A recent marketing hook used by the Trieste Tourism Promotion Board, 'Trieste Awaits You', rings truer than many.
Putting to one side the first 2000 years of its history, only the last 300 has seen Croats, Slovenians, Austrians, Hungarians, Dalmati, Albanians, Greeks and French all making their presence felt before the end of the First World War saw the city become part of Italy for the first time.
A lot of history is packed into the capital of the country's smallest province and the capital of the Friuli Venezia Giulia. But perhaps the most significant year of all was 1382.
Following a terrible siege and the subsequent War of Chioggia the city was left isolated and exposed to its Venetian neighbors. Despite pleas to many princes and nobles the elders had no choice. They pledged allegience to Duke Leopold of Austria.
Italy's most eastern territory is the strip of land which curves around the coast from Aquileia to Trieste.
Known as the Trieste Riviera it is an impressive swathe of rocky cliffs and green fauna and was once connected by the Via Germina, a Roman road which ran all the way to Pula in present day Croatia.
Four distinct castles lining the route at Duino, Miramare, Trieste and Muggia offer an important reference point for the turbulent and fascinating history of the area.
For us the most interesting is the castle of Miramare. It was built by Maximilian the younger brother of Franz Joseph, the Habsburg Emperor. He was an old fashioned romantic who only wanted from life 'a castle with a big garden on a beach'.
He got his wish but tragically accepted the post of Emperor of Mexico and was soon killed in 1867, and never really enjoyed the house for what it is. Visitors should not miss a tour inside and a look around the library.
The video below is a really love affair and simply stunning.
Historical Museum Castello di Miramare www.castello-miramare.it - Miramare Castle is surrounded by a flourishing park full of precious botanic species, and has a charming panoramic view, 19th century residence for the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Hapsburg