Take Your Walking Shoes
Take a stroll through the city center. Many are pedestrian-only and lined with outdoor cafes and, in some areas, the market stalls of the Ponteroso Market. And there are the huge piazzas to explore. The main square is the Piazza Unita D’Italia with the City Hall with its clock tower on one end, hotels and other stately buildings lining the other two sides of the square, and with the fourth side open to the sea. It is the largest square open to the sea in Europe, and often is the site of live concerts and events. The second main city piazza is the Piazza Della Borsa with the beautiful business regulatory building in tones of cream and pink dominating the square.
Wander along the Grand Canal which once brought merchant ships to the center of the old town. Now it is traversed in several places by busy city streets. From there, continue along the waterfront to the Molo Audace which is a long pier stretching out into the gulf and a favourite of citizens and visitors alike for an evening walk. Further away from the city center, you can also navigate the promenade along Barcola beach. Here, folks sunbathe on the paved promenade, take shade under the nearby trees, or watch their children in the playgrounds. It is not a beach as most beach lovers would define a beach.
During your stroll watch for the various interesting statues through out the city, especially the one of James Joyce who called Trieste home for fifteen years. Notice also the motorcycles and scooters which appear to vastly outnumber four-wheeled vehicles – it reminds one of the abundance of bicycles in Amsterdam!
If you are ambitious, you can walk (or cycle) the 8-mile round trip up the nearby Monte Grisa to the afore-mentioned temple at its peak. The path, called Napoleon’s Walk, is gravel, and pavement in parts, pedestrian-only, and sometimes cut out of the hill with sheer perpendicular sides rising high above your head, and drops to the sea on the other side. On the sections with the rock walls, you may encounter rock climbers testing their skills. The view at the top over Trieste and the gulf is well worth the walk. (If such a walk for a spectacular view is not your cup of tea, you can cheat and take the funicular/rail or bus to Villa Opicina for an equally great vista.)