Where to stay, shop and eat in Trieste

Author: Caroline Hamilton
Photography: Alamy & Dean Dubokovic


Savoia Excelsior Palace
The ornate Excelsior is a reminder of the city's Belle Époque past as a key port of the Austro-Hungarian empire - Emperor Franz Josef has been among the hotel's illustrious guests. Most of its spacious rooms have impressive views over the Gulf of Trieste to the Adriatic.
Riva del Mandracchio, 4, starhotels.com

L'Albero Nascosto
Located amid the steep, winding streets that were once home to the city's Jewish merchants, the area surrounding this boutique hotel is a hive of bars, restaurants and bespoke retailers, and the best place to witness the city's revival. Each of the 10 large, modern rooms is individually styled with a mix of antique and contemporary furniture. 
Via Felice Venezian, 18, alberonascostotrieste.com


Castello Miramare
Follow the coastline east to this castle atop the promontory of Grignano, a 10-minute drive from the city centre. Built by Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Hapsburg for his wife, Charlotte, in 1860, it's an eclectic blend of medieval, Renaissance, and Gothic styles. The real attraction is the view and the chance to swim in crystal-clear water, if the season allows.
Viale Miramare, castello-miramare.it

Teatro Verdi
Like many of the city's most notable buildings, and the city itself, Teatro Verdi has had various name changes over the years. The glory of this building, however, has never changed. Opened in 1801, Trieste's stunning opera house was modelled on the famed La Scala in Milan and still stages regular seasons of opera, dance and classical music.
Riva 3 Novembre, 1, teatroverdi-trieste.com


Pop a couple of classic Italian labels in your suitcase during your stay. Katastrofa stocks a range of travel-friendly trinkets such as tortoiseshell eyewear cases and Pucci-print scarves along with highly covetable designer vintage furniture and collectables
Via Armando Diaz, 4, katastrofa.it

Boutique jeweller Liberty specialises in Art Deco items such as Lalique and vintage brooches, earrings and cufflinks by Cartier and Verdura. 
Via del Ponte, 7.

Libreria Antiquaria Umberto Saba
Once managed by celebrated Trieste poet Umberto Saba, this place is heaven for bibliophiles and anyone who loves first editions and service with Old World charm
Via San Nicolò, 30, libreriasaba.it


Al Bagatto
There's inventiveness in the menu, and also behind the bar. An impressive "wine library" holding more than 1500 mostly local wines stretches from floor to ceiling behind the central dining room. The dégustation demonstrates the city-wide culinary reputation for artfully combining "acqua e terra", seen in dishes such as gnocchi with sea urchin, tomato, celery and pine nuts.
Via Cadorna, 7, albagatto.it

Al Bagatto

This elegant pasticceria is known for its house specialty, presnitz - a rich pastry filled with dried fruit and nuts and laced with grappa - paired with a "capo in B", a tiny cappuccino served (for reasons obscure even to the locals) in a shot glass.
Via Dante Alighieri, 2/b, eppingercaffe.it

Buffet da Pepi
A Trieste-style buffet is nose-to-tail eating with no salad bar in sight. Prop yourself at the counter at this old-school eatery between 11 and 11, order una birra and a mixed plate of pork shoulder, tongue, and rich, fatty musetto sausage.
Via Cassa di Risparmio, 3, buffetdapepi.it


No trip to Trieste is complete without a visit to Caffè San Marco. Founded in 1914, the Viennese-style coffee house remains a magnet for young intellectuals - James Joyce held court here. Its Sacher torte is the best this side of the Austrian border.
Via Battisti, 18, caffesanmarcotrieste.eu


About 45 minutes' drive south-east of Trieste, in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia wine region, are the vineyards of the Collio and Isonzo zones.
One of the most picturesque wineries is Tiare Wines, on the Slovenian border, best known for its malvasia. Località Sant'Elena, 3a, 34070 Dolegna del Collio (Gorizia), tiaredoc.com

Getting there

Airlines including Qatar, Etihad and Emirates-Qantas fly one stop between select Australian capitals and Venice, then it's a two-hour train to Trieste. trenitalia.com

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