Trieste

Trieste

Trieste seems a special city to me. Not only because it is the gate of Italy from Central Europe. The city was always at a crossroads of different cultures, and different architectural styles mixed here. Austrian influences are clearly visible here, but also the remains of the history of my beloved Rome. Trieste is a large and bustling port city with lots of luxury shops and restaurants, it is also a coffee mecca. In the 2nd century BC, the city received the rights of a Roman colony from Julius Caesar, and Napoleon Bonaparte was born here.

The most convenient way for us to get there from Poland was by our car, but you can also fly to Veneto region and just rent a car, to be more flexible with your trip. We stayed in a hotel in Trieste for 3 days, but if you don’t have that much time, it is possible to see the city.


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Piazza Unità d´Italia

Piazza Unità d´Italia

We started our tour from the majestic Piazza Unità d´Italia. This is a large square around which are beautiful and historic palaces and office buildings. On the one hand, you can admire the architecture from the time when Austria dominated here, and on the opposite blue water of the Adriatic.

In the evening we visited Piazza del Borsa. It is a smaller square located in the vicinity of the majestic Piazza Unità d´Italia. Brand boutiques are located at it, but also bars and restaurants. In the late afternoon, tourists and local people spend time here with a glass of Campari, Aperol, or Prosecco.


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San Giusto Castle, Piazza della Cattedrale, Trieste

San Giusto Castle, Piazza della Cattedrale, Trieste

Continuing our the trip, we are visiting The Grand Canal, a beautifully maintained canal connected to the Adriatic Sea (introduction to our trip to Venice the following week), home to sailboats and boats of local residents. But I feel that the real heart of Trieste is San Giusto Hill. It was the first human settlement, dates back to prehistoric times. In Roman times, walls were built to protect it and within the walls, the first public and religious buildings were erected.Today on The Hill we can admire the residue of the Roman forum, 14the century San Giusto Castle, Cathedral of San Giusto, and amazing view to the city and the Adriatic Sea.


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Roman Theatre of Trieste

Roman Theatre of Trieste

Going back down to the port, between contemporary buildings, sits another ancient ruin, this time of the Roman Amphitheatre.


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Castello di Miramare

Castello di Miramare

Just 20 minutes by car (around 9km) from central Trieste stands The Miramare Castle, an absolutely magical place, where I felt like a little girl in Disneyland. The Castle of Miramare is located on the tip of the promontory of Grignano. Its position overlooking the sea provides the possibility to enjoy a wonderful view over the Gulf of Trieste. The Castle is surrounded by a beautiful park with valuable botanical species where one can relax. It is a noble residence commissioned by Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Habsburg, its interiors feature sumptuous original furniture.


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Padua

Padua

Our next stop in Northern Italy was a camping, near Venice, where we rented a summer house (it is one of many ‘on budget’ options in Italy). From there we were travelling by car and our first escapade was Padua (Italian Padova). The city is also located in Veneto region, on the Bacchiglione river. It has a long history (it was founded in the 4th century BC) as evidenced by its architecture.


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Prato Della Valle

Prato Della Valle

For me, one of the most interesting places in the city was Prato Della Valle from the 18th century, the largest square in the city and one of the largest in Europe.


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Old Town of Padua

Old Town of Padua

Other compulsory stops in Padua are Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua from 14th century, Padua Cathedral from 18th century (with the facade still not finished) and the University of Padua settled in the 13th century, which is one of the oldest universities in Europe, where Galileo was a lecturer and Kopernik was a student. 

 


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Verona

Verona

Next on our list was Verona, which lies on the Adygea River, at the foot of the Venetian Alps. It is a significant trade center and one of the richer cities of northern Italy, but above all, we associate it with the history of Romeo and Juliet.

The Verona tour is worth starting on the San Pietro hill with San Pietro Castle, which offers an amazing view of the city.


Got there by:

Old Town of Verona

Old Town of Verona

Going down to the old town, we are at Piazza Brà - the largest square in the city, here is the famous Arena from 1st century (concerts and festivals are still held there, it is also available for visiting) and a whole lot of pubs, restaurants, and cafes.

On our way to the most famous Verona’s tourist attraction, we passed by Piazza Delle Erbe, there is a city market on it and it is very much liked by tourists for its crowded character.


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Romeo and Julia

Romeo and Julia

Finally, we reach the biggest attraction of Verona and its biggest nightmare at the same time (at least in my opinion). There is always a crowd of people at Casa di Giulietta (Juliet's House with Juliet’s statue), and everyone really just wants to put their hand on her right breast, which is supposed to bring happiness in love.


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Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore, Verona

Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore, Verona

To feel relief from the crowds of tourists around us, we came to Basilica San Zeno Maggiore with the Benedictine monastery, the finest church in the city.


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The Pearl In The Crown

The Pearl In The Crown

The last and most spectacular stop on our trip through the Veneto region was obviously beautiful, magical, one of a kind - Venice.

We get there by bus, provided by the camping where we stopped, and as it was not my first time in Venice I need to say that the bus is the best possible option to get to old part of Venice from the land (it is possible to get there by car, but you will spend a lot of money and a lot of precious time on the parking).


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Grand Canal, Venice

Grand Canal, Venice

First thing we see arriving in Venice is Canal Grande, looking like a postcard even in real.

Our goal is Piazza San Marco, so we need to cross the canal by Rialto Bridge and then go through hundreds of narrow, charming and romantic venetian streets.

 


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San Marco, Venice

San Marco, Venice

Piazza San Marco with its Basilica and Doge’s Palace is just remarkable, no matter how many times you've seen it in your life it is always breathtaking.


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Giudecca, Venice

Giudecca, Venice

From there it is only minutes walk to probably the most famous bridge in Venice, the Bridge of Sighs and an amazing view to Giudecca Island. 

A few tips: If you are traveling on budget, choose the restaurants away from the main canals and streets (they are also delicious, but much cheaper - in Venice you are paying for the view), and instead of gondola tour take the Vaporetto - water bus (cheap, convenient, fast and the only public transport in Venice).


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