Main Births etc
—  Comune  —
Comune di Trieste
A collage of Trieste showing the Piazza Unità d'Italia (formerly known as Piazza Grande; top left), the Castello Miramare, the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi and the Trieste Stock Exchange


Coat of arms

Trieste is located in Italy
Location of Trieste in Italy

Trieste is located in Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Coordinates: 45°38′N 13°48′E / 45.633, 13.8Coordinates: 45°38′N 13°48′E / 45.633, 13.8
Country Italy
Region Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Province Trieste (TS)
Frazioni Banne (Bani), Barcola (Barkovlje), Basovizza (Bazovica), Borgo San Nazario, Cattinara (Katinara), Conconello (Ferlugi), Contovello (Kontovel), Grignano (Grljan), Gropada (Gropada), Longera (Lonjer), Miramare (Miramar), Opicina (Opčine), Padriciano (Padriče), Prosecco (Prosek), Santa Croce (Križ), Servola (Škedenj), Trebiciano (Trebče)
 • Mayor Roberto Cosolini (it) (Democratic Party)
 • Total 84 km2 (32 sq mi)
Elevation 2 m (7 ft)
Population (1 January 2011)[1]
 • Total 205,535
 • Density 2,400/km2 (6,300/sq mi)
Demonym Triestini
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 34100
Dialing code 040
Patron saint St. Justus of Trieste
Saint day November 3
Website Official website

Trieste ( /trˈɛst/;[2] Italian pronunciation: [triˈɛste] About this sound listen ; Triestine Venetian: Trièst; Slovene, Croatian: Trst; German: Triest) is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of Italian territory lying between the Adriatic Sea and Italy's border with Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city. Trieste is located at the head of the Gulf of Trieste and throughout history it has been influenced by its location at the crossroads of Germanic, Latin and Slavic cultures. In 2009, it had a population of about 205,000[1] and it is the capital of the autonomous region Friuli Venezia Giulia and Trieste province.

Trieste was one of the oldest parts of the Habsburg Monarchy from 1382 until 1918. 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. However, the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Trieste's union to Italy after World War I led to some decline of its "Mittel-European" cultural and commercial importance. Enjoying an economic revival during the 1930s and throughout the Cold War, Trieste was an important spot in the struggle between the Eastern and Western blocs. Today, the city is in one of the richest regions of Italy, and has been a great centre for shipping, through its port (Port of Trieste), shipbuilding and financial services.


The original pre-Roman name of the city Tergeste derives from the Venetic words terg- (market) and est- (place) is etymologically related with the Scandinavian torg(et), Old Church Slavonic tьrgъ, Slovenian and Croatian trg / tržište meaning "market" and mesto / mjesto meaning "place", Romanian tirgu, and Albanian word treg, all meaning "market".[3][4][5] Roman authors also transliterated the name as Tergestum. Modern names of the city include: Italian: Trieste, Slovene: Trst, German: Triest, Hungarian: Trieszt; Croatian: Trst, Serbian: Трст, Trst, and Greek: Τεργέστη, Tergesti.


Trieste is situated in the northernmost part of the high Adriatic in North-east Italy, near the border with Slovenia. The city lies on the Gulf of Trieste.

Satellite view of Trieste

Built mostly on a hillside that becomes a mountain, Trieste's urban territory is situated at the foot of an imposing escarpment that comes down abruptly from the Kras Plateau towards the sea. The Kras heights, close to the city, reach an altitude of 458 metres (1,502 ft) above sea level.


The territory of Trieste is composed of several different climate zones depending on the distance from the sea and elevation. The average temperatures are 5.7 °C (42 °F) in January and 24.1 °C (75 °F) in July. The climatic setting of the city is warm humid subtropical climate (Cfa according to Köppen climate classification) with some Mediterranean influences. On average, humidity levels are pleasantly low (~65%), while only two months (January & February) receive slightly less than 60 mm (2 in) of precipitation. Trieste along with the Istrian peninsula enjoys evenly distributed rainfall above 1,000 mm (39 in) in total; it is noteworthy that no true summer drought occurs. Temperatures are very mild - lows below zero are very rare (with just 9 days per a year) and highs above 30 °C (86 °F) similarly can be expected 15 days a year only. Winter maxima are lower than in typical Mediterranean zone (~ 5 - 11°C) with quite high minima (~2 - 8°C). Two basic weather patterns interchange - sunny, sometimes windy but often very cold days (max. +7, min. 0; frequently connected to an occurrence of northeast wind called Bora ) and rainy days with temperatures about 6 to 11 °C (43 to 52 °F). Absolute minimal temperature came with Arctic winter of 1956, −14.6 °C (6 °F). Summer is very warm with maxima about 28 degrees and lows above 20 degrees. Absolute maximum from 2003 is 37.2 °C (99 °F). Average year temperature, 15 °C (59 °F), is the same as Earth's average.

The year 2011 brought unusually dry conditions with 630 mm (25 in) of precipitation and 54% humidity; the lowest temperature was −2 °C (28 °F) and maximum was 33.8 °C (93 °F) with average 15.9 °C (61 °F), higher than usual. Average speed of wind was 6.4 km/h (4 mph), a very light wind when compared to other coastal cities of Mediterranean. Trieste is divided into 8a-10a zones according to USDA hardiness zoning; Villa Opicina (320 to 420 MSL) with 8a in upper suburban area down to 10a in especially shielded and windproof valleys close to the Adriatic sea.

The climate can be severely affected by the Bora, a very dry and usually cool north-to-northeast katabatic wind that can last for several days and reach speeds of up to 200 km per hour, thus sometimes bringing all-day subzero temperatures to the entire city.

