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Trieste is a city and port in northeastern Italy very near
to the Slovenian border, to the North, East and South.
Trieste is located at the head of the Gulf of Trieste on the Adriatic Sea.
With a population of 208,614 (2007) it is the capital of the
autonomous region Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trieste province.
Trieste flourished as part of Austria, from 1382
(the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867) until 1918 when it was one
of the few seaports in what was one of the Great Powers of Europe.
It was among the most prosperous Mediterranean seaports as well as
a capital of literature and music.
However, the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and
Trieste's annexation to Italy after World War I led to a decline of its
economic and cultural importance.
Today, Trieste is a border town.
The population is an ethnic mix of the neighbouring regions;
The dominant local Venetian dialect of Trieste is called Triestine.
This dialect and the official Italian language are spoken in the city centre,
while Slovene is spoken in several of the immediate suburbs.
The Venetian and the Slovene languages are considered
autochthonous of the area.
There are also small numbers of German and Hungarian speakers.
The economy depends on the port and on trade with its neighbouring regions.
Throughout the Cold War Trieste was a peripheral city,
but it is rebuilding some of its former influence.
Places of touristic interest in Trieste include numerous examples of
Art Nouveau and neoclassical architecture from its Austrian past,
the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, the International School
for Advanced Studies and Trieste University.
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