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Trieste (Italian: Trieste, pronounced [triˈɛste]; Slovene: Trst; German: Triest) is a city and seaport in north eastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of land lying between the Adriatic Sea and Italy's border with Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south, east and north of the city.
Trieste is located at the head of the Gulf of Trieste and throughout history it has been influenced by its location at the crossroads of Germanic, Latin and Slavic cultures. In 2009 it had a population of about 205,000 and it is the capital of the autonomous region Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trieste province. Trieste was part of the Habsburg Monarchy from 1382 until 1918. In the 19th century it was the most important port of one of the Great Powers of Europe. As a prosperous seaport in the Mediterranean region Trieste became the fourth largest city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (after Vienna, Budapest, and Prague).
In the fin-de-siecle period, it emerged as an important hub for literature and music. However, the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Trieste's annexation to Italy after World War I led to a decline of its economic and cultural importance and, throughout the Cold War, Trieste was a peripheral city. Today, Trieste is a border town. The population is an ethnic mix of the neighbouring regions. The dominant local dialect of Trieste is called Triestine language ("Triestin" - pronounced [triɛsˈtin]), a form of Venetian. This dialect and the official Italian language are spoken in the city centre, while Slovene is spoken in several of the immediate suburbs. The Triestin and the Slovene languages are considered autochthonous of the area. There are also small numbers of Serbian, Croatian, German, Hungarian speakers.
The economy depends on the port and on trade with its neighbouring regions. Trieste is a lively and cosmopolitan city, with more than 7.7% of its population being from abroad, and it is rebuilding some of its former cultural, economic and political influence. The city is a major centre in the EU for trade, politics, culture, shipbuilding, education, transport and commerce. Trieste is also Italy and the Mediterranean's leading coffee port, the hometown of "Illy Caffè" and the supplier of more than 40% of Italy's coffee. The city is part of the "Corridor 5", which aims at ensuring a bigger transport connection between countries in Western Europe and Eastern European nations, such as Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Ukraine and Bosnia.
This will be also a great impetus for a further boost to the economy of Trieste. Trieste is also home to some Italian mega-companies, such as Assicurazioni Generali, which was in 2005, Italy's 2nd and the world's 24th biggest company by revenue, after Hitachi and Carrefour.