Climate data for Trieste Barcola
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.6
Average high °C (°F) 7.6
Average low °C (°F) 3.8
Record low °C (°F) −9.3
Precipitation mm (inches) 58.0
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 7.8 6.2 7.8 8.5 8.7 9.3 6.5 7.3 7.1 7.9 9.1 8.4 94.6
humidity 67 64 62 64 64 65 62 62 66 68 67 68 64.9
Mean monthly sunshine hours 96.1 118.7 142.6 177 226.3 243 288.3 260.4 210 167.4 99 83.7 2,112.5
Source: Servizio Meteorologico dell'Aeronautica Militare, data 1951-2011

City districts[]

Seven sections of Trieste

Trieste is administratively divided in seven districts:
1) Altipiano Ovest: Borgo San Nazario · Contovello (Kontovel) · Prosecco (Prosek) · Santa Croce (Križ)
2) Altipiano Est: Banne (Bani) · Basovizza (Bazovica) · Gropada (Gropada) · Opicina (Opčine) · Padriciano (Padriče) · Trebiciano (Trebče)
3) Barcola (Barkovlje) · Cologna (Kolonja) · Conconello (Ferlugi) · Gretta (Greta) · Grignano (Grljan) · Guardiella (Vrdela) · Miramare · Roiano (Rojan) · Scorcola (Škorklja)
4) Barriera Nuova · Borgo Giuseppino · Borgo Teresiano · Città Nuova · Città Vecchia · San Vito · San Giusto · Campi Elisi · Sant'Andrea · Cavana
5) Barriera Vecchia (Stara mitnica)· San Giacomo (Sv. Jakob)· Santa Maria Maddalena Superiore
6) Cattinara (Katinara) · Chiadino (Kjadin) · San Luigi · Guardiella (Vrdela)· Longera (Lonjer) · San Giovanni (Sv. Ivan) · Rozzol (Rocol) · Melara
7) Chiarbola (Čarbola) · Coloncovez (Kolonkovec) · Santa Maria Maddalena Inferiore (Sv. Marija Magdalena Spodnja) - Raute (Rovte) · Santa Maria Maddalena Superiore (Sv. Marija Magdalena Zgornja) · Servola (Škedenj) · Poggi Paese · Poggi Sant'Anna (Sv. Ana) · Valmaura · Altura · Borgo San Sergio


Ancient era[]

Remains of a Roman arch in Trieste's Old City

Originally an Illyrian settlement the town was later captured by the Carni. From 177 BC Tergeste was under the Romans. It was granted the status of colony under Julius Caesar, who recorded its name as Tergeste in his Commentarii de bello Gallico (51 BC). During Roman times, Tergeste was defined an "Illyrian city" by Artemidorus of Ephesus, a Greek geographer, and "Carnic" by Strabo.

In imperial times the border of "Roman Italia" moved from the Timavo river to Formione (today Risano (it)). Roman Tergeste flourished due to its position on the road from Aquileia, the main Roman city in the area, to Istria, and as a port, some ruins of which are still visible. Augustus built a line of walls around the city in 33-32 BC, while Trajan built a theatre in the 2nd century AD.

In the Early Christian era Trieste continued to flourish, and after the end of the Western Roman Empire (in 476), it became a Byzantine military outpost. In 567 AD the city was destroyed by the Lombards in the course of their invasion of northern Italy. In 788 it became part of the Frankish kingdom, under the authority of their count-bishop. From 1081 the city came loosely under the Patriarchate of Aquileia, developing into a free commune by the end of the 12th century.

Habsburg Empire[]

Trieste in the 17th century, in a contemporary image by the Carniolan historian Johann Weikhard von Valvasor

After two centuries of war against the nearby major power, the Republic of Venice (which occupied it from 1369 to 1501), the main citizens of Trieste petitioned Leopold III of Habsburg, Duke of Austria to become part of his domains. The agreement of cessation was signed in October 1382, in St. Bartholomew's church in the village of Šiška (apud Sisciam), today one of the city quarters of Ljubljana. The citizens, however, maintained a certain degree of autonomy up until the 17th century.

Following an unsuccessful Habsburg invasion of Venice in the prelude to the War of the League of Cambrai, the Venetians occupied Trieste again in 1508, and under the terms of the peace were allowed to keep the city. The Habsburg Empire recovered Trieste a little over one year later, however, when conflict resumed.

Trieste became an important port and trade hub. In 1719, it was made a free port within the Habsburg Empire by Emperor Charles VI, and remained a free port until 1 July 1891. The reign of his successor, Maria Theresa of Austria, marked the beginning of a flourishing era for the city.

In 1768, the German art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann was murdered by a robber in Trieste, while on his way from Vienna to Italy.

Trieste was occupied by French troops three times during the Napoleonic Wars, in 1797, 1805 and in 1809. Between 1809 and 1813, it was annexed to the Illyrian Provinces, interrupting its status of free port and losing its autonomy. The municipal autonomy was not restored after the return of the city to the Austrian Empire in 1813. Following the Napoleonic Wars, Trieste continued to prosper as the Free Imperial City of Trieste (Reichsunmittelbare Stadt Triest), a status that granted economic freedom, but limited its political self-government. The city's role as main Austrian trading port and shipbuilding centre was later emphasized with the foundation of the merchant shipping line Austrian Lloyd in 1836, whose headquarters stood at the corner of the Piazza Grande and Sanità. By 1913 Austrian Lloyd had a fleet of 62 ships comprising a total of 236,000 tons.[6] With the introduction of the constitutionalism in the Austrian Empire in 1860, the municipal autonomy of the city was restored, with Trieste became capital of the Adriatisches Küstenland, the Austrian Littoral region.

