Situated at the cusp of cultures, Trieste is not defined by a single piece of architecture or an iconic monument, but rather, it is its free spirit, as wild as the billowing Bora wind, that epitomizes its essence. Set along the Adriatic coast in northeastern Italy, Trieste tumbles down the slopes of the karst plateau to the shores of the Gulf of Trieste. Just west of the Slovenian border, the city's perch on this narrow strip of the Italian coast has placed it at the meeting point of Slavic, Jewish, Germanic and Italian cultures since it was first conceived of. In its early years, the city was shaped by Roman and Byzantine rule, yet it is the Habsburgs who left the most indelible mark in the 18th and 19th Centuries. A thriving port and a historic center for literature and music, Trieste has attracted scores of intellectuals, artists and authors to its embrace for decades; even James Joyce could not resist the call of this siren. Today, visitors are drawn to its sprawling plazas, grand palazzos and informative museums. Its most popular attractions are the Piazza dell'Unita d'Italia, the Castello di Miramare, the Cattedrale di San Giusto and the Borsa Vecchia. Along the way are belle epoque cafes, lavish buffets and a fledgling nightlife.