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Looking for the perfect trifecta to vacation? Friuli- Venezia Giulia is just the place. Situated in the north-eastern tip of Italy, Friuli is cradled among the Alps, the Venetian plains, and the Adriatic sea, making it the perfect location for different types of holidays. From snow-capped mountains to warm sandy beaches and rocky coastal cliffs, this off-the-beaten-path destination has something to please everyone.

The climate is distinguished with very warm days and chilly nights. This combination creates a harmonious balance between acidity and sugar for the regions grapes, allowing the grapes to have a long, and slow growing season. In summertime the mean temperature is around 73 °F with some rainfall.

Bordered with Austria to the north, Slovenia to the east, and internally bordered to Veneto (Venetia), Friuli, now known as one of the autonomous regions of Italy, has a history riddled with conflict and strife that has only enriched this regions ability to satisfy anyone’s thirst for history, art, culture, wine, and food. Experience the undulating hills dotted with vineyards and castles, Roman ruins, country villas, idyllic villages, and the various dialects surrounding the borders.

Friuli Venezia Giulia



Bicycle Tours: Blaze the trails of Friuli- Venezia Giulia to the Adriatic Sea, stopping along the way to see the sites of Friuli’s quaint small villages, towns, prestigious vineyards, countryside, and of course, neighboring Slovenia.

Hiking Tours: Explore the Friulian countryside by foot on a hiking route you’ll never forget. Vineyards, olive groves, Slovenia’s beautiful landscapes abounding with majestic waterfalls and water pools created by the emerald-green Soca River, and Austria’s alpine trails with breathtaking views of the Carnic and Julian Alps, are just some of the stunning sites to behold. This hike is considered easy to moderate. Expect to walk through all types of terrain – hills, meadows, forests, gorges, and mountains.

Culinary Tours: As they say, When in Rome… Well, in this case, let’s do as the Friulians do. This cooking tour is for anyone who loves to cook. From beginners to professionals, this is a hands-on experience that allows you to learn to cook the regional dishes (with varying cultural origins), including: Polenta, Gnocchi, Risotto, Jota soup (Austrian origins), and seafood dishes caught fresh from the Adriatic. Then, pair off your dishes with the proper wines. And finally, finish off your dishes with strudel or gubana, leavened sweet bread filled with nuts and other ingredients to create a dense, but enjoyable treat for dessert.


Trieste: As the capital of the Trieste Province and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trieste has been influenced by its location at the crossroads of Germanic, Latin, and Slavic cultures. From being ruled by the Habsburg Empire of Austria, the Venetians, Slovenia, and then finally part of the Kingdom of Italy in the late 19th century, Trieste is a great city for literature, art, and music. Today, Trieste stands as one of the wealthiest regions in Italy, because of its port.

Among the major sights Trieste offers, include: Piazza Libertà, with its beautiful neoclassical palaces; Palazzo Comunale; Palazzo della Prefettura; Palazzo del Lloyd; The castles: Castello di San Giusto and Castello di Miramare; and the churches of San Giusto: the Cathedral, San Nicolò, and San Spiridione.

Don’t forget to watch the weather forecast before coming to Trieste. The north-wind known as bora blows all the year in Trieste and Istra area, reaching upwards of 124 mph.

Udine: With origins dating back to the Neolithic era, Udine has a rich, mixed history with influences from The Huns, Austrians, Venetians, Germans, and the French. Major sights include Castello di Udine, Museo del Risorgimento, Armeria and Civici Musei, Torre dell’orologio, and the Fountain erected in 1542.

Gorizia: Sheltered from the north by a mountain ridge, Gorizia is protected from the cold Bora wind that affects most of the neighboring areas. Therefore, the town enjoys a much milder Mediterranean climate throughout the year, making it a popular resort destination. While you’re here, check out the 11th century castle, Castello di Gorizia, a symbol of the city that houses a great collection of Renaissance, Baroque, and 18thcentury furniture, paintings and sculptures; and the Cathedral,  Duomo, which dates back to 1296.

Aquileia: Known as the most important archaeological site in Northern Italy, Aquileia is known for its churches and early Christian mosaics. Though, today, a small town with a population of roughly 3,500, it holds great prominence throughout Antiquity. From the cathedral to ancient Roman ruins, this place has just the right amount of history to please any traveler.

Muggia: Holding onto its Venetian heritage and the only Istrian town left in Italy, this small quaint town is located south- east of Trieste on the border of Italy and Slovenia. The Venetian architecture, dialect, and gastronomic traditions create a charming atmosphere. While you’re there make sure to take a stroll through the Piazza Marconi, the town’s beating heart, or stop at the Mandracchio to watch the fishermen at work.

