Risiera di San Sabba, a former nazi concentration camp in Trieste, Italy.

© bluebeat76/Getty Images/iStock

Risiera di San Sabba


This former rice-husking plant became a concentration camp in 1943 and has been a national monument and museum since the 1960s. The site commemorates the 5000 people who perished here and the many thousands more who passed through on the way to Nazi forced labour and death camps. These included a great many of the city's Jewish population along with Triestine and Slovenian resistance fighters.

Although the death cells remain, most of the camp's horrific wartime structures were destroyed by the retreating German forces in 1945. The monument solemnly traces their outlines in metal and stone, their absence creating areas of reflection. A collection of prisoners' photographs, letters and other artefacts are deeply personal and vividly alive.

Take bus 8 from the train station, or bus 10 from the Riva, a 20-minute trip; from the last bus stop walk past the stadium, turning left into Via Palatucci.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Trieste attractions

1. Castello di San Giusto

1.97 MILES

Once a Roman fort, this sturdy 15th-century castle was begun by Frederick of Habsburg and finished off by blow-in Venetians. The city museum is housed…

3. Museo Joyce & Svevo

2.07 MILES

James Joyce would enjoy the irony: his museum really belongs to friend and fellow literary great, Italo Svevo, housing a significant collection of the…

4. Il Museo Ebraico

2.08 MILES

A small, highly prized collection of liturgical items, textiles, documents and photographs, including a touching number of personal items stolen by Nazi…

5. Arco di Riccardo


The Arco di Riccardo is one of the Roman town gateways, dating from 33 BC, and overlooks a pretty residential square. The gate is named for the English…

6. Roman Theatre

2.14 MILES

Behind Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia rise remains of the Roman theatre, which was built between the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. Concerts are held here…

7. Civico Museo Sartorio

2.14 MILES

This elegant urban villa set in a large garden belonged to the haute bourgeoisie Sartorio family, who amassed a huge collection of art, ceramics and…

8. Statue of Italo Svevo

2.17 MILES

Triestine modernist writer Italo Svevo is celebrated in this touching bronze, a companion piece to his great friend, James Joyce.