Piazza Unità d’Italia (Unity of Italy Square) is the main square of Trieste. The rectangular piazza, located at the foot of the San Giusto Hill, opens on one side onto the Gulf of Trieste. With an area of 12,280 square meters, it is considered the largest seafront square in Europe. SHORT HISTORY In ancient times, the square was called Piazza San Pietro, after the name of a church located there. Starting with 1863, the square was called Piazza Grande. During the Austrian period, the name of the square was changed to Piazza Francesco Giuseppe, after the name of the Emperor Franz Joseph. Only in 1918, the square took the name of Piazza Unità, when Trieste was annexed to Italy. In 1955, when the city returned to Italy after the dissolution of the Free Territory of Trieste, it took its current name, Piazza Unità d’Italia. Over the centuries, the square was remodeled several times. Its current appearance comes from the complete renovation made between 2001 and 2005, when all the surrounding buildings were restored. On this occasion, the pavement was replaced with sandstone blocks, the Fountain of the Four Continents (Fontana dei Quattro Continenti) was positioned in front of the Read more [...]
The most important tourist attractions of Trieste are Piazza Unità d’Italia (Unity of Italy Square), the main square of the city and the largest seafront square in Europe, Castello di San Giusto (Castle of Saint Justus), built by the Habsburgs between the 15th and 17th centuries on the San Giusto Hill, Cattedrale di San Giusto (Cathedral of Saint Justus), the cathedral of Trieste, Teatro Romano, the Roman Theater built in the first century AD, the Church of Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo, located at the end of the picturesque Canal Grande, and Arco di Riccardo (Arch of Riccardo), a Roman gate built in the year 33 AD.
About 8 kilometers northwest of Trieste, we can find the beautiful Castello Miramare, built between 1856 and 1860 from a project by Carl Junker, and about the same distance to the north, there is the giant Grotta Gigante, the second largest cave in the world opened to tourists.
Palazzo Stratti, also known as the Casa Stratti (Stratti House), is a palace in Trieste, located in Piazza Unità d’Italia. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in 1839 at the behest of the merchant Nicolò Stratti, who entrusted the project to the architect Antonio Buttazzoni, one of the most appreciated designers in the city at the time. In 1846, due to some economic difficulties, Stratti was forced to sell the building to Assicurazioni Generali, the current owner. In the same period, the historic Caffè degli Specchi was inaugurated on the ground floor of the building. In the following decades, the Neoclassical aspect of the building was modified by the restorations carried out by the architects Andrea Seu, Eugenio Geiringer and Giovanni Righetti. Andrea Seu made changes to the facades, inserting pilasters and giving them a more symmetrical appearance, by raising the side bodies and changing the position of the balconies. In 1872, Geiringer and Righetti made a series of changes to the facade overlooking Piazza Unità d’Italia, which became more important in the context of the urban transformation of the square in the second part of the 19th century. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The building is characterized by a Read more [...]
Palazzo Genel is an imposing palace in Trieste, located in Piazza del Ponte Rosso, near the Canal Grande. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in 1873 by Domenico Monti for Alessandro Genel, a wealthy textile merchant, and his brothers Felice and Agostino. The palace was built on the site of the 18th-century house of Pietro Antonio Rossetti. At the beginning of the 20th century, the palace became the headquarters of the Anglo-Austrian Bank. In 1927, it was completely renovated to house the Italian Commercial Bank, and starting with 1938 it was the headquarters of the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro in Trieste. ARCHITECTURE The massive structure has a square plan and five floors. The main facade overlooking Piazza del Ponte Rosso is characterised by a monumental central body with six columns in Ionic style, and balconies with stone balustrades. The columns support an architrave with floral decorations, and the facade is crowned by a balustrade with six vases in Neoclassical style. The ground floor has a series of round arches with keystones on top and massive wrought iron railings, while the other floors have 11 rectangular windows enriched by stone frames. Inside, we can find a square courtyard with Read more [...]
The Grand Canal of Trieste (Canal Grande di Trieste) is a navigable canal located in the center of the city, halfway between the Trieste Centrale railway station and Piazza Unità d’Italia. SHORT HISTORY The Grand Canal was built between 1754 and 1756 by the Venetian Matteo Pirona. The canal was built to allow boats to sail to the city center to unload and load their goods. In its initial conformation, the canal was longer than is today, and stretched as far as the Church of Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo. The final part of the canal was filled in 1934, with the rubble resulting from the demolition of the old city, thus obtaining the current Piazza Sant’Antonio Nuovo. ARCHITECTURE The canal is overlooked by Palazzo Aedes, known as the Red Skyscraper, built in 1928 by the architect Arduino Berlam, by the Palazzo Gopcevich, built in 1850 by the architect Giovanni Andrea Berlam, by the Neoclassical Church of Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo, built in 1849 by the architect Pietro Nobile, and by the Serbian Orthodox Church of Saint Spyridon, built in 1869 by the architect Carlo Maciachini. Other notable buildings near the Grand Canal are Palazzo Genel, built in 1873 by Domenico Monti, Palazzo Read more [...]
