Architectural masterpieces, cafés, live music events and markets make this elegant square an essential part of everyday life in Trieste.
Piazza dell’Unità (or Piazza dell'Unità d’Italia) is a huge sea-facing square and a magnificent accomplishment of civic pride. Once a location for extravagant processions and celebrations, today a combination of landmark architecture and cultural events continue to make it the city’s pulsating heart. Designed by Giuseppe Bruni, Piazza dell'Unità is enclosed on three sides, with one open side looking out over the Gulf of Trieste. Visit the square to appreciate its architecture, attend concerts and enjoy people-watching opportunities.
Start your visit by walking between the series of palaces. On the south side is Palazzo del Municipio, characterized by a blend of Venetian, Tuscan, French and German designs. To the right of here is the square’s oldest building, Palazzo Pitteri. Facing each other and flanking the square’s waterfront side is Palazzo Lloyd Triestino and Palazzo Governo, recognizable for its split-level loggia.
Another notable landmark is the Fontana dei Quattro Continenti, created by the Italian sculptor Giovanni Battista Mazzoleni. It represents the African, Asian, American and European continents and is decorated with an angel, dolphins and shells. Adjacent to the fountain is a statue of Emperor Charles VI.
A great way to appreciate the square’s grandeur is from the outdoor seating areas of a café or restaurant. Caffè degli Specchi dates back to 1839 and was used as a barracks and warehouse during World War II. Take a seat, order an aperitif, coffee or glass of wine and watch as locals meet to chat and street performers entertain the crowds.
Piazza dell'Unità is a venue for various cultural events, too. Browse the food and handicraft stands that set up on the square for December’s Christmas market. Attend classical music and opera recitals and performances by world-famous musicians such as Carlos Santana and Paolo Nutini.
The square is within comfortable walking distance of other major city attractions. Among these is the Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi. It’s also a great starting point for exploring the atmospheric streets of Trieste’s medieval old town. Parking is available at the waterfront and public buses stop on the square’s north side.
Ask at Piazza dell'Unità’s tourist information office for a schedule of events.