolars House and the Eden Cinema (now called Ambasciatori).

Then you must not miss visiting the magnificent Unità d’Italia Square, which is considered the Trieste salon, with the Town Hall and the Clock Tower.

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