In 1763 and 1764, in its alarm at the approaching food crisis that lay ahead, the Kingdom of Naples turned to Trieste as a means to obtain cereals from Central and Eastern Europe. The failure of this attempt was one of the causes of the famine that struck Naples. The author retraces the events following this attempt from the point of view of Trieste, trying to bring out the different interests confronting each other, the actors involved in them and the practices and strategies they implemented. In this way the famine becomes an "exceptional point of observation". On one hand it allows us analyse the specific events, on the other to investigate the mechanisms of the cereals market and the relationships between the world of commerce and finance, as well as the roles and realities of the state and bureaucracy, of the aristocracy, of production, of the application and creation of norms, and of their circumvention and transgression.
Keywords: Trieste, Naples, famine, mercantilism, trade, cereals.