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We ended up on a very brief visit to Trieste, as it was the closest airport that you could fly to Valencia from, to get to Slovenia. The bus connections from this city are amazing – so many options. I’m sure we will return, especially we are now familiar with it. And frankly, I would just return for the food anyhow. It’s been years since I’d been to Italy and had forgotten how truly epic every mouthful of everything you eat there is!
Handy tip alert…
The downside to flying to Trieste is that, as is so often the case, the airport is really far out from the centre. I had heard the bus was straight forward, but we had pretty much the last flight of the day and were slightly alarmed to turn up to find the tiny airport pretty much shut down. We made it over to the bus station but then buying a ticket for the bus became a bit of a complication. Luckily we had a good half an hour until the bus was due, if not, it would have become even more stressful, but even so, when you’re in the dark, trying to work out how to get from A to B after a long day it is never fun. There didn’t seem to be anywhere to buy the ticket in the airport itself so we walked over to the unmanned bus station – over a long walk way. This is where we found the ticket machine we eventually got our tickets from. None of the other people catching the bus were Italian, so with the ticket machines in Italian only, we all had a bit of fun fathoming it out in our various languages. I thought I’d take the opportunity to take photos of the machine to help anyone else going there, get their tickets more quickly. Each photo shows the options we picked to get a ticket to the train station in central Trieste. It stopped at a few stops along the way, so wasn’t an express bus.
Select the destination that begins TRIEST AUT.-ROIANO…. The ticket should cost just over €4 and will say E6 on the screen and the ticket.
A brief but enjoyable stay
We stayed at the B&B Hotel Trieste, which is opposite the train station/bus station, which is where we were to be catching our bus to Slovenia, so was really convenient. The hotel didn’t have 24-hour reception but provided a code we could use to get in when we turned up late. We were only in this hotel for a couple of nights, but we were enamoured with it so much, mostly because the beds were crazy comfy. It was also convenient for central Trieste, with everything a fairly short walk away.
I was impressed by how grand Trieste was. Truly stunning architecture. It has apparently belonged to a few countries in its time, is an important port, but has been part of Italy since 1918.
It is famous for being home to James Joyce for a time and the bronze of him stands casually by the canalside. This is a lovely area to hang out eating, drinking and people watching.
Having been somewhat starved of craft beer in our little Spanish town, we do like to seek it out when we hit a city. We found a lovely old, atmospheric small bar called Mastro Bierraro. The beer and bar were great, though toilets were not designed with the ladies in mind.
Foodwise – Trieste could do no wrong. I was particularly in love with a pasta dish I had which had a sprinkling of a pea puree on it. Something I wouldn’t expect to be so delicious. I realise even in the photo it looks pretty un-appetising, but trust me on this. Every dish we had, everywhere we went was crazy tasty, from the simple lemon sorbet to the Fratelli La Bufala Pizzeria. It’s certainly not a cheap place, but it wasn’t eye-watering prices, as you’d get in more touristy destinations.
Some interesting things we stumbled upon were, an ancient amphitheatre which had mysterious figures sprinkled about the place.
There was also a store front, right in the heart of town, which had a message to visitors about Free Territory of Trieste, which I had no idea what was about, but looked it up recently – see a wiki page here.
Tips and practicalities:
When we returned from Slovenia, we found we could leave our luggage at the train station for €5 per item. Though, it was a very interesting way of storing them, with involved a piece of string and not a great deal of security so I’m not sure if I’d leave any expensive items there.
To get from Trieste back to the airport, we had to buy the ticket from the APP counter. We couldn’t see a machine anywhere that did it. You can buy a ticket to use anytime that day which is useful. The bus goes from the underground area, where we discovered there was a ticket machine (pendulums 3). This stop is the farthest left as you walk out of the doors from the back of bus station ticket office.
We used Trieste as a gateway and I don’t think I’d now return there specifically to visit the city, but I would be more than happy to use this as a gateway again, stopping by for a bit of La Dolce Vita time.