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The smallest capital of a province, Trieste is also the capital of Friuli – Venezia Giulia, a region with a special statute, bordering with Austria and Slovenia and a member of the CEI (Central-European Initiative). At the time of its full splendour – as a port and trading centre of vital importance for the economy of the Hapsburg empire – many factors contributed to conferring its typical character to the city, so cherished by the most eminent names in international culture such as James Joyce, Sigmund Freud, Rainer Maria Rilke, Johann Winckelmann, not to mention Umberto Saba, Scipio Slataper, Italo Svevo, Virgilio Giotti and Pierantonio Quarantotti Gambini, who were all natives of Trieste. Such an atmosphere remains a fundamental reason of being, a way of thinking and living in this corner of the world trapped between the rocks and the sea, but totally open and ready to accept the most diverse schools of thought.
Trieste, at the crossroads of the European North-South and East-West trade routes, is located in the centre of important traffic flows. In this context, its port with its facilities falls into a wider programme for the development of international trade. Within the framework of the commercial role of town, great importance is to be attached to the Trieste Trade Fair, where numerous exhibitions of national and international importance take place.