This might be the hardest post to write for the simple reason that Trieste is my home town. It is hard to describe what makes this city special: it might be the presence of different dominations and countries that controlled the city, a very strong wind that will lift you up, or the naval culture that every citizen shares.
It was first born as a port city, it later on became the object of desire of many civilizations that wanted to have it. However, since the people from Trieste, “el triestin patoco”, used to hate people from Venice, they decided to promise the town to the Austrian Empire. That made Trieste one of the only ports of the empire, which brought plenty of richness to the city.
During that magical time, writers from all over Europe visited the city, and one of them decided to stay here for good. That man was James Joyce. However, this magical time did not last long. Close to WWI, people from the city started to wish they were Italians, and so, after the First War, the city passed from being part of an foreign empire to being Italian.
That just broke the spell. Before, Trieste was a center where different cultures came to meet. It did not matter where you came from or what language you spoke. The only thing that really matter was what you could bring to the table. Instead, being part of the Italian Reign meant to conform, to be Italian. That just caused the loss of all foreign personalities present in the city.
However, Trieste kept a mark of their passage, and whoever walks in the city can witness all the changes in dominations. There still are some landmarks from the Roman Empire, there are many neighborhoods that scream Vienna and Austria, and there are others that remind you of any other building in Italy.
Now, the city tries to gain back those foreign personalities and cultures by organizing many international festivals, in which many stands from all over Europe appear, and people are able to eat street food from all over. But the biggest attraction happens the second weekend of October, where everybody comes to Trieste to take part of the Barcolana, a big regatta in which hundreds of sailing boats compete in order to become the champion.