Trieste, Italy, a city and seaport in Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. It is on the Gulf of Trieste at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea, about 265 miles (426 km) northeast of Rome. Trieste is a major Mediterranean shipping outlet for the products of central Europe and a commercial and industrial center. The city's chief industries are shipbuilding, oil refining, and steel manufacturing.
Among Trieste's oldest landmarks is a Roman amphitheater built in the first and second centuries A.D. San Giusto Cathedral and the Castle of San Giusto, both dating from the 14th century, honor the city's patron saint. Other notable buildings in or near Trieste include the Verdi Theater (1801), Miramare Castle (1854–56), and numerous museums.
Trieste's recorded history began in 178 B.C. with the coming of the Romans. Following Roman domination the city was controlled in turn by the Ostrogoths, Byzantines, and Lombards, until it became part of Charlemagne's empire in 787. Under Lothair II in 948 the city was granted its independence, which it retained until capture by Venice in 1202. Venetian domination led Trieste to seek Austrian protection in 1382, and gradually Austria gained complete control. Growth was stifled until Emperor Charles VI made Trieste a free port in 1719, after which it prospered. When the Austro-Hungarian Empire was broken up after World War I, Italy was given Trieste.
In 1947, after World War II, conflicting claims between Italy and Yugoslavia led the United Nations to establish the Free Territory of Trieste, divided into two zones. Zone A in the north (including the city and most of the Italian population) was placed under Anglo-American administration, and Zone B in the south (the outlying area and most of the Slavic population) under Yugoslavian military rule. The conflict was provisionally settled in 1954 by giving Italy most of Zone A and awarding Yugoslavia a small strip of A and all of Zone B. This accord was not accepted as permanent by the two countries until 1975. Trieste's free port status has been maintained by Italy.