The Best Sailing Barcolana Regatta in Trieste


Trieste means a lot to me in this moment of my life.

It is a town in the north-east of Italy (about 160 kilometers from Venice). The reason why I decided to come here has much to do with my personal issues. Last year I met a guy in Milan, where I was studying and working, and we gradually fell in love. This person, who is now my boyfriend, comes from Trieste. Last April he invited me to come here for the first time and showed me all the nicest attractions. Some months later, I finally decided to move here and now we live together. In this post, I'm going to show you the best sailing Barcolana regatta in Trieste. 

Trieste beach

When is the best time to visit Trieste?

Trieste, like most towns by the sea, in June, July and August can be a good destination for sunbathing and sea lovers. It’s a place full of natural beauty and you can be surprised at any moments. A few months ago, I was walking along the sea by a famous pier called Molo Audace. The view was so beautiful that I couldn’t help but to stand there and admire it. And the next thing? I took out my iPhone to capture the moment.


In my opinion, the best period to visit the city is certainly October. Every year, on the second Sunday of October, a huge, awesome event takes place in this magical place. I’m talking about Barcolana, which can be considered the biggest regatta in world: about 2000 boats sailing and racing in the gulf of Trieste. Here are some photos I took while watching the regatta. Together with my boyfriend and a friend, we watched the show from the best spots in Miramare Park.

Trieste Barcolana viewA glimpse of Barcolana from Miramare Park.

barcolana-ciamician via Ciamician, known for its particular view as one of the most characteristic streets.

Two different ways to live Barcolana

1) If you’re a sailing lover or you simply feel like trying something new, what I suggest is taking part in the regatta: you don’t need to be an expert sailor, as you have the opportunity to rent a boat with a professional skipper (or a wise sailor), sit down and comfortably enjoy the show. Barcolana is actually a fun day, more than a real competition.

2) If you’d like to enjoy the show “from afar” in a quiet location, finding a spot with sea view won’t be hard either. That’s what I personally did too! Are you still wondering where the places are? Take a look at the pictures above. Seek and you shall find!

Alternatively, there are some travel agencies which organize nice trips in the gulf on big motorboats (100-150 people on board) with a good buffet lunch included.

Trieste Barcolana

If you’re wondering where you can rent your boat or buy your ticket for a motorboat trip, I suggest you check out this website. From there, you’ll find the most interesting and convenient options with various prices, some even offer an overnight stay on the boat with hearty breakfast.

Check out the awesome video below to get a feel of the wonderful regatta.



Barcolana: something more than a regatta

During the whole week before Barcolana, a special atmosphere literally turns the city on: the streets get unconventionally full of people (tourists, sailors, journalists, photographers, etc.), the whole promenade is set up with many kinds of stands (most of which are related to sailing and nautical issues, tourism and typical food) and many cultural events organized all around the city in museums, theatres and open-air public spaces.

Trieste view
What I appreciate the most is an incredible photographic exhibition dedicated to the wind, including shots taken by some of the most famous sailing photographers in the world, such as Carlo Borlenghi and Franco Pace.
For young people who love staying out until late at night, many indoor and open-air dancing parties and concerts are organized every night, from Monday till Saturday (the night before the big regatta).

In case you need some tips regarding the events organized, check out the website and Facebook page.

Where to sleep?

If you love to be surrounded by the sea as you wake you, consider staying over in a boat for a night. However, do bear in mind that you will be facing small spaces, no showers aboard and cold weather. That’s why I recommend this option only to real sailing lovers, who are already used to the life on board.

If sleeping on a boat is not you and you’re looking for an entire apartment or a room in a shared apartment, airbnb is the best solution, offering a huge variety of accommodations. If you haven’t signed up for it, click here and you will get $30 travel credits for free. 🙂

If your budget is very limited (about 20€ per night per person), there’s a nice location with a sea view I would highly recommend. I’m talking about a hostel situated out of the noise and crowd of the city center but still close to it (15 minutes by bus or taxi), take a look at this link.

Here are some other useful links, concerning some nice budget hotels and B&Bs in a good position (30-50€ per night per person).

In any case, don’t forget to plan your trip and book your accommodation at least 3-4 months before the date of the event. All the hotels and apartments are always fully booked in this period, and if you wait too long, you risk not being able to find a good deal. As the event approaches, even hotels in the suburbs can sell rooms at prices as high as 250€ per night or more! So book early!

Where to eat

If eating fast food from the stands in the street is not your thing, check out these restaurants, where you can find typical food (both fish and meat) at really good prices. (mainly for vegans, but there’s also a nice wine bar, good for an aperitif or a drink after dinner).

Final thoughts from Chloe

Margherita is a very sweet person and her advice on Trieste is so personal and useful. Wouldn’t it be great to follow her local advice as you are exploring the beautiful Trieste? Although she graduated with a law degree, Margherita is now working in a tourism industry, doing what she’s really passionate about and living her travel dreams. If you want to find out more about her story, check out her biography.

Trieste cycling
If you are as passionate about sharing your travel story as Margherita, check out here and find out how you can Share Your Stories too.