The Stock Exchange Square in 1854

The particular Friulian dialect, called Tergestino, spoken until the beginning of the 19th century, was gradually overcome by the Triestine dialect of Venetian (a language deriving directly from vulgar Latin) and other languages, including German grammar, Slovene and standard Italian languages. While Triestine was spoken by the largest part of the population, German was the language of the Austrian bureaucracy and Slovene was predominant in the surrounding villages. From the last decades of the 19th century, Slovene language speakers grew steadily, reaching 25% of the overall population of the municipality of Trieste in 1911 (30% of the Austro-Hungarian citizens in Trieste).[7]

According to the 1911 census, the proportion of Slovene speakers amounted to 12.6% in the city center, 47.6% in the suburbs, and 90.5% in the surroundings.[8] They were the largest ethnic group in 9 of the 19 urban neighborhoods of Trieste, and represented a majority in 7 of them.[8] The Italian speakers, on the other hand, were 60.1% of the population in the city center, 38.1% in the suburbs, and 6.0% in the surroundings. They were the largest linguistic group in 10 of the 19 urban neighborhoods, and represented the majority in 7 of them (including all 6 in the city center). Of the 11 villages included within the city limits, the Slovene speakers had an overwhelming majority in 10, and the German speakers in one (Miramare).

German speakers amounted to 5% of the city's population, with the highest proportions in the city center.

A small number of the population spoke Croatian (around 1.3% in 1911), and the city also counted several other smaller ethnic communities: Czechs, Istro-Romanians, Serbs and Greeks, which mostly assimilated either to the Italian or Slovene-speaking community.

A view of Trieste in 1885

In the later part of the 19th century, Pope Leo XIII considered moving his residence to Trieste (or to Salzburg), due to what he considered a hostile anti-Catholic climate in Italy, following the Capture of Rome by the newly-founded Kingdom of Italy. However, the Austrian monarch Franz Josef I gently rejected this idea.[9]

The modern Austro-Hungarian Navy used Trieste's shipbuilding facilities for construction and as a base. The construction of the first major trunk railway in the Empire, the Vienna-Trieste Austrian Southern Railway, was completed in 1857, a valuable asset for trade and the supply of coal.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Trieste was a buzzing cosmopolitan city frequented by artists and philosophers such as James Joyce, Italo Svevo, Sigmund Freud, Dragotin Kette, Ivan Cankar, Scipio Slataper, and Umberto Saba. The city was the major port of the Austrian Riviera, and perhaps the only real enclave of Mitteleuropa south of the Alps. Viennese architecture and coffeehouses still dominate the streets of Trieste to this day.

Annexation to Italy[]


Ethnic distribution in Istria and Trieste in 1910/1911:


Together with Trento, Trieste was a main focus of the irredentist movement, which aimed for the annexation to Italy of all the lands they claimed were inhabited by an Italian speaking population. Many local Italians enrolled voluntarily in the Royal Italian Army (a notable example is the writer Scipio Slataper).[10]

After the end of World War I, the Austro-Hungarian Empire dissolved, and many of its border areas, including the Austrian Littoral, were disputed among its successor states. On November 3, 1918, the Armistice of villa Giusti was signed ending hostilities between Italy and Austria-Hungary. Trieste was occupied by the Italian Army after the Austro-Hungarian troops had been ordered to lay down their arms, a day before the Armistice was due to come into effect, effectively allowing the Italians to claim the region had been taken before the cessation of hostilities (a similar situation occurred in South Tyrol). Trieste was officially annexed to the Kingdom of Italy only with the Treaty of Rapallo in 1920. Immediately a policy of "deslavification" started with the Italianisation of Slovene placenames. The region was reorganized as a new administrative unit, known as the Julian March (Venezia Giulia).

Absorption by Italy, however, brought a loss of importance to the city, as the new state border deprived it of its former hinterland. The Slovene ethnic group (around 25% of the population according to the 1910 census)[11] suffered persecution by rising Italian Fascism. The period of violent persecution of Slovenes began with riots in April 13, 1920, which were organized as a retaliation for the assault on Italian occupying troops in Split by the local Croatian population. Many Slovene-owned shops and buildings were destroyed during the riots, which culminated when a group of Italian Fascists, led by Francesco Giunta, burned down the Narodni dom ("National House"), the community hall of Trieste's Slovenes.

After the emergence of the Fascist regime in 1922, an official policy of Italianization continued. Public use of the Slovene language was prohibited, by 1927 all Slovene associations were dissolved, while names and surnames of Slavic and German origin were Italianized by the end of 1930. Several thousand Slovenes from Trieste, especially intellectuals, emigrated to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and to South America, where many became prominent in their field. Among the notable Slovene émigrés from Trieste were the writers Vladimir Bartol and Josip Ribičič, the legal theorist Boris Furlan, and the architect Viktor Sulčič. Meanwhile several thousand ethnic Italians from Dalmatia moved to Trieste from the newly created Yugoslavia.[12]

In the late 1920s, Yugoslav irredentism started to appear, and the Slovene militant anti-fascist organization TIGR carried out several bomb attacks in the city centre. In 1930 and 1941, two trials against Slovene activists were held in Trieste by the fascist Special Tribunal for the Security of the State.

Despite the demise of its traditional multicultural and pluri-linguistic character, and the emigration of many Slovenes and most of the German speakers, the overall population continued to grow. Even the economy enjoyed a significant improvement in the late 1930s, with development of industrial activities.[13]

The Fascist Regime undertook several new infrastructure projects and public buildings, including the almost 70 m (229.66 ft) high Victory Lighthouse (Faro della Vittoria), which became one of the city's landmarks. The University of Trieste was also established in this period.

