Geography and Economy
Trieste's location on the coast and its former status as part of the Austrian and Austro-Hungarian Empire meant that the Port of Trieste became the major commercial port for large portions of landlocked Central Europe. In the 19th century, a whole new port district known as the Porto Nuovo was built to the northeast of the city centre. However, in modern times, Trieste's importance as a port has declined for political and economic reasons (better located located ports in Italy and competition from the nearby new port of Koper in Slovenia.) Nowadays, there is more sustained activity thanks to a significant commercial shipping business to the container terminal, steel works and an oil terminal. Trieste is the leading coffee port in the Mediterranean, the hometown of Illy Caffè and supplier of more than 40% of Italy's coffee.
The fact that Trieste was a major port for Central Europe, and the consequent need to transport people and goods long distances meant that railways came early. The first line to reach the city was the Sudbahn in 1857 which stretched 1400 km to Lviv (in today's Ukraine) via Ljubljana (in Slovenia).This line approached Trieste through the town of Villa Opicina (it is only a few km from the city centre, but over 300 meters above sea level). A second transalpine railway was opened in 1906, the Transalpina Railway from Vienna via Jesenice and Nova Gorica. This line also approached Trieste via Opicina, but then took a rather shorter loop to the south to arrive at Trieste's other main railway terminus, Trieste Campo Marzio, some distance to the south of the Central Station. This southern loop no longer carries a regular passenger service, and now Campo Marzio is a railway museum. Today freight railway service has been replaced by truck services. Passenger rail service to Trieste now largely consists of trains to Venice with connections to Rome and Milan via Mestre,
Trieste is served by the nearby Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport, located at Ronchi dei Legionari, near Monfalcone, about 35 km from Trieste.
The trans-European transport network "Corridor 5"
The "Corridor 5" aims at ensuring a connection between countries of Western Europe and Eastern Europe until Kiev trough a network of roads, motorways and rail system for the transportation of passengers and goods.The construction of this trans-European infrastructure is underway and should be accomplished by 2010. One of the main benefits will be the reduction in time transportation for the main countries who will be crossed by it: Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Ukraine and Bosnia. Considering the geographic importance of Trieste, the "Corridor 5" will be the main engine of the development of the economy, namely trade with the East. Companies would undoubtedly draw benefits from it and activities could flourish and tourism would get a further boost.
Local public transport in Trieste is operated by Trieste Trasporti, with a network of some 60 bus routes and two boat services. They also operate the Opicina Tramway, opened in 1902. It is a unique hybrid tramway and funicular railway that provides a more direct connection between the city centre and Villa Opicina in the Carso.The "Opicina Tram" is part of local folklore and there are traditional songs about it.