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Amy McPherson enjoys a long weekend getaway to Trieste and discovers the fascinating history of this unique city and its historic café culture
Image © Lautaro Dagorret

Clockwise from top left: Statue of the Irish novelist James Joyce, who spent 15 years here; the Grand Canal fl ows through reclaimed salt marshes; the City Hall on Piazza Unità d’Italia; Caffè Torinese; Caffè degli Specchi; daytime view of the Grand Canal; a mix of architectural styles on Corso Italia; sunset over the harbour; San Giusto cathedral; a leafy pedestrian street

Images by Amy McPherson unless otherwise stated

Located at the eastern edge of the northern Italian region of Friuli- Venezia Giulia, on ancient trade routes that crossed land and sea, Trieste has always been a fairly prosperous place and a melting pot of cultures and traditions. It was there before Roman times, though only became important during that era. The Romans knew it as Tergeste, a name that is believed to have been derived from an old Venetic word, terg, which may have meant ‘market’, while the -este may have meant ‘place’, or may simply refer to its geographical location. Unsurprisingly, given the strategic importance of its location, the city has changed hands numerous times over the centuries since the fall of the Roman Empire, and Latin, Slavic and Germanic cultures have since written its history pages. It became part of Italy in 1920.

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About Italia!

We have a sparkling line-up of absorbing features for you to enjoy this month. We start in Trieste, a city whose remote location is no hindrance to its elegant aspect and rich cultural history. Moving west, we head to Venice, which despite the exceptional acqua alta last November is most assuredly ‘open for business’. The silk mills of Como are our next stop, to discover the proud manufacturing traditions of this luxurious and ethereal fabric. You’ll also enjoy sustainable hospitality at Borgo Pignano in the Tuscan heartland and take a gentle hike around medieval Orvieto too.