If you are going to spend more than a couple of days in Trieste, you could visit two beautiful castles and an island. There is no need to rent a car, because the castles and the island are easily reachable by public trasportation.
I visited the castles and the island some years ago.
Miramare castle was built between 1856 and 1860 by orders of Maximilian of the House of Habsburg (1832-1867). He was Franz Joseph' s (emperor of Austria) youngest brother. From 1931 to 1937 the castle was inhabited by duke Amedeo d' Aosta. This castle is located in Grignano. You can go there by bus from Trieste.
Inside you can visit more than 20 rooms. All these have original furniture. You can see the private apartments where Maximilian and his wife Charlotte lived for a short period; the guests rooms and the throne room.
The castle is surrounded by a huge park with ponds, statues and some buildings as the stables and the so called Castelletto. Maximilian and Charlotte lived there while the castle was being constructed.
Duino is a town not far from Trieste. There are daily coaches departing from the bus station in Trieste to go there.
In Duino you can visit a castle. Well, in reality there are two castles there. The old and the new one. This one is open to visitors.
The new castle was built around 1400. What we see today is a set of buildings constructed in different years and set around a courtyard. The castle belonged to various people and was also used as a prison. At the end of the 19th century it became property of the prince Alexander of Thurn und Taxis. Over the years this castle hosted many famous artists as Strauss, Liszt, Twain and Rainer Maria Rilke.
I took this picture from the castle tower.
Another picture from the castle tower.
The "old" castle was built in the XI century. It is now in ruins. You can see it from a balcony and from the tower of the new castle.
Grado is an island situated 52 km from Trieste. It is linked to the mainland by two bridges.
One of the highlights in Grado is the basilica of saint Euphemia. It has a beautiful mosaic pavement which covers almost the entire floor surface. This church dates from the end of the VI century. It was built on the site of a previous basilica built between the IV and V centuries. Beside this church there is a baptistery which dates to the fifth century. In this picture you see part of the basilica of saint Euphemia.
Some meters from the church you can visit the basilica of saint Maria delle Grazie. It was built at the end of the VI century. This church was built over another one of the V century. It is smaller than the basilica of S. Euphemia and houses a beautiful colourful Madonna.
Once you visited the churches and the baptistery you could have a stroll in the town center. The old core of Grado is made mostly of stone houses. It has narrow streets (calli), small squares (campielli) as in Venice. You can wander in the center of Grado for at least a couple of hours or maybe more.
There are even some Roman ruins in this town.
I went to Grado from Trieste by bus. I took a coach from the bus station in Trieste to Monfalcone. Once in Monfalcone I crossed the road and I took a bus to Grado. The bus station in Grado is in piazza Carpaccio; which is just a couple of streets from the harbour.