Several artistic and intellectual subcultures continued to swarm even under the repressive Fascist regime. In the 1920s, the city was home to an important avant-gardist movement in visual arts, centered around the futurist Tullio Crali and the constructivist Avgust Černigoj. In the same period, Trieste consolidated its role as one of the centres of modern Italian literature, with authors such as Umberto Saba, Biagio Marin, Giani Stuparich, and Salvatore Satta. Among the non-Italian authors and intellectuals that remained in Trieste, the most notable were the Austrian Julius Kugy and the Slovene Boris Pahor. Intellectuals were frequently associated with Caffè San Marco, a cafè in the city still open today.

The promulgation of the anti-Jewish racial laws in 1938 was a severe blow to the city's Jewish community, the third largest in Italy. The Fascist anti-semitic campaign resulted in a series of attacks on Jewish property and individuals, culminating in July 1942, when the Great Synagogue was raided and devastated by the Fascist Squads and the mob.[14]

World War II and its aftermath[]

Foibe memorial in Basovizza neighborhood

With the invasion and occupation of Yugoslavia in April 1941, World War Two came close to Trieste. Starting from the winter of 1941, the first Yugoslav partisan units appeared in Trieste province, although the resistance movement did not reach the city itself until late 1943.

After the Italian armistice in September 1943, the city was occupied by German troops. Trieste became nominally part of the newly constituted Italian Social Republic, but it was de facto ruled by Nazi Germany: the Nazis created the Operation Zone of the Adriatic Littoral out of former Italian north-eastern regions, with Trieste as the administrative center. The new administrative entity was headed by Friedrich Rainer. Under the Nazi occupation, the only concentration camp with a crematorium on Italian soil was built in a suburb of Trieste, at the Risiera di San Sabba, on 4 April 1944. Around 3,000 Jews, South Slavs and Italian anti Fascists were killed in the Risiera, while thousands of others were imprisoned before being transferred to other concentration camps.

The city saw intense Italian and Yugoslav partisan activity, and suffered from Allied bombings. The city's Jewish community was deported to extermination camps, where most of them died.

On April 30, 1945, the Italian anti-Fascist National Liberation Committee (Comitato di Liberazione Nazionale, or CLN) of don Marzari and Savio Fonda, constituted of approximately 3,500 volunteers, incited a riot against the German occupiers. On May 1, Allied forces of the Yugoslav Partisans' 8th Dalmatian Corps arrived and took over most of the city, except for the courts and the castle of San Giusto, where the German garrisons refused to surrender to any force other than New Zealanders. The 2nd New Zealand Division continued to advance towards Trieste along Route 14 around the northern coast of the Adriatic sea and arrived in the city the next day (see official histories The Italian Campaign[15] and Through the Venetian Line).[16] The German forces capitulated on the evening of May 2, but were then turned over to the Yugoslav forces.

The Yugoslavs held full control of the city until June 12, a period known in the Italian historiography as the "forty days of Trieste".[17]

During this period, hundreds of local Italians and anti-Communist Slovenes were arrested by the Yugoslav authorities, and many of them disappeared.[18] These included former Fascists and Nazi collaborators, but also Italian nationalists, and any other real or potential opponents of Yugoslav Communism. Some were interned in Yugoslav concentration camps (in particular at Borovnica, Slovenia), while others were murdered and thrown into the potholes ("foibe") on the Karst plateau.[19]

After an agreement between the Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito and the British Field Marshal Harold Alexander, the Yugoslav forces withdrew from Trieste, which came under a joint British-U.S. military administration. The Julian March was divided between Anglo-American and Yugoslav military administration until September 1947, when the Paris Peace Treaty established the Free Territory of Trieste.

Zone A of the Free Territory of Trieste (1947–54)[]

Zone A and Zone B of the Free Territory of Trieste (1947–1954)

In 1947, Trieste was declared an independent city state under the protection of the United Nations as the Free Territory of Trieste. The territory was divided into two zones, A and B, along the Morgan Line, established in 1945.

From 1947 to 1954, the A Zone was governed by the Allied Military Government, composed of the American "Trieste United States Troops" (TRUST), commanded by Major General Bryant E. Moore, the commanding general of the American 88th Infantry Division, and the "British Element Trieste Forces" (BETFOR), commanded by Sir Terence Airey, who were the joint forces commander and also the military governors. Zone A covered almost the same area of the current Italian Province of Trieste, except for four small villages south of Muggia, which were given to Yugoslavia after the dissolution of the Free Territory in 1954. Zone B, which remained under the military administration of the Yugoslav People's Army, was composed of the north-westernmost portion of the Istrian peninsula, between the river Mirna and the Debeli Rtič cape.

In 1954, the Free Territory of Trieste was dissolved. The vast majority of Zone A, including the city of Trieste, was ceded to Italy. Zone B became part of Yugoslavia, along with four villages from the Zone A (Plavje, Spodnje Škofije, Hrvatini, and Jelarji), and was divided among the Socialist Republic of Slovenia and Croatia. The annexation of Trieste to Italy was officially announced on 26 October 1954, and was welcomed by the majority of the Trieste population.

The final border line with Yugoslavia, and the status of the ethnic minorities in the areas, was settled in 1975 with the Treaty of Osimo. This line is now the border between Italy and Slovenia.


During the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Trieste became a leading European city in economy, trade and commerce, and was the fourth largest and most important centre in the Empire, after Vienna, Budapest and Prague. The economy of Trieste, however, fell into a small decline after the city's annexation to Italy after World War I. But Fascist Italy promoted a huge development of Trieste in the 1930s, with new manufacturing activities related even to naval and armament industries (like the famous "Cantieri Aeronautici Navali Triestini (CANT)").[20] Allied bombings during World War II destroyed the industrial section of the city (mainly the shipyards).

