Trieste (Trst in Slovenian and Croatian, Triest in German) is the capital of the autonomous region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, in North-East Italy. Once a very influential and powerful centre of politics, literature, music, art and culture under Austrian-Hungarian dominion, its importance fell into decline towards the end of the 20th century, and today, Trieste is often forgotten as tourists head off to the big Italian cities like Rome and Milan or the nearby Venice. It is, however, a very charming underestimated city, with a quiet and lovely almost Eastern European atmosphere, several pubs and cafes, some stunning architecture and a beautiful sea view. It was also, for a while, the residence of famous Irish writer James Joyce.
Trieste has 201,261 inhabitants and it is situated on the crossroads of several commercial and cultural flows: German middle Europe to the north, Slavic masses and the Balkans to the east, Italy and then Latin countries to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Its artistic and cultural heritage is linked to its singular "border town" location. You can find some old Roman architecture (a small theater near the sea, a nice arch into old city and an interesting Roman museum), Austrian empire architecture across the city centre (similar to stuff you can find in Vienna) and a nice atmosphere of metissage of Mediterranean styles, as Trieste was a very important port during the 18th century. Trieste has always been a very cosmopolitan city. This can be seen in the cultural diversity and even in religion: there is a Greek Orthodox church, a Serbian Orthodox church, a Lutheran church, and a synagogue.