Under Habsburg rule from the defeat of Napoleon in 1815 until 1918 and the first southern port of the Empire, the Austrians were determined to create a showpiece city of Trieste, with the result that they left a rich legacy of Neoclassical and Art Nouveau buildings. This legacy is impressive, with a grid pattern of streets and large squares, lined with cafes, more reminiscent of Vienna than Rome. Nevertheless, there is still a little cluster of medieval streets, huddled around the castle and cathedral of San Giusto. Your visit will start here, high on the hill, with splendid views of the city and port below. Just 7 kilometres from the centre, on a rocky promontory, lies the salt-white castle of Miramare. An accident of fate brought Ferdinand Maximilian, Emperor Franz Josef’s younger brother here after he was driven ashore by a sudden squall and he resolved to buy the land. Between 1856 and 1870, he set about building his dream castle, though sadly didn’t live to see it completed. Sumptuous would be one description of the castle and clearly no expense was spared, with some rooms decked out like a ship, reflecting Maximilian’s devotion to the Austrian Navy. The grounds are beautifully terraced, with a fine collection of trees.