As a consequence, Trieste was a mainly peripheral city during the Cold War. However, since the 1970s, Trieste has had a huge economic boom, thanks to a significant commercial shipping business to the container terminal, steel works and an oil terminal which feeds the Transalpine Pipeline to Austria and Southern Germany. Trieste is also Italy's and Mediterranean's (and one of Europe's) greatest coffee ports, as the city supplies more than 40% of Italy's coffee.[21] Many coffee brands were founded and are headquartered in the city. Currently, Trieste is one of Europe's most important ports and centres for trade and transport, with Trieste being part of the "Corridor 5" plan, to create a bigger transport connection between Western and Eastern European countries.[22] Therefore, the economy depends largely on the Port of Trieste and on trade with its neighbouring regions.

Trieste is a lively and cosmopolitan city, with more than 7.7% of its population being from abroad, and it is rebuilding some of its former cultural, economic and political influence. The city is a major centre in the EU for trade, politics, culture, shipbuilding, education, transport and commerce. The city is part of the Corridor 5, which aims at ensuring a bigger transport connection between countries in Western Europe and Eastern European nations, such as Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Ukraine and Bosnia.[22] This will be also a great impetus for a further boost to the economy of Trieste.[21]

Trieste is also home to some Italian mega-companies, such as Assicurazioni Generali, which was in 2005, Italy's 2nd and the world's 24th biggest company by revenue.[23] Fincantieri, one of the world's leading shipbuilding companies is headquartered in Trieste.

Other large companies based in Trieste are: AcegasAps, Allianz Italia, Autamarocchi SpA, Banca Generali SpA, Illy, Italia Marittima SpA, Jindal Steel and Power Italia SpA; Pacorini SpA, Telit Communications, Wärtsilä Italia, and polling and marketing company SWG. With two main banking institutions, the Zadružna Kraška Banka, and a branch of the Nova Ljubljanska Banka the Slovene community contributes vigorously to the economy.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1921 239.558
1931 250.170 +4.4%
1936 248.307 −0.7%
1951 272.522 +9.8%
1961 272.723 +0.1%
1971 271.879 −0.3%
1981 252.369 −7.2%
1991 231.100 −8.4%
2001 211.184 −8.6%
2009 Est. 205.507 −2.7%
Source: ISTAT 2001
ISTAT 2007[24]
Trieste, FVG Italy
Median age 46 years 42 years
Under 18 years old 13.8% 18.1%
Over 65 years old 27.9% 20.1%
Foreign Population 6.2% 5.8%
Births/1000 people 7.63 b 9.45 b

As of April 2009, there were 205,507 people residing in Trieste, located in the province of Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, of whom 46.7% were male and 53.3% were female. Trieste had lost roughly 1/3 of its population since the 1970s, due to the crisis of the historical industrial sectors of steel and shipbuilding, a dramatic drop in fertility rates and fast population aging. Minors (children aged 18 and younger) totalled 13.78% of the population compared to pensioners who number 27.9%. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06% (minors) and 19.94% (pensioners). The average age of Trieste residents is 46 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Trieste declined by 3.5%, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.85%. However, in the last two years the city has shown signs of stabilizing thanks to growing immigration fluxes. The crude birth rate in Trieste is only 7.63 per 1,000, one of the lowest in eastern Italy, while the Italian average is 9.45 births.

The dominant local dialect of Trieste is called Triestine ("Triestin", pronounced [triɛsˈtin]), influenced by a form of Venetian. This dialect and the official Italian language are spoken in the city, while Slovene is spoken in some of the immediate suburbs.[7] There are also small numbers of Serbian,[25] Croatian, German, and Hungarian speakers.

At the end of 2009, ISTAT estimated that there were 15,795 foreign born residents in Trieste, representing 7.7% of the total city population. The largest autochthonous minority are Slovenes, but there is also a large immigrant group from Balkan nations (particularly nearby Serbia, Albania and Romania): 4.95%, Asia: 0.52%, and sub-saharan Africa: 0.2%. Serbian community consists of both autochthonous[26] and immigrant groups.[27] Trieste is predominantly Roman Catholic, but also has large numbers of Orthodox Christians, mainly Serbs, due to the city's large migrant population from Eastern Europe and its Balkan influence.

The top ten countries of origin of the inhabitants of Trieste with foreign citizenship at December 31, 2010 were:[28]

Main sights[]

Trieste seafront

Piazza Unità d'Italia

Piazza Unità d'Italia by night


The Miramare Castle.

The Trieste Cathedral dedicated to Saint Justus

Serbian Orthodox Saint Spyridon Church, mid 19th century

Trieste City Hall.
Trieste City Hall.
Trieste City Hall.

The old city stock exchange

Miramar Castle[]

The Schloß Miramar, on the waterfront 8 km from Trieste, was built between 1856 and 1860 from a project by Carl Junker working under Archduke Maximilian. The Castle gardens provide a setting of beauty with a variety of trees, chosen by and planted on the orders of Maximilian, that today make a remarkable collection. Features of particular attraction in the gardens include two ponds, one noted for its swans and the other for lotus flowers, the Castle annexe ("Castelletto"), a bronze statue of Maximilian, and a small chapel where is kept a cross made from the remains of the "Novara", the flagship on which Maximilian, brother of Emperor Franz Josef, set sail to become Emperor of Mexico. Much later, the castle was also the home of Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, the last commander of Italian forces in East Africa during the Second World War. During the period of the application of the Instrument for the Provisional Regime of the Free Territory of Trieste, as establish in the Treaty of Peace with Italy (Paris 10/02/1947), the castle served as headquarters for the United States Army's TRUST force.

Castle of San Giusto[]

Designed on the remains of previous castles on the site, it took almost two centuries to build. The stages of the development of the Castle's defensive structures are marked by the central part built under Frederick III (1470-1), the round Venetian bastion (1508-9), the Hoyos-Lalio bastion and the Pomis, or "Bastione fiorito" dated 1630.

