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A Day in Trieste

By: Cityseeker
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Grotta Gigante

The Grotta Gigante is an enormous cave, first opened to the public in 1908, large enough to contain the entire basilica of Saint Peter. Because of its special characteristics and constant temperature of 12°C, it is the site of scientific experiments of world interest. The oldest speleological society in Europe runs the caves and organizes guided tours all year round. A series of routes, some of which have only been opened recently, allow visitors to admire the cave (illuminated by spotlights) from different angles. You can also visit the small museum of archeological and paleontological materials from the area. Check website for timings and details.

Località Borgo Grotta Gigante 42/A, Sgonico, Italy, 34010
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica

The regional Superintendent for works of art is housed in several rooms of the lovely Economo building opposite the railway station. And here there is an art gallery that is unknown to most residents of Trieste. The exhibits include several paintings of the Italian school between the end of the 15th Century and the start of the 19th Century, including drawings by Canaletto and a painting by Cranach the Elder. Also outstanding is the Piedmont room filled with boisèries, mirrors and paintings.

Piazza Libertà 7, Trieste, Italy, 34132
Libreria Antiquaria Umberto Saba

This is a place that has to be visited, and not just by bookworms. In fact, this bookshop is much more than just a simple shop, it is a museum, a piece of the city's history. It was founded just after the Second World War by one of Trieste's most famous poets, Umberto Saba (1883-1957). He was an important poet from Venezia Giulia, and more importantly of 20th-century Italy, and he made this bookshop become famous all over the country. Nothing has changed in this shop since the day it was opened, and even the atmosphere that you breath in is very suggestive and fascinating. Saba made this bookshop into a meeting place for Trieste's intellectuals such as Svevo, Stuparich and Giotti, and high caliber Italian authors like Levi, Montale, and Comisso. The poet liked to define his shop as "an escape from all the horrors of the time". Nowadays the efficient aspects of a modern bookshop are blended in with the old books and the traditions of this shop which must not be lost. It is a gold mine for antique and rare book collectors. The location is also good, situated at a few paces from the spectacular Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia and right in the middle of a pedestrian zone. Today this bookshop is run by Mario Cerne, son of Carlo, who was the poet's colleague since 1924.

Via San Nicolò 30, Trieste, Italy, 34121
Castle of San Giusto

One of the symbols of the city, this castle is set on its highest hill. The building, started in 1470 on the site of a Venetian fort, was not finished until 1630. A passage to the courtyard leads to the site museum and a restaurant. On the ground floor, there is the chapel dedicated to San Giorgio. A large staircase lined with with armor leads to the Venetian Room on whose ceiling is a large painting of the Allegory of Venice, by Andrea Celesti (1637-1712). On the second floor is a collection of armor.

Piazza della Cattedrale 3, Trieste, Italy, 34121
Cattedrale di San Giusto

Just a 20-minute walk from Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia, this cathedral is a symbol of Trieste. It was built in 1300, when two, pre-existing basilicas were merged, forming the vast, central nave. There is a beautiful sandstone façade and a bell tower that was built in 1337. There are Byzantine mosaics in the enchanting interiors and a 13th-century chapel enclosed in a rich Baroque railing. The right nave is the chapel dedicated to St Justus, and the Bourbons of Spain are buried in the crypt. Admission: Free.

Piazza della Cattedrale 3, Trieste, Italy, 34121
Castello di Miramare

Castello di Miramare was the home of Maximilian until he was forced to leave and become the Emperor of Mexico. The next resident, Duke Amedeo of Savoy, made Castello di Miramare the seat for various military commands. In 1955, it was transformed into a museum. The castle still has the original furniture commissioned by Maximilian. There is a chapel; the Japanese and Chinese rooms, rich in oriental ornaments; and the apartments where the Duke of Savoy lived. Miramare is set in an extraordinary park, which extends over 54 acres (21.8 hectares). Guided tours are available upon request.

Viale Miramare, Trieste, Italy, 34014
Giardino botanico Carsiana

On the provincial road 18 kilometers from the city between two small villages on the plateau, Gabrovizza and Sgonico, lie the Carsiana botanical gardens opened in 1964. Visitors shouldn't expect exotic flowers and plants, instead enjoy the beautiful reproduction of the natural karstic environment. You will find a doline (a characteristic depression in the shape of a funnel), woods and their karstic undergrowth, a pond, a natural well and local flora. Notice boards describe the more interesting features of the countryside and individual species of plants, giving their scientific names, family, geographical distribution and flowering period.

Via Sgonico 55, Sgonico, Italy, 34010
Museo Archeologico

Museo Archeologico has a small but interesting collection of archaeological remains which have been found in the area and date from the late medieval and neolithic periods. The area is rich in history and all of the items displayed at the Museo Archeologico will only give you deeper insights into the region's fascinating history. Do not miss the special funeral collection in the museum. It is worth a visit just because of its location.

Calle Oberdan 14, Muggia, Italy, 34015
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