Beautiful and cultured, Trieste is Italy’s most cosmopolitan city. Here there are still echoes of the glorious Habsburg past and in the mixture of languages, peoples and religions you can really sense its Central European and Mediterranean souls.
The heart of the city is the most beautiful and most symbolic of all its squares, Piazza Unità d’Italia, which is surrounded by buildings that summarize Trieste’s history. However, the most spectacular side of the square is the one facing the sea, from which a pier, the Molo Audace, extends for over two hundred metres. From here, the romantic castle of Miramare takes the scene.
It was the house of Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Hapsburg-Lorraine and his wife Charlotte of Belgium. It was traditionally named “Mira el mar” by Archduke Maximilian, as the beautiful view reminded him of the Atlantic coast. From Piazza Unità, the city paints itself with monumental palaces and churches, as the Greek Orthodox Church of San Nicolò on the Trieste Canal Grande (Grand Canal), the centre of the neighbourhood built at the behest of Maria Theresa of Austria. The churches in this district are witnesses to the harmonious coexistence of different religions.
Trieste is also the city of coffee. A free port for coffee imports from the 18th century onwards and still todays’ busiest port in the Mediterranean. Today the Cafés are still fascinating meeting places where people are immediately bewitched by the slow and relaxed rhythm surrounding them. These Cafés are able to evoke more than one century of the city’s history and great novelists’ souls such as James Joyce, Italo Svevo and Umberto Saba, who used to live in Trieste and attend its Cafés. Taking a break in one of Trieste’s old Cafés is an unmissable ritual for which you even have to learn some special jargon: here, an espresso is a “nero”, but what on earth is a “gocciato” or a “capo in b”?
Trieste is known as the City of Science because of its long tradition as a dynamic meeting hub for research, science and innovation, with an impact that extends beyond Italy to the rest of Europe and the developing world.
It is internationally renowned for having one of the largest concentrations of scientific institutions in Italy, including, beside the University, the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, the International School for Advanced Studies, the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics, the Elettra Synchrotron Light Laboratory and the WWF Marine Reserve in Miramare.
Trieste hosts more than 30 national and international centres and companies working in research and higher education, 5000 permanent foreign scientists and some 13000 students and researchers. In 2020 Trieste hosted Euro Science Open Forum-ESOF2020.
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