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Friuli Venezia Giulia - Places to Visit - Trieste

Chief town of the region, Trieste is situated on the gulf of the same name near the first ramifications of the Carso Triestino (Karst); its Province, consisting of only six municipalities, is the smallest in Italy.

Trieste in Friuli Venezia Giulia

Originally a settlement of the Illyrian and Carnic peoples, the Romans made it into a colony in 33 BC., and it gradually acquired importance as a commercial centre, especially under Trajan.

After the fall of the Western Empire, it was ruled first by the Goths and then by the Byzantines and Lombards.

After Frankish domination, it was ruled by Bishops and later (13th century) it became a municipality and was often aided by the Dukes of Austria in its frequent struggles with Venice. In 1469 Trieste was conquered by Frederick III.

Except for the short Venetian period in 1509 and then the Napoleonic, it shared the fortunes of the ruling House of Austria until unification with the Kingdom of Italy in 1918. After the Second World War, Trieste was administered by the Allies until 1954, when it returned to Italy, though deprived of much of its hinterland.

Till the 18th century, the town was surrounded by walls. The centre was Colle di S. Giusto and gradually expanded beyond these limits after 1719, when by imperial decree, the town became a free port, assuming the role of main seaport of the Austrian Empire.

After this initial development, characterized by an orthogonal structure, final growth took place inthe second half of last century, when it acquired the 19th century appearance it still has today.

Trieste in Friuli Venezia Giulia

Monuments: Cathedral of S. Giusto, symbol of the town, consisting of two Romanesque basilicas joined together in the fourteenth century, the castle (14th-17th century), Roman theatre (2nd century AD.) and the 19th century buildings of Piazza della Borsa and Piazza dellUnit dItalia, the churches of S. Silvestro (11th century, Romanesque) and S. Maria Maggiore (17th century, Baroque), the small church of S. Michele del Carnale (15th century, Gothic). Reminders of the old days are the characteristic cafs and the French quarter.

The port still plays an important role in the town's economy and is one of the largest in Italy. Activities linked to commerce (shipping, insurance companies and banks) are important.

The ship-building, petrochemicals, metalworking, steel, paper, pharmaceutical and foodstuff industries are all active.

Events: Concert and theatre season, Festival of operetta (July-August), International Trades Fair (June) Sons et lumires, Miramare (summer), Science fiction film festival (August).

Famous People: Guglielmo Oberdan (patriot, 1858-1882), Scipio Slataper (writer and patriot, 1888-1915), Italo Svevo (writer, 1861-1928), Umberto Saba (poet, 1883-1957), Enrico Ernesto Nordio (architect, 1851-1923), Antonio De Giuliani (philosopher, 1755-1835), Gianni Stuparich (writer, 1891-1961).

Cultural Institutions: University, G. Tartini Conservatory, Teatro Verdi, Callerio Foundation, the Institute for the Study of Transport, Tranquilli Foundation, Union of Slovenic Cultural Clubs, many museums, including the History and Art Museum with the Orto lapidario (archeological collections), Revoltella Museum (modern sculpture and painting), Museo del Mare, Museo Sartorio (ancient pottery and china, 18th and 19th century paintings), Natural History Museum, Museo di Storia Patria, the Historical Museum of Miramare Castle, the Insurance in History Exhibition, the Ethnographical museum.

In the Province: Muggia (folklore, July-August), Duino-Aurisina (seaside resort), Grignano (Miramare, castle with park), Monrupino (Casa Carsica).

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