You only have to imagine Trieste on a winter's day, with its tempestuous sea and raging bora, to appreciate the clear, glacial beauty of the place. Lodged between the Adriatic to the south and the Carso Plateau to the north, Trieste is the last little piece of Italy before you reach the neighbouring Slovenian border and has been a land of conquest for centuries. Having initially been ruled by the Romans before becoming the territory of the Republic of Venice, it eventually came under Austrian rule and still bears the traces of these different periods of domination. The city is home to churches of all faiths and religions, testifying to the various influences which have left their mark on its culture. Full of elegance and pride, Trieste was also the homeland of some of the great 20th-Century writers (including Svevo, Joyce and Saba), who could often be found in the famous cafés of the city centre. It has everything from literature and music to history and a melting pot of cultures, but is above all quite simply a beautiful place. The Piazza Unità d'Italia, which stretches seaward along the Molo Audace promontory, along with Miramare Castle, which is now a symbol of the city, are just two of the city's more significant must-see sights.