Places of worship[]

  • The St. Justus Cathedral. Symbol of Italian Trieste during the Risorgimento. Named after the city's Patron, St. Justus.
  • The Serbian Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity and St. Spyridon (1869). The building adopts the Greek-cross plan with five cupolas in the Byzantine tradition.[29]
  • The Anglican Chiesa di Cristo (Christ Church) (1829)
  • The Waldensian and Helvetian Evangelical Basilica of St. Silvester (11th century)
  • The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore (1682)
  • The Augustan Evangelical-Lutheran Church (1874)
  • The Greek Orthodox Church of San Nicolò dei Greci (1787). This church by the architect Matteo Pertsch (1818), with bell towers on both sides of the façade, follows the Austrian late baroque style.
  • The Synagogue of Trieste (1912)
  • The Temple of Monte Grisa (1960)

Archaeological remains[]

  • Arch of Riccardo (33 BC). It is a Roman gate built in the Roman walls in 33. It stands in Piazzetta Barbacan, in the narrow streets of the old town. It's called Arco di Riccardo ("Richard's Arch"), where Riccardo is a corruption of "Cardus", the Roman street which crossed it. Folk etimology created a local legend, which says that it was crossed by King Richard of England on the way back from the Crusades.
  • Basilica Forense (2nd century)
  • Palaeochristian basilica
  • Roman Age Temples" : one dedicated to Athena, one to Zeus, both on the S.Giusto hill.

The ruins of the temple dedicated to Zeus are next to the Forum, those of Athena's temple are under the basilica, visitors can see its basement.

Roman theatre[]

Trieste or Tergeste, which dates to the protohistoric period, was enclosed by walls built in 33–32 BC on Emperor Octavian’s orders. The city developed greatly during the 1st and 2nd centuries.

The Roman theatre lies at the foot of the San Giusto hill, facing the sea. The construction partially exploits the gentle slope of the hill, and much of the theatre is made of stone. The topmost portion of the amphitheatre steps and the stage were supposedly made of wood.

The statues that adorned the theatre, brought back to light in the 1930s, are now preserved at the Town Museum. Three inscriptions from the Trajan period mention a certain Q. Petronius Modestus, someone closely connected to the development of the theatre, which was erected during the second half of the 1st century.


In the whole Trieste province, there are 10 speleological groups out of 24 in the whole Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. The Trieste plateau (Altopiano Triestino), called Kras or the Carso and covering an area of about 200 km² within Italy has approximately 1,500 caves of various sizes (like that of Basovizza, now a monument to the Foibe massacres).

Among the most famous are the Grotta Gigante, the largest tourist cave in the world, with a single cavity large enough to contain St Peter's in Rome, and the Cave of Trebiciano (350 m (1,148.29 ft) deep) at the bottom of which flows the Timavo River. This river dives underground at Škocjan Caves in Slovenia (they are on UNESCO list and only a few kilometres from Trieste) and flows about 30 km before emerging about 1 km from the sea in a series of springs near Duino, reputed by the Romans to be an entrance to Hades ("the world of the dead").


  • The Revoltella Museum - modern art gallery
  • The Risiera di San Sabba (Risiera di San Sabba Museum)', a National monument. It was the only Nazi concentration camp with crematorium in Italy.
  • The Foiba di Basovizza, a National monument. It is a reminder of the killings of Italians (and other ethnic groups) by Yugoslav partisans after World War II, the last episode of an interethnic violence begun in the 19th century, with the rise of nationalism, and heavily intensified by the Fascist government.
  • Civico Museo di Storia Naturale di Trieste (natural history museum) containing fossils of early man.
  • Civico Orto Botanico di Trieste, a municipal botanical garden
  • Orto Botanico dell'Università di Trieste, the University of Trieste's botanical garden
  • Val Rosandra, a national park on the border between the Province of Trieste and Slovenia.
  • Caffè San Marco, historical cafè in the center of the city.
  • Piazza Unità d'Italia, Trieste's central square surrounded by 19th century beautiful buildings.


Trieste has a lively cultural scene with various theatres. Among these are the Opera Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi, Politeama Rossetti, the Teatro La Contrada, the Slovene minority's Slovene theatre in Trieste (Slovene: Slovensko stalno gledališče) (since 1902), Teatro Miela, and a several smaller ones.

In the area of culture, the Slovenska gospodarsko-kulturna zveza - Unione Economica-Culturale Slovena is the umbrella organization bringing together cultural and economic associations belonging to the Slovene-speaking minority.



  • Il Piccolo
  • Primorski dnevnik



  • RAI Friuli Venezia-Giulia
  • Tele Quattro


  • Radio Fragola
  • Radio Punto Zero


  • Asterios Editore
  • Lint Editoriale


The University of Trieste is a medium-size state supported institution that consists of 12 faculties, boasts a wide and almost complete range of university courses and currently has about 23,000 students enrolled and 1,000 professors. It was founded in 1924. Trieste also hosts the Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA), a leading graduate and postgraduate teaching and research institution in the study of mathematics, theoretical physics, and neuroscience, and the MIB School of Management Trieste, a private, ASFOR accredited business school.

There are three international schools offering primary and secondary education programs in English in the greater metropolitan area: the International School of Trieste, the European School of Trieste, and the United World College of the Adriatic.

The city hosts numerous national and international scientific institutions, among which: AREA Science Park, which comprises ELETTRA, a syncrotron particle accelerator with free-electron laser capabilities for research and industrial applications; the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, which operates under a tripartite agreement among the Italian Government, UNESCO, and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); the Trieste Astronomical Observatory; the Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS), which carries out research on oceans and geophysics; the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, a United Nations centre of excellence for research and training in genetic engineering and biotechnology for the benefit of developing countries; ICS-UNIDO, a UNIDO research centre in the areas of renewable energies, biofuels, medicinal plants, food safety and sustainable development; the Carso Center for Advanced Research in Space Optics; and the secretariats of the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and of the InterAcademy Panel: The Global Network of Science Academies (IAP).


