The extravagant 19th-century Miramare Castle (Castello di Miramare) is set on the Grignano promontory above the Gulf of Trieste and has beautiful interiors and 54 acres of grounds and botanical gardens. Home to the Habsburg family until the 20th century, this sumptuous noble residence offers a fascinating glimpse into royal life.
Designed by Austrian architect Carl Junker, Miramare Castle (Castello di Miramare) is unlike any other in Italy, for its white stone towers and Gothic-, Medieval- and Austrian-inspired architecture at once contrasts with and complements the Mediterranean landscape. The Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria (later Emperor Maximilian of Mexico) and his wife, Charlotte of Belgium, had the castle built in 1860, and today visitors can tour its well-preserved rooms, all filled with original furniture, tapestries, and decor. The surrounding Miramare Park, set along a paved walkway with impressive views of the Adriatic Sea, is a beautiful expanse of grounds dotted with sculptures, ponds, and fountains.
You can visit Miramare Castle on its own or part of a larger tour of Trieste that also includes the elegant Piazza Unità d'Italia and the Cathedral of San Giusto.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Kids will enjoy roaming Miramare’s grounds, as well as the castle’s stunning architecture.
- The castle and grounds are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
- Large backpacks, bags, and umbrellas must be left at the museum cloakroom.
- There’s a souvenir shop inside the museum and a coffee shop in the garden.
- Photography is not allowed inside the castle, but the views from the grounds make for spectacular photos.
How to Get There
Miramare Castle is located on Viale Miramare just north of Trieste and across the border from Slovenia. There are local bus and train routes that run between the center of Trieste and Miramare, but the best way to reach the castle is by joining a tour or shore excursion that includes transportation. In summer, there’s ferry service from Trieste to Grignano Bay.
When to Get There
One of the highlights of the castle is its extensive grounds, so time a visit for a clear day with mild temperatures so you can explore at your leisure.
The Castle Interiors
The interior décor was the work of Franz Hofmann and his son, Julius. The ground-floor private apartments of Maximilian and Charlotte have an intimate, informal atmosphere, while the upper floor, once dedicated to receiving guests, is filled with sumptuous furnishings decorated with the family's coats of arms and tapestries incorporating imperial crests.