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Genius Places

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Trieste and its cafés

Trieste and its cafés : a love story that began in the 1700s when it was the key port for the sector in the Mediterranean.  The association of the city with the most famous aroma in the world quickly grew and became legendary.

For Trieste, a "caffè" is not just a place, a drink or a daily activity; it is an actual lifestyle with its own special terminology: if you want a cappuccino you should ask for a caffelatte, if you  prefer a simple espresso, you  should ask for "un nero" and if you want a caffe macchiato, just ask for "un capo".  Easy, isn't it? Yeah right, you just need to get used to it!

And it will really be worth it. The cafés of Trieste are wonderful places where time seems to have stood still yet continues to flow by, telling the tale of a city which seems so austere on the outside yet is brimming with life within.  From the 1830s, the cafés were meeting places for business men and politicians, but their main association is with the world of literature. From Svevo to Joyce, Saba to Kafka, many of the greatest writers of all time have been reflected amidst the mirrors, stucco work and mosaics of these premises which were even turned into dance halls for a period after the second world war. 

A must for any visitor to Trieste is to go into one of the cafés and relive the true history of the place, trying to catch a glimpse of the ever-changing city through one of its distinctive stained glass windows.

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