Italian chef and author Lidia Bastianich has been dishing culinary secrets for more than 30 years (her fifth book, Lidia’s Italy, hit the shelves in April). T+L asked her to share some favorite spots in her hometown, Trieste, the capital of the Friuli–Venezia Giulia region.
“For 20 years, I’ve gone to Buffet da Pepi (3 Via della Cassa di Risparmio; 39-040/366-858; lunch for two $33). I always order the piatto di porcina mista con cren—smoked ribs, sausage, pork cheek, and sauerkraut with freshly grated horseradish—and wash it down with the local red Terrano wine. The owner’s wife, Laila, is a riot and loves to bounce from table to table during lunch. Be patient—it’s small and gets crowded, so you may have to wait.”
“The Grand Hotel Duchi d’Aosta (2/1 Piazza Unità d’Italia; 39-040/760-0011; grandhotelduchidaosta.com; doubles from $400) is my home away from home. It’s very grand, with 53 rooms that overlook the Gulf of Trieste and the Piazza Unità d’Italia, the most magnificent square in Italy. The property dates back to 1873, but there’s been a hotel on the site since A.D. 300.”
“I love to walk from the city center along the waterfront to the Castello di Miramare (349 Viale Miramare; 39-040/224-143), once a residence of the Hapsburg family. The gardens are full of Lebanese cedars, spruces and firs from Spain, giant sequoias, and beautiful fountains and sculptures."