Palazzo Gopcevich is a palace in Trieste, located near the harbour, on the bank of the Canal Grande. Since 2006, the palace houses the Civic Theater Museum Carlo Schmidl. SHORT HISTORY The building was commisioned by a member of a noble Serbian family, Spiridione Gopcevich, and designed by the Triestine architect Giovanni Berlam. The construction of the palace began in 1850. The palace was bought in 1998 by the Municipality of Trieste. The Theater Museum of Trieste was founded in 1924 by the Triestine music publisher and collector Carlo Schmidl, and until 1991 it was hosted in the Municipal Theater Giuseppe Verdi. In 1992, the museum was temporarily moved to Palazzo Morpurgo, and on December 16, 2006, it was opened in Palazzo Gopcevich. ARCHITECTURE With its double arched windows and the plasterwork inspired by the decoration of Palazzo Vendramin Calergi, in Venice, Palazzo Gopcevich is one the most important examples of Eclecticism in Trieste. The windows on the first floor are decorated by lunettes with marble statues representing the Serbian monarchs. Inside the palace, especially on the first floor, we can find rich ceiling decorations with plaster and tempera and refined wooden floors with mother-of-pearl marquetry. THE Read more [...]
Piazza della Borsa is a square in Trieste, located between Corso Italia, an important artery of the city, and Piazza Unità d’Italia. The square was the economic center of the city throughout the 19th century. SHORT HISTORY The square was initially called Piazza della Dogana (Customs Square), from the name of the building that stood in place of the current Palazzo del Tergesteo. Its current name derives from the Palazzo della Borsa Vecchia (Palace of the Old Stock Exchange), built in 1806 by the architect Antonio Mollari to house the activities of the stock market traders. Palazzo della Borsa, which is one of the most important examples of Trieste’s Neoclassical buildings, is currently the seat of the Trieste Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Crafts and Agriculture. The palace is called the Old Stock Exchange, as the Stock Exchange moved in 1844 in the Palazzo del Tergesteo, and then, in 1928, in an adjoining building (Palazzo Dreher), which became known as the New Exchange. Next to Palazzo della Borsa, there was once the Canal Piccolo, still remembered today by the name of the street. The canal was filled in 1816. In the square, we can find the Art Nouveau palace built Read more [...]
Palazzo del Lloyd Triestino is a palace in Trieste, located in the beautiful Piazza Unità d’Italia. Formerly the headquarters of the shipping company Lloyd Triestino di Navigazione, the palace now houses the offices of the Presidency and Council of the Autonomous Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. SHORT HISTORY Lloyd Triestino shipping company was established in 1833, and had its first headquarters in Piazza Tommaseo, then in Piazza della Borsa. In 1880, a property was purchased in Piazza Unità d’Italia and a competition was held for the design of the new building, in which architects from Vienna and Trieste participated. Seven projects were submitted, but none of them met the needs of the company’s council, so it was decided to entrust the construction to the senior Austrian architect Heinrich von Ferstel. The first stone was laid on December 6, 1880, and the construction was completed in 1883. On May 1st, 1945, during the Second World War, the palace was seriously damaged by the artillery shells fired by the Germans. During the years 1966 and 1967, the building underwent a radical restoration, consolidation and extension, with the internal floor raised towards the courtyard. In 1991, the building became the seat of the Read more [...]
The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, also known as the Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a church in Trieste, located at the foot of the San Giusto Hill. SHORT HISTORY The history of the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore is closely linked to that of the Jesuit congregation of Trieste. In 1619, two Jesuits, Giuseppe Mezler and Gregorio Salateo, arrived in Trieste. Thanks to its good relationship with the government of the time, the Jesuit order developed rapidly. The congregation commissioned the construction of a school, which is now located next to the current Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. Shortly after, it was decided to build the church, dedicated to the Madonna, which became the largest church in the city at that time. The first stone was laid on October 10, 1627, by the bishop Rinaldo Scarlicchio. However, the completion of the church took decades. When the church was consecrated on October 11, 1682, by the bishop Giacomo Ferdinando Gorizutti, the roof of the building was still partially uncovered. In November of the same year, the church’s wooden dome was destroyed by a fire that broke out in a nearby oil mill. When Read more [...]
Teatro Romano is a roman amphitheater located in Trieste, at the foot of the San Giusto Hill, on the edge of the old city. SHORT HISTORY At the time of its construction, dated to the end of the 1st century BC, the theater was located outside the city walls. Back then, the sea reached up to this area, and the theater was practically on its shore. At the beginning of the 2nd century AD, the theater was expanded, probably at the behest of Quinto Petronio Modesto, procurator of the emperor Trajan, mentioned in several inscriptions. Over the centuries, the theater was hidden by the structures that rose around it. Considered lost, it was rediscovered in 1814 by the architect Pietro Nobile, but only in 1938 was it brought to light, during the demolition of a part of the old city. The statues and inscriptions found in the excavations are kept at the Tergestino Lapidarium, in the Castle of San Giusto. Nowadays, the amphitheater is still occasionally used for outdoor summer shows. ARCHITECTURE According to the Greek custom, the amphitheater takes advantage of the natural slope of the hill. The seating area is divided into four main sections by Read more [...]
