Trieste

Basics

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Opening Hours

In Trieste post offices, banks and offices usually open around 08:30 in the morning, while most shops and cultural institutions open at 09:00. All but the latter usually close from 13:00 to 15:00 (give or take 30 minutes) for lunch, and then reopen until 16:00 (banks) or 19:30 (shops). Virtually all restaurants in town are open for lunch (12:00-15:00) and dinner (19:00-23:00), but not in between. Be aware that both opening hours and days can also vary greatly between summer and winter seasons.

Money

Italy was one of the original 11 EU member states to adopt the Euro alongside its own currency (the Italian lira with an exchange rate of just over 1936 lira to 1 Euro) on 1 January 1999, with the Euro officially replacing the lira for cash transactions on 1 January 2002. Euro coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, 1 and 2 Euros, while bank notes come in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euros. Italian Euro coins all feature famous works of art from Italian artists or monuments, such as Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man (€1), Sandra Botticelli's Birth of Venus (€0.10), and the Colosseum in Rome (€0.05).

Smoking

Smoking is banned in all public places in Italy, and Trieste is no exception. A handful of bars and cafés have separate indoor smoking rooms, but otherwise if you need to light up you'll find plenty of company outside most establishments. According to the most recent reports, an estimated 32 per cent of men and 19 per cent of women smoke in Italy.

Drinking

In Trieste, as in the much of the rest of Italy, drinking alcohol is a fairly widespread practise, with most meals not only accompanied by a glass or more of wine, but aperitifs and digestifs being almost as indispensable as other courses. The legal drinking age in Italy is 16, so don't be surprised to see rather young-looking locals carrying around open beer bottles or drinking other mixed concoctions from plastic cups late into the night. While most cafés and bars do not keep 'happy hours' per se, many do offer free snacks with drinks during the evenings.

Mobile Phones

Thanks to the ongoing regulatory efforts at the EU-level (and much to the chagrin of telecom operators), mobile phone roaming rates are now capped across all EU member states including Italy, which means that as of 1 July 2013 you can expect to pay only €0.24 per minute for outgoing calls, €0.07 per minute for incoming calls and €0.08 per sms sent. If you're planning to spend a longer period of time in the country and/or make a significant amount of local calls, buying an Italian SIM card could be a more economical option, especially for mobile internet usage. They can be purchased from any phone shop starting at around €10, and require a passport for registration.

Safety

Trieste is a relatively safe city by European standards, and you shouldn't have any problems if you take the same reasonable precautions that would elsewhere (eg pay extra attention to your valuables in crowded places, don't walk alone late at night, etc). As is the case throughout Europe, the general emergency number is 112, with calls (in theory) being answered almost immediately by operators who can speak Italian, English, German, French and Slovenian. However, if at all possible it's always better to have an Italian speaker make the call for you.

Public Holidays

The following dates are all work-free public holidays in Trieste, meaning you can expect most offices, shops and cultural institutions to be closed.

1 January - New Year's Day
6 January - Epiphany
Mon after Easter - Easter Monday
25 April - Liberation Day
1 May - International Workers' Day
2 June - Republic Day
15 August - Assumption Day
1 November - All Saints' Day
3 November - Feast Day of Saint Justus
8 December - Immaculate Conception
25 December - Christmas Day
26 December - St Stephen's Day

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