|Subject: Suggestions wanted- Trieste|
I let other people reply about Prague and Budapest, as I think these two cities will be the high points of your trip.
Trieste is indeed an interesting place to see, a city resembling more Vienna than Rome, but with the mediterranean flavour of its sea. You can spend a day wandering around the historical town, now undergoing a major restoration which hopefully will be over for the time you are coming, plus a half day at the Miramare castle and its lush park. This is the standard tourbook stuff, but let's have something more unusual: a) a short (or even long, if you like hiking) walk on the trail into Val Rosandra, a deep canyon escavated by the Rosandra creek into the hills east of the town. The most interesting thing is you cross in a very short time from Mediterranean to Alpine flora, even if you don't climb a lot. The trail is well marked and easy, but it takes across breathtaking landscapes. If you feel fit, you can also climb to the top of the steep hills, at about 1000 ft. b) after nature, some culture: the Revoltella Museum has a great collection of 19th and 20th century paintings, but is also located in the city palace of Baron Pasquale Revoltella, where some of the original interiors, like dining room, parlors and library are wonderfully preserved. The Morpurgo Museum is a real 19th century house of a rich merchant with all its furniture and accessories.
Hotels: there are many, of course, from expensive to cheap. The one I like most is Hotel Riviera, high on the sea at Grignano Bay, surrounded by flowers and not very expensive. It has a private beach (elevator) and if you're lucky you could try it in May. The only down point is you need a car or you have to walk a while as bus stop is a little far. If you prefer to stay in town, you can choose from a lot of places but they aren't very scenic except the four-stars ones.
Restaurants: excluding the tourbook listings, there are many family-owned little restaurants or buffets (mostly counter service with a limited choice of food). It's easy to find them walking around at lunch time, just sniff the air, but language could be a problem because most of them don't have a written menu or exposed food. If you're interested I can dig out some addresses.
Let me know if there's more you want to know.
Paolo (from Trieste, of course)