Passariano: A small village in Codroipo, Passariano retains its charms from times past. Villa Manin, the most important example of Venetian life of Friuli, has an unforgettable allure from the imposing size, the elegance of the forms, to the decorative richness and the great balance between architecture and the environment. It was here that the treaty between France and Austria was signed by Napolean.

Palmanova: Famous for the use of urban planning, Palmanova is known for being laid out into a nine pointed star, known as a star fort. This structure, completed under Napoleonic domination, strived to meet the ideals of a utopia. In 1960, Palmanova was declared a national monument, sealing its reputation as a must see.

Spilimbergo: Spilimbergo, is a medieval town with strong roots in art, recently awarded a ‘Jewel of Italy,’ a designation given to only 21 towns in Italy. It is known as the ‘Town of the Mosaic,’ due to the large mosaics found throughout the town, like the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the most important Gothic buildings in Friuli. Inside there is a 14th century fresco cycle depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments.

Friuli Venezia Giulia


San Daniele: If your gastronomic interests are in fine Italian meats, San Daniele is the place to visit.  Best known as the production center of the San Daniele prosciutto, the time to visit is the end June when the town celebrates its famous meat during the Aria di Festa. Other notable attractions include the church Sant’Antonio Abate, the Madonna della Fratta, and the church of San Daniele.


Trieste Style Spider Crab: The granseola (spider crab) is typically found along the Italian coasts. The way it is prepared in Trieste is perfect if you are looking for a simple, but flavorful treat.

Prawn and Porcini Risotto: This surf and turf recipe combines the rich flavors of prawns and mushrooms.

Frico with Asparagus Tips and Quail Eggs: The delicate flavor of the asparagus and quail eggs pair perfectly with the intensity of the montasio cheese, resulting in a truly elegant and original dish.

San Daniele Prosciutto: An Italian ham made in Friuli, Prosciutto di San Daniele is made with time honored traditions, incorporating the air currents that descend from the Carnic Alps to meet those coming from the Adriatic. Each wind carries resinous scents which mix with the brackish aromas in an environment where humidity and temperature are regulated by the morainic land and the waters of the Tagliamento.

Montasio Cheese: Similar to Swiss, Montasio cheese has a mild, delicate, somewhat fruity flavor with hints of nuts. It resembles the flavors of the Italian cheese, Asiago. Try it shaved on top of your favorite pasta dishes or Frico style where it is fried like a pancake until it is crisp. Potatoes and other ingredients can be added, making this dish versatile and more similar to a frittata or omelet.

Polenta: Claimed by Friuli-Venezia Giulia as their own, Polenta, in modern times is made from corn meal in the form of porridge, similar to grits, or into small patties or cakes and fried in olive oil. This versatile food can be served as a side dish, or used in replacement of pasta or bread with anything you can think to top it with.

Grappa: An alcoholic drink, similar to brandy, Grappa was created as a means to prevent wasting any part of a grape after they had been squeezed. Grappa is typically served as a digestivo (after dinner drink) to help aid in digestion after a heavy meal.

Friuli Wine: Compared with the boastful offerings of Tuscany and Piedmont, holding its own DOCG certification, wines from Friuli- Venezia Giulia account for only 2.5% of total wine production in Italy. Friulano is the most well known and important variety of wine in this region, producing a crisp, floral wine that develops notes of nuts and fennel as it ages. Friuli Pinot Grigio is fuller body with delicate peach, almond, and green apple flavors. Sauvignon Blancs are made in a style reminiscent of Sancerre with smoke, herbs, and elements of honey and hazelnut.


Udine: Taking a winter vacation, Friuli is not short on things to see. In February, come see another of Italy’s wondrous Carnevale, and enjoy the splendors of the spectacular floats of Udine, made by local merchants competing for the top prize. Or, if your gastronomic inclinations are what guide your way, enjoy the Mushroom Festival in September.

San Daniele del Friuli: Come celebrate a time honored tradition in food, while Prosciutto di San Daniele takes center stage at the Prosciutto Festival in August.

Cantine Aperte: The last Sunday in May is a special time for any oenophile. Known as the Wine Lover’s Weekend, join over 1,000 cellars throughout Italy as they open their doors to the public to taste their wines. This event is in its second decade and is enjoyed by over one-million people. Some cantinas have started to host dinners on the Saturday night before Cantine Aperte, where they pair local food specialties with wines from their own cellars.

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