A week in Trieste

A week in Trieste

Trieste was, hands-down, my favourite city in Italy. One of my friends in London told me I absolutely had to go there, and I’m so glad I took his advice. It was the perfect place to finish up my travels in Italy, as I was able to get a bus directly from there to Split (which is also amazing, but more on that later!) from there. Every time I told an Italian I was heading to Trieste, they seemed puzzled, as it’s not exactly a tourist hotspot.

And I think that’s why I loved it. In the whole week I was there, I heard English spoken exactly three times. It’s a good thing I’m basically fluent in Italian now. Joking. My Italian sucks.

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Trieste is my idea of the perfect city. It has all the things I look for in a city such as good restaurants, attractive people (haha) and beaches. It also appeared to have a very happening nightlife scene, but I was boring and did not partake.

I arrived at 6.30pm on a Saturday night. I must have stood out as a dumb tourist, grinning like a fool as the train pulled in to one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen.

My happiness only increased when I arrived at my apartment and saw the amazing view of the harbour from my bedroom window. I had a two bedroom apartment to myself for a week, right in the city centre. I love Airbnb.

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I immediately dumped my bags and literally ran to the harbour to catch the sunset.

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I was in awe of how beautiful the city was, and sat on the pier to watch the sunset almost every day.

trieste sunset

canals

piazza

(Can I take a moment to point out that I took that picture above, in the main piazza, at 8pm on a Saturday night? If I had been in Rome/Florence/Venice, I would not have been able to see that building due to swarms of tourists.)

I wish I could capture it better on film. If this ever stops being beautiful to me, I will know there is something wrong in my life.

trieste view

I didn’t do any real touristy stuff while I was there. Most days I’d wake up and eat breakfast looking at my beautiful view, work for a few hours, and then walk around the city.

Waking up to this never got old...

Waking up to this never got old…

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I went to Lanterna/Pedocin a couple of times, which is the only sex-segregated beach left in Italy. After three months of dealing with Italian sleazeballs, it was a welcome relief to lay around half-naked and not be harassed.

lanterna

My only complaint is that it was cold during my last three days. I wore pants for the first time in three months. I am so not ready for winter. Literally. I have no winter clothes other than two pairs of long workout pants and a winter coat.

Trieste is famous for its old literary cafes, where many famous writers used to hang out. I tried Tommaseo and Stella Polare, but my absolute favourite was Caffe San Marco

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Caffe San Marco was founded in 1914 and attacked during WWI. The first time I walked in, it took my breath away. It has now cemented itself as my favourite cafe in the world. I really want to go back and hide away here for a winter.

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I spent the entirety of my final day in Trieste in this place. How do people go to Starbucks when places like this exist?!

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Stella Polare was pretty good, too. It was kinda cool to say I was writing in the same cafe where James Joyce wrote Ulysses.

polare

I only ate out three times, so this part is easy. To be honest, Italian food had finally lost its appeal on me, so I didn’t need to go crazy.

La Cucina di Bea e Benny
This place was ridiculous. I read a few reviews online, and they all mentioned how big the portions were. I rolled my eyes – don’t they know I’m a strongwoman?

Carbs = serotonin = happiness #sciencebitch

Carbs = serotonin = happiness #sciencebitch

Dear god. It’s the first time I’ve been defeated by food in a long time. I had three bowls and I was still only halfway through that massive platter, so I called it quits and nursed my food baby all the way home. Oh, and did I mention it was only €7? I don’t know how this place stays in business! 

benny

If I was a resident of Trieste, I’d be heading here after every squat and deadlift session.

Lab Lunch Aperitif Bar
This place was always busy and had great reviews online, so I had to check it out. The only downside was that they had no menu, so I had to rely on the waiter telling me what they had to offer. I recognised the words vodka and bacon, so went with that option. It was a good choice.

trieste pasta

Trattoria Nerodiseppia
I saved this place for my last day. I wanted to take myself somewhere semi-fancy to celebrate my final day in Italy.

I wasn’t going to order an appetiser, but the table next to me ordered this and I had to have it. It was prosciutto and tuna, with eggplant and buffalo mozzarella. Holy hell. It was good. And it was nice to have something other than pasta…

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…but who am I kidding? I had to have spaghetti vongole for my last meal in Italy. It would have been a crime not to.

vongole

On to the gelato! I tried to fool myself into thinking that I wouldn’t have gelato in Trieste, but that evidently didn’t happen.

Chocolat
I had started to think that I was over gelato, until I walked into this place and saw the spread on offer.

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I had bacio and salted caramel. The bacio was so-so, but the salted caramel was the best I’ve ever had in my life.

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Gelato Zampoli
This place was right behind my apartment, so I can’t believe I only went here once. I ordered stracietella and Nutella. They were both incredible.

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Gelato Marco
This was my very last gelato in Italy, and likely my last gelato for a while (that said, there are three gelato shops on my street in Split!). I had kinder cereali and dark chocolate, and savoured every bite.

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And here is what I spent during my week in Trieste.

Trieste

Accommodation

€143.50 ($160)

Groceries

€75 ($83)

Dining out

€86 ($96)

Public transport

€0 ($0)

Entertainment (museums, etc)

€0 ($0)

Gym membership

€0 ($0)

Clothing

€0 ($0)

Phone bill

€0 ($0)

Bus ticket from Trieste to Split

€30 ($33)

Miscellaneous

€0 ($0)

TOTAL

€334.50 ($373)

Notes:

  • My apartment couldn’t have been more central, so I didn’t need public transport to get anywhere.
  • I didn’t train. If I’m only in a place as beautiful as this for a week, I don’t want to waste any time in a gym.
  • Everything is insanely cheap. For fun, I looked at property prices. One bedroom apartments right on the water are going for €65-70k, and three bedroom places were less €150,000. After living in London and Australia for so long, this is just crazy.

I will definitely go back one day (to get pretty much anywhere in Europe via bus, I have to go via Trieste), but I’m not allowed to re-enter a Schengen region for the next 90 days.

I’m not moving for the next three months, so this will be my last travel post for a while!

What’s your idea of a perfect city?

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