The Hotel Continentale is the only remaining hotel on Via San Nicolò. This dignified building, located at no. 25 (cadastral registry 705) Via San Nicolò, was designed by architect Giovanni Righetti and built between 1875 and 1880. The hotel replaced an old building owned by a number of Jewish families, with the Guetta family apparently being the final owner.

As for the hotel, by 1905 a restaurant, the Berger, already occupied the ground floor. This restaurant was owned or managed by Luigi Toniatto (written Toniato), who later opened the hotel giving it his own name. The name remained unchanged until World War I (or slightly before), at which point it became Continentale. Beginning in this period, the restaurant was run by Carlo Zanon, probably until the end of World War II. The hotel building, on the corner of Via San Nicolò and Via San Spiridione (in the heart of the city centre), is four stories high, has second-floor balconies (two on each side) and features large windows on the corners. The double lancet windows opening onto the balconies are surmounted by exquisite medallions with graceful figural busts depicted in profile. During the period immediately following World War II, the hotel hosted eminent figures, including the future Chairman of Assicurazioni Generali Enrico Randone, Chief Rabbi Elio Toaff, the famous radio host Nunzio Filogamo and many others. These illustrious names only added to the fame that the hotel had acquired during so many years of honourable service.

From the book by: Pietro Covre
L'antica via San Nicolò (The old Via San Nicolò)
Published by: Il Ramo D'Oro

The Hotel Continentale, once named “Al Buon Pastore”, is located on Via San Nicolò. Although in 1878 the establishment was not the elegant hotel it is today, it was more than acceptable for a "clandestine couple". The couple in question was Giosuè Carducci and his muse "Lina" (in the world Carolina Piva née Cristofori, mother of three children and wife of a government official from Rovigo). he two lovers organized a secret journey to Trieste on July 7, 1878, after furtively exchanging many letters; naturally, they travelled under assumed names. However, the day after their arrival the couple was "spotted" by a journalist from the "Indipendente", and news of the great poet's presence in the city spread like lightning.

Accompanied by Attilio Hortis and Giuseppe Caprin, the couple visi ted the city, the Miramare Castle, the San Giusto hill, and Winkelmann’s cenotaph. They were constantly followed and applauded by a festive and noisy crowd – so much for privacy!

The following day they visited Koper, once again accompanied by their two "Virgils" and surrounded by a curious and merry crowd. They departed from Trieste on July 11, amidst a joyous chorus of goodbyes, but evidently Giosuè Carducci was not pleased and never again returned to Trieste.

From the book by Halupca e Veronese
Trieste Nascosta (Hidden Trieste)
Published by: Lint

Berger Brewery (or Bierhalle). Already appointed in 1880 with headquarters in via S. Nicolò n. 17 (corner of via S. Spiridione). This famous place in that year was run by the widow Maria Koller. In 1908 under the banner of Grand Restaurant Berger, the brewery flourished under the direction of the hotelier Luigi Toniato. It had great fame and prestige until the First World War. P.C.

The Continental hotel began its activity as Hotel Toniato at 25 of via S. Nicolò in 1909 and 1910, in place of the Berger Brewery, then directed by Toniato himself. After this last date it took on the new name of Continental. The building that houses it is a beautiful palace built in 1875 on a project by the architect Righetti. In an advertisement from the first postwar period, the hotel appears to have been founded in 1875, but this date probably refers only to the restaurant. The hotel is still in full operation and represents a significant point of reference for the entire Via S. Nicolò. P.C. (Collector P. Covre)

Three typical “Ober”, waiters from the good old days, in an attitude of noting customer orders. They wear the obligatory tailcoat, with tails, the white shot with the black silk butterfly, the low buttoned waistcoat. They were the "head waiters", provided with enormous "folò" wallets for the takings, who directed with a nod or a movement of the head a group of young apprentices, ready and attentive, who moved quickly, in silence, taking note what the customers said but referring to the "superior" without ever taking hasty initiatives. Usually the waiters of the great Trieste restaurants spoke German, many Hungarian, almost all of them juggled French and even English well. Because they had made their profession aboard the ships of the Trieste navy. A.S (Collez. F. Castello)

From the book by Le Insegne dell'Ospitalità
Due Secoli di esercizi pubblici a Trieste
Published by: Lint