The oldest part of Trieste climbs the Colle Capitolino (Capitoline Hill), just behind the grandiose Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia. This is where many of the city's most interesting museums and monuments (including Roman remains) are located. A good way to approach the hill is to leave the southeastern end of Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia and step into Piazza Cavana.
In contrast to the assemblage of 18th- and 19th-century buildings on the main piazza, this part of Trieste, a warren of tiny streets climbing the hillside away from the sea, is medieval. From Piazza Cavana, follow Via Felice Veneziano to Piazza Barbacan, where you take a left to duck under the 1st-century A.D. Arco di Riccardo, then turn right up Via Cattedrale, and follow that for about 10 minutes up the flanks of the Colle Capitolino to the Cattedrale di San Giusto. Just above that is the Castello di San Giusto, from which Trieste and the Adriatic unfold in an unforgettable view at your feet.
For a quicker descent, you can take the 265-step Scala dei Giganti (Steps of the Giants) back down the hill to Piazza Goldoni and Via Carducci, Trieste's main shopping street.
Festivals & Markets -- The city celebrates summer with a series of concerts and films, many free and held in the outdoor theater in the Castello di San Giusto. If you are going to be in Trieste at this time, ask the tourist office for a copy of Eventi Luglio-Agosto. The International Operetta Festival presents three or four noted masterworks (and a new piece or two) in June and July in the Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi (tel. 040-672-2500; www.teatroverdi-trieste.com). The Barcolana Autumn Cup, held in the Golfo di Trieste on the second Sunday in October, is the largest sailing regatta in Southern Europe. The regatta celebrated its 41st anniversary in 2009. For more information, call tel. 040-411-664 or visit www.barcolana.it.
An antiques market fills the streets of the Old City the third Sunday of every month, while early November brings an important antiques fair, especially noted for Liberty (plus its Austrian cousin Jungendstil) and Biedermeier pieces, to the conference center of the Stazione Maritima (tel. 040-304-888). Trieste's two food markets provide colorful surroundings and a chance to eye the local cuisine. The covered market, at the corner of Via Carducci and Via della Majolica, is open Monday from 8am to 2pm and Tuesday through Saturday from 8am to 7pm. The open-air market is on Ponte Ponterosso, alongside the canal that cuts into the center of the city from the harbor, and it operates Tuesday through Saturday from 8am to 5:30pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.