Are you a visitor to our beautiful little city on the Adriatic or an expat transplanted here or even a Triestin Patocc’ (Trieste born and raised)? Are you trying to figure out how to spend your summer in Trieste? Whether you’re here on vacation or making the most of a staycation, we’ve got you covered!
Trieste is situated on the edge of the Adriatic coast, nestled between the sea and mountains. You want city life, shopping, museums? We got it! You want boating, water sports, sunbathing? We got that too! You want great food and wines? Yep, uh-huh! Hiking, bike trails? Yes indeed! Nightlife? How much time you got?
While others are scrambling to fight highway traffic, overcrowded resorts and beaches and long lines at staid sightseeing ‘hot spots” in search of the perfect summer vacation, here in Trieste we have everything to make your August truly enjoyable and relaxing.
Trieste is lucky to have a beautiful waterfront, the sea is clean, fresh and inviting. If you want to to swim you can go any of the “beach clubs” for a minimal cost. My favorite is Sticco Mare which is right next door to Miramare Castle and the Natural Marine Preserve, so you know the water is pristine. There is street parking if you go early or you can park in Miramare Castle’s lot (or you can catch the number 6 bus which will drop you off in Grignano and then you can cross the Castle’s park to reach Sticco). It is well appointed with many sunbathing areas. The access to the sea is via several wide staircases making it easy to get in and out. It is a beautiful breezy spot with a nice view of the castle, the green of the Carst hillside and sweeping views of downtown Trieste. There is a nice bar/restaurant offering an array of salads, pokes, and sandwiches as well as the traditional plate of pasta. The facilities are clean and life guards on duty. It is a little more expensive than the other beach clubs, and while it is not overrun with children it is definitely family friendly with a swim area that is a natural shallow pool leading out to the sea. For more information on where to find your perfect beach spot, check out our guide.
If laying in the sun is not your thing (what’s wrong with you?) then there are plenty of places to rent paddle boards, kayaks and boats. Marina San Giusto, right next door to Eataly, rents paddle boards. Kayak tours of the gulf can be arranged through ALPNDOWN, and through the FVG tourism portal, you can find activities region-wide.
If you want to get out on the water, just for fun without a lot of expense, the DELFINO VERDE is Trieste’s water-bus which offers rides to Muggia, Grignano Barcola and Grado. It’s an affordable way to get out there and have a day-trip to Muggia or Grado and enjoy these nearby seaside towns. Delfino Verde is even offering sunset tours this summer.
Is Cycling your thing? OK, to be honest it’s NOT mine, BUT, there are so many great trails in this region as well as world famous cycling itineraries that come through Trieste that I would be remiss in not mentioning it. Again, your best bet is to contact any of the cycling shops here: OnesMoving in Via Trento, they even have electric bikes. Also TriesteBike in Basovizza rents e-bikes if you want to explore the Carso. In Sistiana you can also find rentals at the Service Station, SistianaService so that you can bike along the coastline. Many of beautiful trails can be found on the FVG site Trieste Bike Trails.
For hikers, there are wonderful coastline hikes as well as even more challenging climbs including the amazing WW1 Via Ferrata trails, also available through Alpndown. You can find a list of these walks in our fall foliage article.
Golf is also available here in Trieste with a nice 18 hole course just 10 minutes north of the city in the town of Padriciano. Trieste Golf Club is challenging for its narrow fairways and rocky terrain (makes for killer bounces!) offering beautiful views of the gulf and the Carso. Also nearby is Lipica in Slovenia, a pretty, 9-hole course set in the same park where they train the world-famous Lippizaner stallions. You can spend a day golfing and then take in a horse performance.
Looking for something a little more intellectually stimulating? Trieste’s museums are open for business and there are several exhibits running through the rest of the summer. At the Salone Degli Incanti there is DISSOBEDISCO, (Disobedience) an exhibit that looks at the history of Gabriele D’Annunzio’s attempted occupation and liberation of the city of Fiume and the larger themes of social revolution, youth revolt, female emancipation…
The Alinari Museum at San Giusto Castle has an exhibit of the photographs of Maurizio Frullani: ITER IN FABULA – considered one of the most important photographers of this region whose archives include over 300 portraits of local artists, writers, filmmakers of this region. The photographs are a documentation of his travels and encounters spanning his 40 year career.
At the Maggazzino delle Idee is another worthy photographic exhibit of the self portraits of Vivian Maier, an American street photographer. Maier worked for about forty years as a nanny, mostly in Chicago’s North Shore, pursuing photography during her spare time. In this exhibit are 11 self portraits which have never before been exhibited in Italy. Also accompanying the collection is the film “Finding Vivian Maier” directed by John Maloof (2013).
At the Museo Carlo Schmidl on the Canal, is a photographic exhibit CINEMA IN POSA of the lost film houses and cinemas of Trieste collected from the city’s various museums’ archives featuring vintage photos of these places in their heyday.
Don’t want to hole up in a museum? Then Trieste is great for shopping and people watching, especially in the summer. Now you can take advantage of the summer sales with as much as 50%-70% off!! Lots of cute things to be found around town and if you want to find some luxe bargains, then jump in a car or cab and go to Muggia for marked down Max Mara brands at Diffusione Tessile. Or head out to the outlets in Palmanova Village or MacArthurGlen Noventa di Piave.
Not a day person? Enjoy nights out? Trieste comes to life at sunset. Head out to the Molo Audace or the rooftop at Pier, hey, even Sticco has a rooftop bar for sunset aperitivos and take in the spectacular sunsets and watch the city turn rose-gold. Then you can eat at a Michelin starred restaurant right in Piazza Unita’, Harry’s or choose from any of the quaint traditional eateries, ethnic cuisine (excellent Greek restaurant just near Teatro Roman at the foot of the old city Taverna Sapori Greci) or Adonis for Lebanese or meander through the streets of Citta’ Vecchia and fall into one of the many good restaurants located there.
Then it’s time for music; Check out Stazione Roger (bar, hip hangout) at the end of the rive, for an evening of music and drinks or Piazza Verdi has a full summer calendar of live music and performances. Stasera a Trieste is a facebook page listing events going on at night throughout the city, so be sure to check it out!
As for dancing I’m not going to be much help, (imagine stale 1980s dance moves) but I’m told that Ausonia Beach club has a pretty fun summer ambiance (rowdy). Then there are a few clubs like Mandracchio, Dhome and Streaming which are popular, however, not having been to any of them, you’re on your own.
Then the best way to end your night is cooling down with the best ice cream in town at Zampolli’s — here you can’t go wrong!