The local "calcio" club is called Triestina, one of the oldest in Italy. Indeed, the U.S. Triestina Calcio in 1947/48 was the runner up in the Italian Serie "A" after the champion Torino.

Trieste is notable for having had two football clubs participating in the championships of two different nations at the same time during the period of the Free Territory of Trieste. Triestina played in the Italian Serie A. Although it faced relegation after the first season after the Second World War, the FIGC changed the rules to keep it in, as it was seen as important to keep a club of the city in the Italian league, while Yugoslavia had its eye on the city. In the championship of next season the club played its best season with a 3rd place finish. Meanwhile, Yugoslavia bought A.S.D. Ponziana, a small team in Trieste, which under a new name, Amatori Ponziana Trst, played in the Yugoslavian league for 3 years.[30] Triestina went bankrupt in the 1990s, but after being re-founded regained a position in the Italian second division Serie B in 2002. Ponziana was renamed as "Circolo Sportivo Ponziana 1912" and currently plays in Friuli-Venezia Giulia Group of Promozione, who is 7th level of Italian league.

Trieste also boasts a famous basketball team Pallacanestro Trieste, which reached its zenith in the 1990s when, with large financial backing from sponsors Stefanel, it was able to sign players such as Dejan Bodiroga, Fernando Gentile and Gregor Fučka, all stars of European basketball.

Many sailing clubs have roots in the city which contribute to Trieste's strong tradition in that sport. The Barcolana regatta, which had its first edition in 1969, is the world's largest sailing race by number of participants.

Local sporting facilities include Stadio Nereo Rocco with seating capacity of 32500; Palatrieste, an indoor sporting arena sitting 8500, and Piscina Bruno Bianchi, a large olympic size swimming pool,


The Porto Vecchio, also showing Trieste Centrale railway station

Trieste Centrale railway station

A car of the Opicina Tramway

Maritime transport[]

Trieste's maritime location and its former long term status as part of the Austrian and Austro-Hungarian empires made the Port of Trieste the major commercial port for much of the landlocked areas of central Europe. In the 19th century, a new port district known as the Porto Nuovo was built northeast to the city centre.[31]

In modern times, Trieste's importance as a port has declined, both due to the annexation to Italy, for Italy's wider choice of better located ports, and the competition with the nearby new port of Koper in Slovenia. However, there is significant commercial shipping to the container terminal, steel works and oil terminal, all located to the south of the city centre. After many years of stagnation, a change in the leadership placed the port on a steady growth path, recording a 40% increase in shipping traffic as of 2007.[31]

Rail transport[]

Railways came early to Trieste, due to its port and the need to transport people and goods inland. The first railroad line to reach Trieste was the Südbahn in 1857. This railway stretches for 1400 km to Lviv, Ukraine, via Ljubljana, Slovenia; Sopron, Hungary; Vienna, Austria; and Kraków, Poland, crossing the backbone of the Alps mountains through the Semmering Pass near Graz. It approaches Trieste through the village of Villa Opicina, a few kilometres from the big city but over 300 metres higher in elevation. Due to this, the line takes a 32 kilometer detour to the north, gradually descending before terminating at the Trieste Centrale railway station.[31]

A second trans-Alpine railway was dedicated in 1906, with the opening of the Transalpina Railway from Vienna, Austria via Jesenice and Nova Gorica. This railway also approached Trieste via Villa Opicina, but it took a rather shorter loop southwards towards Trieste's other main railway station, the Trieste Campo Marzio railway station (it), south of the central station. This line no longer operates, and the Campo Marzio station is now a railway museum.[31]

To facilitate freight traffic between the two stations and the nearby dock areas, a temporary railway line known as the Rivabahn was built along the waterfront in 1887. This railway survived until 1981, when it was replaced by the Galleria di Circonvallazione, a 5.7 kilometer railway tunnel route, to the east of the city. Freight services from the dock area now include container services to northern Italy and to Budapest, Hungary, together with rolling highway services to Salzburg, Austria and Frankfurt, Germany.[31]

Passenger rail service to Trieste now mostly consists of trains to and from Venice, Italy, connecting there with trains to Rome and Milan at Mestre. These trains reach the Trieste central station bypassing the Gulf of Trieste, connecting with the Südbahn's northern loop. As of 2012, there are no passenger trains between Italy and Slovenia.

Trieste could in the remote future be connected to the Italian TAV railway network: a 300 kilometres per hour (190 mph) fast train route would possibly connect Trieste with Venice. As a matter of fact, this project will not be completed earlier than 2020. In the meanwhile passenger will continue to enjoy 90'-120' trips from Venice to Trieste to cover 150 km (93 mi), and are often due to pay the same ticket as for TAV trains.[32]

Air transport[]

Trieste is served by Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport (IATA code: TRS), located at Ronchi near Monfalcone at the head of the Gulf of Trieste.

Local transport[]

Local public transport in Trieste is operated by Trieste Trasporti, which operates a network of around 60 bus routes and two boat services. They also operate the Opicina Tramway, a hybrid between tramway and funicular railway providing a more direct link between the city centre and Villa Opicina.[33] The tramway is closed for renovation from September 2012 to March 2013.[34]

Notable people[]

International relations[]

Trieste hosts the Secretariat of the Central European Initiative, an intergovernmental organization among Central and South-Eastern European states.

