In 2012 Lonely Planet listed the city of Trieste as the world’s most underrated travel destination. So when we were going to be in the neighborhood we said why not?
Trieste lies at the northernmost part of the Adriatic in northeast Italy, near the border with Slovenia. The city itself is on the Gulf of Trieste.
This morning we left Varaždin with mixed feelings since we have thoroughly enjoyed all of our Croatian stay. We easily and smoothly rose out of Croatia into the lovely mountains and rolling hills and valley of Slovenia– a beautiful drive through prosperous farmlands and small mountainous villages ever centered around a church and school. Admittedly today was beautifully sunny with clear air and blue skies but the countryside as well as the sprinkling of towns was amazingly lovely. It seemed like we had just bought our Slovenian vignette and slapped it on the driver’s windshield when we abruptly dropped into Italy. We then down among the craggy granite outcroppings and steep three story villas clinging to the hillsides and landed beside the bay in the center of Trieste.
Trieste was one of the oldest territories of the Habsburg Monarchy. In the 19th century, it was the most important port of one of the Great Powers of Europe. As a prosperous seaport in the Mediterranean region, Trieste became the fourth largest city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (after Vienna, Budapest, and Prague). In the fin-de-siecle period, it emerged as an important hub for literature and music. It underwent an economic revival during the 1930s, and Trieste was a pivotal point in the struggle between the Eastern and Western blocs after the Second World War. Today, the city is in one of the prosperous regions of Italy, a centre for shipping, port, shipbuilding and financial services.