Trieste is a complex port city, located on the Adriatic coast of Italy. It rises on a gulf and is surrounded by the Carsic region as well as the sea. Visitors with a passion for European history will be fascinated by the city as it offers a Hasburg charm, wide Viennese-style boulevards, imposing civic buildings and a beautiful sea-fronted square. Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia is where locals can sit over espressos admiring the Mazzolini fountain. For those who love nature, the beaches of the Adriatic coast, the ski slopes and forest trails of Carnia to the north are all just a short trip away.
The city has developed thanks to its harbour's traffic, becoming a lively commercial and industrial centre, a cross-road for people and cultures from Italy and the Balkans, central Europe and the Mediterranean regions.
Some consider Trieste's finest architecture and urban settings to be found in Borgo Teresiano. The district was named after the Empress Maria Theresa; her father, Emperor Charles VI, laid the foundations for the growth of modern Trieste by establishing the free port here. Unquestionably, the 19th-century buildings that line the shore speak eloquently of the city's past as the great maritime outlet of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The cultural tradition here is intensely Italian, yet cosmopolitan and receptive to Europe.
The Costiera is limited westwards by the impressive Castle of Duino, made by two fortalices as reported in documents since 1363. Not far, in the Karst, other interesting landmarks are: the Carsiana botanic gardens in Sgonico, Val Rosandra, the valley with the only karst stream flowing on the surface and the ruins of the Roman aqueduct. The Grotta Gigante (huge grotto) in the Karst of Trieste, is the world biggest grotto open to tourists.
The Gulf of Trieste, constantly blown by strong winds is a favourite spot for sailors, with its clear waters. It is home of the Barcolana, the most crowded sailing race in the world.