Twin towns — Sister cities[]

Trieste is twinned with:

See also[]

  • Risiera di San Sabba
  • Bathyscaphe Trieste, Swiss-designed, Italian built deep sea exploration vehicle
  • People from Trieste
  • Treaty of peace with Italy (1947)
  • INFN, (National Institute of Nuclear Physics), the nuclear physics laboratory.
  • International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB),
  • The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP)
  • International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA)
  • ELETTRA Synchrotron Light Laboratory
  • Fincantieri
  • Teatro Comunale Giuseppe Verdi
  • Trieste Astronomical Observatory
  • U.S. Triestina Calcio, Trieste's soccer club, founded in 1918
  • Il Piccolo, Trieste's daily newspaper
  • Primorski dnevnik, Trieste's Slovene language daily newspaper
  • Free Territory of Trieste


  1. ^ a b "Total Resident Population on 1st January 2011 by sex and marital status. Province: Trieste". National Institute of Statistics (Italy). 19 September 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Trieste. Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 11th Edition. Retrieved September 21, 2012
  3. ^ Baldi, Philip (1983). An introduction to the Indo-European languages. SIU Press. p. 168. ISBN 978-0-8093-1091-3. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  4. ^ Cary, Joseph (1993-11-15). A ghost in Trieste. University of Chicago Press. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-226-09528-8. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  5. ^ Vasmer, Max (1971). Schriften zur slavischen Altertumskunde und Namenkunde. In Kommission bei O. Harrassowitz. p. 50. ISBN 978-3-447-00781-8. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  6. ^ Hubmann, Franz, & Wheatcroft, Andrew (editor), The Habsburg Empire, 1840–1916, London, 1972, ISBN 0-7100-7230-9
  7. ^ a b Stranj, Pavel, Slovensko prebivalstvo Furlanije-Julijske krajine v družbeni in zgodovinski perspektivi, Trst, 1999
  8. ^ a b Spezialortsrepertorium der Oesterreichischen Laender. VII. Oesterreichisch-Illyrisches Kuestenland. Wien, 1918, Verlag der K.K. Hof- und Staatsdruckerei
  9. ^ Josef Schmidlin, Papstgeschichte der neueren Zeit, München, 1934, p.414
  10. ^ Banti, Alberto Mario. Il Risorgimento italiano. second chapter
  11. ^ C. Schiffrer, "Autour de Trieste", Fasquelle Éditeurs, Parigi 1946, p.48; G. Valdevit, "Trieste. Storia di una periferia insicura", Bruno Mondadori, Milano 2004, p. 5; Angelo Vivante, Irredentismo adriatico, Firenze 1912 (ristampato 1945), p. 158-164; Carlo Schiffrer, Historic Glance at the Relations between Italians and Slavs in Venezia Giulia, Trieste 1946, p. 25-34; Pavel Stranj, Slovensko prebivalstvo Furlanije-Julijske krajine v družbeni in zgodovinski perspektivi, Trieste 1999, p. 296-302; Jean-Baptiste Duroselle, Le conflit de Trieste 1943-1954, Bruxelles 1966, p. 35-41
  12. ^ Angelo Ara, Claudio Magris. Trieste. Un'identità di frontiera. p.38
  13. ^ Angelo Ara, Claudio Magris. Trieste. Un'identità di frontiera. p.56
  14. ^ "La storia, parte 10". 2007-01-15. Retrieved 2011-09-15. 
  15. ^ "Faenza, Trieste and home - the Italian campaign | NZHistory, New Zealand history online". 2012-12-20. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  16. ^ Author: Kay, Robin. "IV: Through the Venetian Line". NZETC. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  17. ^ Anna Bramwell (1988). Refugees in the Age of Total War. Unwin Hyman. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-04-445194-5. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  18. ^ Arrigo Petacco (2005). Tragedy Revealed: The Story of Italians from Istria, Dalmatia, and Venezia Giulia, 1943-1956. University of Toronto Press. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-8020-3921-7. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  19. ^ Petacco p.90
  20. ^ "La Cantieristica Triestina [Trieste naval industries]" (in Italian). Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  21. ^ a b "Geography and Economy — ICTP Portal". Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  22. ^ a b "Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Europe - Infrastructure Networks". 2000-07-07. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  23. ^ "Fortune Global 500". 2005-07-25. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Jason Cowley". Jason Cowley. 2000-06-25. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  26. ^ "Trieste: In the wake of James Joyce". Jason Cowley. 2000-06-25. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  27. ^ "Socio-demographic Overview of Immigrants and Immigrant Children in Italy" (PDF). 
  28. ^ ISTAT. "Trieste". ISTAT. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  29. ^ The parish forms part of the Metropolitanate of Zagreb, Ljubljana and all Italy.
  30. ^ "Calcio.". Harper Perennial. Retrieved June 13, 2008. 
  31. ^ a b c d e Ammann, Christian; Juvanec, Maj (May 2007). "Discovering Trieste". Today's Railways (Platform 5 Publishing Ltd): pp. 29–31. 
  32. ^ "Le linee Alta Velocità: Storia e traguardi [History of the Italian "Alta Velocità"]" (in Italian). Ferrovie dello Stato. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  33. ^ "Trieste Trasporti S.p.A.". Trieste Trasporti S.p.A.. Retrieved April 27, 2007. 
  34. ^ "Suspension of service for 5-6 months". Trieste Trasporti S.p.A.. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Twin Towns - Graz Online - English Version". Retrieved 2010-01-05. 

Further reading[]

Published in the 19th century
Published in the 20th century
Published in the 21st century
  • Hametz, Maura (December 2001). "The Carabinieri stood by: The Italian state and the "Slavic Threat" in Trieste, 1919–1922". Nationalities Papers 29 (4): 559–574. DOI:10.1080/00905990120102093. 
  • Morris, Jan. Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere. DaCapo Press. Cambridge, Mass, 2001
  • Banti, Alberto Mario. Il Risorgimento italiano. Laterza Editore. Bari, 2004

External links[]

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Template:Province of Trieste

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