Miramare castle, Trieste…
Overlooking the Gulf of Trieste, it is located a few kilometers north of the capital (about 6 km from the Central Station).
Miramare is the Italianized form of the original Miramar, derived from the Spanish “mirar el mar”, as Maximilian of Habsburg visiting the promontory that hosts it, was inspired by the memory of Spanish castles facing the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean .
The castle is surrounded by a large park of about 22 hectares characterized by a great variety of plants, many of which were chosen by the archduke himself during his travels around the world, which he acted as admiral of the Austrian navy.
In the park is also the castelletto, a smaller building that acted as a residence for the couple during the construction of the castle itself but that became in fact a prison for Carlotta, when he lost his reason after the murder of her husband in Mexico.
The castle of Miramare “still presents the original period furnishings, testimony to the history of the noble owners, the Archduke and his wife Charlotte of Saxony, daughter of the king of Belgium, and their sad destiny that did not allow him to enjoy the beautiful dwelling. ”
Inside, the castle is divided into numerous rooms.
The ground floor was used as the residence of Emperor Maximilian I and his wife Carlotta, while the upper floor was later used as the residence of the Duke Amedeo d’Aosta, who lived there for about seven years and modified some rooms according to the style of era.
The Imperial-Regie insignia were removed and replaced with Savoy crosses.
This castle was fatal for those who lived there: Maximilian of Hapsburg left to encircle the imperial crown of Mexico and died there, Amadeus left for the Empire of Ethiopia of which he was viceroy and died in captivity.
At the easternmost region of Italy, there is a small strip of land that borders with Slovenia – This is the Friuli Venezia Region and has a distinct style, culture and history that is quite different to the rest of mainland Italy.
Is one of the largest cities within this beautiful region and sits on the coast between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia.
Due to its proximity to other nations and regions, Trieste has been influenced over the years by various other cultures and civilizations.
The city has a current population of 204,000 and is one of this richest economical places in Italy due to its extensive port and commercial shipping trade.
The port and harbour of Trieste is truly impressive and rightly so as it serves as the cities principal form of economy.
Practically the entire coastline next to Trieste is occupied by either the public harbour or the commercial shipping operations – These two parts of the city offer some truly fantastic and interesting sights.
Near the Piazza Venezia is the main harbour and this area is filled with beautiful yachts, sailing boats and fishing boats.
Piazza Unita Italia
This colossal square lies at the forefront of the historic old town and faces out towards the Adriatic Sea.
Due to its immense size, the Piazza Unita italia is known as the largest square situated next to the sea in Europe.
Several prestigious and important buildings line the square including the Town Hall, the Palazzo del Lloyd Triestino, the Palazzo del Governo and the Palazzo Pitteri – Each of which features a stunning design and beautiful architecture.
Aside from the buildings, there is also several impressive monuments and statues placed at various intervals in the square – In particular, the two iron sculptured columns that frame the entrance of the Piazza.
Trieste Roman Theatre
Trieste has a long and celebrated history and throughout the city there are various remnants of bygone eras.
One such relic is the Roman Amphitheatre that is located on the Via del Teatro Romano In the centre of the historic old town and only a stone’s throw from the Piazza Unita Italia.
This ancient structure is in a fantastic condition and the original seating and stage area is still visible together with various columns and walls.
When walking through the city of Trieste, this theatre is a must see and is a fine example of Roman architecture.
Castle of Saint Giusto
Located next to Trieste Cathedral, the Castle of Saint Giusto is an ancient structure that has stood for many years and is one of the cities icons.
This structure now serves as a museum and was originally created in the 15th century by the Hapsburgs.
Built on the Capitoline Hill, the castle has a commanding view over the city and has an extremely strategic location.
Today, the castle stands in fine condition and it is possible to climb up to the top of the tower for amazing panoramic views of Trieste and its ports.
Inside the main keep there is a fine display of artefacts and information about the history of the castle including military banners, coats of arms and an armory with a wide variety of ancient weaponry.
Cathedral of Saint Giusto
Also known as Trieste Cathedral, this church is dedicated to Saint Justus and serves as the main church of the city.
Originally constructed in 1320, the church features a Romanesque and Gothic design and the front façade has a huge circular window with a beautiful lattice design.
Inside, the church features a plethora of decoration and the archways in the main aisle are covered with coloured patterns and ornate sculptures.
Furthermore, the dome of the main altar is covered with a stunning fresco that is bursting with a myriad of bright colours.
There are also several mosaics and works of art depicting the Our Lady of the Assumption.
To the north west of Trieste approximately 20 minutes by car is the Grotta Gigante.
Its central cavern is over 100m high, 65m wide and 130m long which makes it one of the largest tourist caves in the world.
Throughout its known history, this cave has been in the Guiness Book of Records, and a 4 person hot-air balloon has even flown through it!
Today, guided tours are available of this immense natural phemonenon and your tour guide will explain about its history and the various features of the cave including the stalactites and stalagmites.
If you visit this cave, ensure to take a jacket as the underground temperatures are not favourable!
Eat a fine Italian Pizza at the Al Barattolo Restaurant
Trieste has an abundance of fine restaurants, but no such finer establishment than the Al Barattolo that is located next to the Grande Canal and the Piazza Sant’Antonio Nuovo.
If you are looking for a delicious and authentic Italian Pizza then this is the place to go! Pizzas here are freshly prepared and cooked and you can choose from a variety of different toppings including the fan favourite Pepperoni.
Aside from Pizza, Al Barattolo also serves a variety of seafood dishes and has a wonderful selection of complimentary wine.
Need a transfer to/from Trieste or a tour?