Coffee is one of Trieste's most important products -- Illy and many other major Italian brands are located here (in fact, an Illy family member has even served as the city's mayor). More to the point for travelers, drinking coffee is a local pastime, and Trieste's exquisite blends can be enjoyed in any number of august cafes.

Caffè degli Specchi, at Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia 7 (tel. 040-365-777;, enjoys a marvelous position on the city's main, seafront piazza, making its terrace a prime spot to linger. In bad weather, a series of elegant rooms fill with shoppers and businesspeople. The pastries are excellent, as is the coffee. James Joyce spent much of his 12 years in Trieste at Caffè-Pasticceria Pirona, at the east end of Via Carducci at Largo Barriera Vecchia 12 (tel. 040-636-046). It was here that he allegedly wrote part of Ulysses. With its photographs of old Trieste and gilded mirrors, the premises bear the mark of one of Europe's great remaining literary cafes. Caffè San Marco, at Via Battisti 18 (tel. 040-371-373), is one of Trieste's most elegant cafes; it dates from 1914, with a Liberty-style (as Art Nouveau is called in Italy) interior. A pianist puts the final touches on the ultimate cafe experience.

Gelateria Zampolli, at Via Ghega 10 (tel. 040-364-868), is reputed to be the best gelateria in Trieste. It's located near Stazione Centrale and the city center, serving more than 50 flavors made on the premises daily. Another Zampolli, owned by a different member of the same family, is located on Piazza Cavana 6 (tel. 040-306-003), just south of Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia.

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.