Castello di San Giusto is a castle in Trieste, located on the hill of the same name, a few meters away from the Cathedral of San Giusto. SHORT HISTORY After the sack of the city by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III in 1469, remembered as the Destruction of Trieste, after the massacres, looting and plague that followed, the people of Trieste were punished to build a fortress at their own expense. The castle was built on the Capitoline Hill, on the ruins of a Venetian castle. It was a two-story building with an adjacent tower. In the early 16th century, when the city temporarily came under the domination of the Republic of Venice, the fortress was extended with a semicircular bastion. After the return of the Empire, the works continued, but without haste. First, between 1551 and 1561, the southeast bastion was built, called Lalio after its designer, Domenico de Lalio. The northern part, already planned by the Venetians, was completed in 1595, and the last bastion, called Pomis, after the imperial architect Giovanni Pietro de Pomis, was finished in 1630. In 1930, the Italian authorities identified the tourist opportunity of the site. The fortress was restored, became a Read more [...]
The Cathedral of San Giusto is the cathedral of Trieste, dedicated to Saint Justus of Trieste. The church is located on the top of the homonymous hill, overlooking the city, only a few meters from the San Giusto Castle. Saint Justus of Trieste is a Roman Catholic saint, martyred on November 2, 293. Because he refused to worship the Roman gods, he was found guilty of sacrilege and sentenced to death by drowning. SHORT HISTORY Two churches were erected on this site between the 9th and 11th century – one dedicated to Saint Mary of the Assumption, and the other to San Giusto. Between 1302 and 1320, Bishop Rodolfo Pedrazzani joined the two existing churches under one roof, also building a simple asymmetrical facade. Between 1337 and 1343, the bell tower of the former church of Santa Maria was restored, being covered with a thick wall, but the works on the church were completed at the end of the century. The bell tower was originally higher, but in 1422 it was struck by lightning and was reduced to its current height. On November 27, 1385, the first German bishop of Trieste, Enrico de Wildenstein, consecrated the main altar of the Read more [...]
The Church of Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo, commonly known as the Church of Sant’Antonio Nuovo, is the largest Catholic church in Trieste. The church, dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, is located on the square with the same name, at the end of the Grand Canal of Trieste. SHORT HISTORY A private chapel dedicated to the Annunciation stood on this place until the middle of the 18th century. After the chapel was opened to the public, the structure became insufficient for worshippers, so it was decided to raise a larger church dedicated to Sant’Antonio Nuovo. Around 1771, the church was completed, but soon the new structure became also inadequate for the large number of believers who attended the services. Therefore, in 1808, a competition was held for a new church dedicated to Saint Anthony. The same year, the Neoclassical project of the Swiss architect Pietro Nobile won the competition. However, the work began only in 1825, and the consecration of the imposing church took place only in 1849. In 1958, the two pipe organs of the church were built by the Mascioni company, both with electric transmission. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church is characterized by a majestic Read more [...]
Palazzo del Municipio is a palace located in Piazza Unità d’Italia, which houses the seat of the Municipality of Trieste. SHORT HISTORY In the second half of the 19th century, the old Palazzo Pubblico or Palazzo del Magistrato was demolished, to make room for a new building dedicated to the municipality. For the new building, was chosen the project of the Trieste architect Giuseppe Bruni, who a few years earlier designed Palazzo Modello, located on the same square. The project was approved on September 17, 1873, and the work began at the end of the same year under the direction of the engineer and architect Eugenio Geiringer. The works ended in 1875. From a stage in front of the palace, Mussolini announced in 1938 the promulgation of racial laws in Italy, while on November 4, 1954, from the central balcony of the building, the president Luigi Einaudi and the mayor of the city, Gianni Bartoli, greeted the crowd gathered in the square during the celebrations for the return of Trieste to Italy. ARCHITECTURE The facade of the building, which overlooks Piazza Unità d’Italia, is built in an eclectic style, and consists of two lateral bodies of four floors, Read more [...]
Palazzo della Luogotenenza Austriaca (Palace of the Austrian Lieutenancy) or Palazzo della Prefettura (Palace of the Prefecture) is one of the most important palaces in Trieste, located in Piazza Unità d’Italia. Dating back to the Habsburg rule in Trieste, the palace was the seat of the Austrian Lieutenancy, and today houses the Prefecture of Trieste. SHORT HISTORY The Palace of the Austrian Lieutenancy replaced an old Governmental Palace, built in 1764 by the order of Maria Theresa of Austria, according to the design of the architect Giovanni Fusconi, where the offices of the Imperial Arsenal were located. Demolished in 1899, the old building gave way to the new construction, the last of the monumental buildings in the square, built between 1901 and 1905, after a design by the architect Emil Artmann. After being the residence of the last three Austrian lieutenants, in 1918 the palace became the seat of the military governor of Venezia Giulia, Carlo Petitti di Roreto, and after the establishment of the province of Trieste in 1922, the seat of the prefecture. ARCHITECTURE The sumptuous facade of the palace has a double loggia located in the center, which functioned as a stage for the governor Read more [...]