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Trieste’s Piazza Unità d’Italia

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If you’re just going to see one place in Trieste, it’s got to be the amazing Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia (formerly know as both Piazza San Pietro and Piazza Grande (as well as Piazza Francesco Giuseppe during the latter part of the city’s Austrian rule).

The piazza, often described as Trieste’s Salotto or living room – despite the fact that it’s over 12,000m2 – is bordered, dramatically, by the sea on its Western Side and i
s often cited as Europe’s largest sea bordered piazza (a curious niche category, by any standards).

The Piazza gives a flavour of Trieste’s former glory days, when it was one of the favoured cities of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and the piazza was a gathering place for merchants, bankers, businessmen, journalists and more.

The History of Piazza Unita d’Italia

The Piazza has long been known, locally, as Piazza Grande (the big square) – luckily enough given that, like many Italian Piazzas, it has changed its name a number of times.

The oldest name for the square was Piazza San Pietro, taking its name from the Church of San Pietro that existed around the 14th Century. Later it would officially be called Piazza Grande, and then – not particularly popularly – Piazza Francesco Giuseppe. After the defeat of the Austro-Hungarian empire in the First World War, and Trieste’s integration into Italy, the piazza became known as Piazza dell’Unità for the first time. Because Trieste has for much of its history had a mixed population of Italians and Slovenes (as well as many other nationalities), the Piazza is often referred to locally in Slovene as

It was after the second world war, and the final return of Trieste to Italian territory that the main square was renamed grandly Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia.

Piazza Unità d’Italia’s main attractions

there are a number of buidings and points of interest to check out in the Piazza including:

Snapshots from Piazza Unità d’Italia’s History

The Piazza has been the scene of a number of important moments on the wider stage of Italian/European history.

Triva and points of Interest about Trieste’s Piazza Unità d’Italia