Cadmium and zinc concentrations were determined in hepatopancreatic tissues of Mytilus galloprovincialis, reared in three non-contaminated hatcheries of the Gulf of Trieste (Northern Adriatic Sea). Mussels were collected in 13 sampling exits with monthly frequency for verifying possible seasonal variations. Freeze dried hepatopancreatic tissues were dissolved by nitric acid procedure using a microwave system; analysis of Zn and Cd followed by AAS technique. Metal concentrations were below the critical values for mollusc soft tissues, but xenobiotic cadmium had values requiring monitoring attention. Cadmium and zinc showed moderate variations along the months, with a slight winter maximum followed by a summer pre-spawning minimum, matching the seasonal trends of temperature/salinity. The estuarine site appears to have the best quality of the examined area in terms of metal contents. The results can constitute a guideline for the water quality in the Northern Adriatic Sea, and permit comparisons with the quality of other areas of the Mediterranean Sea.