Antico Caffè San Marco is one of the most emblematic Historic Cafés in the heart of Trieste. It was inaugurated in 1914 and soon became the spiritual center of the city. Writers, artists, musicians, students, and activists (the “Irredentisti”) met at the Café to read their newspaper, write, study, and have long discussions.
Among the famous regulars were the writers James Joyce, Umberto Saba, Giani Stuparich & Virgilio Giotti. It is also said that the Café was an informal “headquarters” where the anti-Austrian were facilitated to escape in Italy.
Nowadays, the Café hosts city residents, students, and tourists who enjoy, among others, the charm of the unique interior decoration: marble tables with cast iron legs, black lacquered chairs, frescoes (most crafted by Vito Timmel), antique luminaries, elaborate sculptures depicting the coffee plant and an imposing bar!
The extraordinary aspect of this particular Historic Café is that San Marco is the “house” of a small but highly up-to-date bookstore that also functions as a cultural core. There are often book presentations and discussions with writers, actors, and artists at this lovely bookstore.