In the center of Trieste, the capital of Italy’s Friuli–Venezia Giulia region, the vast Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia looks out over the deep, blue waters of the Gulf of Trieste. This elegant seafront square is bordered on three sides by ornate Viennese-style government buildings and flanked by the winding streets of ancient Roman “Tergeste” and the grid-like Borgo Teresiano neighborhood.
Facing the sea is the Municipio (city hall) building, with its clock tower and two bronze moors. On either side of the square are the stately Lloyd Triestino building and the Palazzo del Governo, whose golden, mosaicked façade sparkles in the sunshine. In front of the Municipio, the angel-topped Fontana dei Quattro Continenti pays tribute to the four continents that were recognized in the 18th century: Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. At the water’s edge sit the intriguing bronze statues of two young women known as Le Sartine, or “the seamstresses.”