Trieste. Coming here was nearly an afterthought. Unashamedly, we worried over Croatian cuisine and someone thought an Italian prelude is most appropriate. Well, that was a brilliant idea. And Trieste is just on the northeastern tip of Italy and juts out near enough our destination. From here, it was also only a couple of hours by train or ferry towards Venezia. But we’ve covered Venice in the past and opted to enjoy Trieste as much as we could. We ended up staying 2 nights here. Another brilliant idea.

Our hotel is just 2 short blocks from the Gran Canale and maybe a few meters more towards the main piazza. Gran Canale looks out to the wharf and on its other end sits the all-white Church Of Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo where we heard Sunday mass. The first photo you see here is that of Gran Canale early in the morning before the outdoor cafes got busy. A statue of the Irish novelist and poet James Joyce Of Ulysses fame and many more stands in one of the bridges spanning the canal. Yes, that same James Joyce once quoted saying:

A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.

Joyce once lived in Trieste with his wife and wrote many of his novels, plays and poetry here in this coastal city which Illy Coffee likewise calls home.

The Piazza Unita d’ Italia looks out to the wharf too and is the starting point for the hop on, hop off bus. Across it is Molo Audace or Audace Pier. At night, the square is very vibrant and festive with buskers playing beautiful music. The lighting adds charm to the iconic buildings around the Piazza and the outdoor cafes look inviting. One whiff of the seafood cooking in the kitchen was enough to get us inside one of those trattorias. My best fish meal was here. Turbot. The Piazza looks pretty during the day but more so when the sun sets and around twilight time. Sky is so blue and the buildings are all lit up. If you need to spend an entire evening in Trieste, go to UNITA Square.

The hop on, hop off bus is good value for €11. Brings you to all the city attractions including the Miramare Castle and beach area which is further out. Eataly is one of the destinations too and so are the Piazza Sant’Antonio, Ponterosso, Cattedrale Di San Giusto, Scala Dei Giganti (Giant Stairway), Propylaeum, Roman Basilica, Museum of History and Art, among others. It’s all you need to cover all the city sites. We hopped off in Miramare, a seafront castle that allegedly was “downsized” owing to budget issues. It’s small by European standards but looks just as regal.

If you’re on your way to Croatia from Slovenia or even from Italy’s more popular destinations Trieste is a good break. Less touristy, very relaxing and surely a happy place for gourmands. We had our best meals here. Buon Giorno!

πŸ“Έ Rick C