Drinking Coffee with James Joyce in Trieste

Trieste is an Italian city is not frequented by the regular traveler. But it should be. The mountains and the mighty Adriatic makes Trieste a very unique city and there is also that unmistakable charm since it is a port town. Trieste as a city has been known to have attracted a lot of  writers and thinkers since years. One of them was the notable Irish writer James Joyce. He along with his standards of coffee are very famous and that is why this post is important because it tells where to have coffee in Trieste- Joyce style!

James Joyce in Trieste


James Joyce in Trieste

So when I was in Trieste standing next to Joyce’s calm and smiling statue, I decided to follow his footsteps. Joyce lived in Trieste for more than a decade from 1904 till 1915 and it was his city, a place he loved and greatly admired. Trieste stole his soul and it is evident when you walk around the city.

Several alleys, B&Bs, hotels, museums and coffee houses have dedicated themselves to Joyce and his time in the city. It is a wonderful feeling being in the centre of it. Literary Italy is fascinating…..!!

Did you know the famous coffee brand Illy is from Trieste!!

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Joyce often went to many old fashioned coffee houses in the city. But my favorite is below!


Antico Caffè San Marco should be your spot if you are looking for anything related to coffee and James Joyce in the city. Ask the way Joyce had his coffee and you will be offered a Joyce special and told about the history. San Marco is also a huge bookstore where book events are held regularly and is definitely a MUST VISIT on your Trieste trip.

Other notable places to have coffee in Trieste are Bar ItaliaCaffè degli Specchi and Caffè Pirona. Apart from these cafès, Joyce also wandered in other parts of city such as the well known Theatre Verdi and the church of San Nicolo. He, along with his writer friends Umberto Saba and Italo Svevo, were part of the city’s literary drama and culture.



James Joyce in Trieste

It was not unusual for me doing a tour of the city with the ghosts of the literary past. I travel in search of literary references wherever I go and Trieste just happened to make it doubly special….!
How to Reach Trieste:
Trieste is well connected by all major cities of Italy. I took a train from Florence and booked my tickets with Trenitalia. Trieste is closer to Venice since it is at the far eastern corner of Italy. It makes a great base to explore Slovenia and Austria.

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71 thoughts on “Drinking Coffee with James Joyce in Trieste

  1. I haven’t been to Trieste but long to go there. And I didn’t know that James Joyce stayed there for so long either. Another writer I admire from Trieste is Italo Svevo, another reason to walk those streets.

    1. It totally is, Rae. Really peaceful sitting at the Piazza. I hope you visit it next year. Oopps I mean this year 🙂 😉 buon Anno once again!

  2. I didn’t know many things about Trieste, it seems to be an interesting city! Btw cafe tastes really good in Italy. I love going for a breakfast to the caffeteria and eating one brioche with a small cappuccino. If I had more time, it would be the scenario for every my morning:)

  3. I’ve never been to Trieste and didn’t know it was such a coffee lover’s hot spot. I stood out like you wouldn’t believe as a non coffee drinker in Italy always ordering green tea! In the end, I just started ordering cappuccino so I’d feel less silly and actually quite liked it! 😁

    1. Oh it is and known more so because the coffee brand illy is from there. Lol I can’t believe that but good to know you started having it later 😉

  4. Great!! never visited Trieste but I have friends there who told me it it soooo beautiful but didn t remember Joyce stayed there!his statue reminded me the Pessoa’s one I saw in Lisbon in front of his fav cafè☕️☕️☕️

  5. I recently visited Trieste and found it had a very Mittel Europe feel to it, an Austrian legacy? But you’re right when you say that its proximity to the sea and mountains gives it a unique feel. Definitely one to visit again!

  6. My boyfriend was born in Trieste 🙂 I had the chance to visit the town only once (we met abroad and have lived abroad ever since, so there were not so many occasions) and I loved his hometown! I would like to go back and spend some time there one day.

      1. Yeah, unfortunately we stayed only for a day, as we were driving from Budapest to Torino and Trieste was only a quick stopover. Most of his family lives in Rome, so we visit Rome much more often.

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