A city happy to keep one foot resolutely in its beautiful, illustrious past, Trieste is a treasure, which sits on a historical frontier of civilisations and cultures. Nestled on the coast by the Slovenian border, the city soaked up many influences before returning to Italy in 1954. Wealth as a trading hub helped to shape Trieste's grand piazzas and soaring artistic architectural achievements. The legendary Bora wind is greeted like an old friend, and it buffs the city in winter. Just like Trieste itself, it will take your breath away.
Piazza Unità d'Italia is the grand, central square, and it opens up to the lap of blue waves at one end. Settle in for a quick caffeine hit in this coffee capital - a word of warning, however, most Trieste baristas don't serve cappuccinos - so plump for a caffè latte instead. The God of the Sea, Neptune, is honoured in a fountain at Piazza del Borsa nearby. Canale Grande is a centrepiece and was built in the 18th century to allow boats to unload their wares and trade. Lined by grandiose, neoclassical buildings, you can enjoy a picturesque stroll by the water. Three pretty bridges span it, while little boats bob and jostle below.
Glorious castles crown the area, towering from esteemed vineyards. Don't miss the fairytale castle of Miramare, which watches over the azure Gulf of Trieste, and looms above glorious gardens. Trieste Cathedral is a constant and reassuring presence for the city, standing on a hilltop overlooking the old town - it features an enchanting chandelier and remarkable painted ceiling.