Trieste welcomes you with the magnificent Piazza Unita d’Italia, one of the largest waterfront plazas in Europe, flanked by impressive 19th century facades that bespeak its importance in the Habsburg Empire. But the city has a history unfurling from the second millennium B.C. Its ancient name meant “market” and it has been a crossroads of influences from Western and Eastern Europe throughout its existence. Aside from the neoclassical grandeur of the Austrian Quarter, the Old City is a warren of narrow medieval streets, and there are remains of original Roman arches and walls here as well. Castles and churches reflect a variety from Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Anglican, as well as a Jewish synagogue, dating from the 11th through the 20th centuries. Roman age temples and an amphitheater have left their remains. The venerable Caffe San Marco in the city center symbolizes the importance of coffee that shaped the city’s economy and still flavors its fame. It is considered the coffee capital of Italy. Like the Croatian province of Istria nearby, Trieste is Italian today, but its culture is a handsome hybrid of the many peoples who have come, reigned for a while, and been replaced by others.