Trieste is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of Italian territory lying between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east 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 Latin, Slavic, and Germanic 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 one of the oldest parts of the Habsburg Monarchy. 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. In the fin-de-siecle period, it emerged as an important hub for literature and music. It underwent an economic revival during the 1930s, and Trieste was an important spot in the struggle between the Eastern and Western blocs after the Second World War. Today, the city is in one of the richest regions of Italy, and has been a great centre for shipping, through its port, shipbuilding and financial services.In 2012 Lonely Planet.com listed the city of Trieste as the world's most underrated travel destination.