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Friuli-Venezia Giulia

The elegant land of Friuli-Venezia Giulia is the ideal destination for those seeking to travel comfortably while never sacrificing this region’s distinctive excellence. From a delicious Illy coffee at breakfast time to a great glass of Ribolla Gialla DOC savoured at the tables of a bar in the heart of the splendid Piazza Unità d’Italia in Trieste.

In the cities, countryside and mountains of Friuli the cultures of eastern and western Europe have mixed since the dawn of time, giving rise to the culture of hospitality that characterises the near aristocratic lifestyle in this area.

The towns of Friuli, wonderful to visit at any time of year, have always been examples of discreet elegance in magnificent architecture. Outstanding instances of this are seaside towns such as Grado and mountain areas like the Friulian Dolomites and the Carnic Alps, destinations which have no off season, providing unforgettable activities and experiences all year round.

If we talk about modern Friulian culture, two giants of Italian literature immediately spring to mind: Pier Paolo Pasolini and Italo Svevo. Educated men who left an indelible mark on literature and cinema and whose work is studied worldwide. You can learn about Pasolini in the intimacy of his childhood in his home town, Casarsa – one of Italy’s prettiest towns – where a range of itineraries illustrate his life, ideas and cultural contribution. Meanwhile, the writer Svevo is commemorated by a museum in Trieste, where his presence is evident in several sculptures in the city centre.

If ancient history is your passion, the Aquileia archaeological site in Udine province is the place for you: you can daydream of being a busy merchant in one of the most important commercial hubs in the entire Roman empire.

East meets west in an exultation of flavours. In taste terms too, this region is an encounter between Slavic tradition and Italic excellence, all balanced by a widespread passion for the fruits of the land. Our mouths water when we think of San Daniele prosciutto and the thousand delicious recipes it stars in.

In these parts, even a laden table has an aristocratic air about it, and indeed, a meal is not complete without a wonderful local wine, perhaps made from Ribolla Gialla grapes, an exquisite variety native to this land of a thousand surprises.

Forget about conventional sessions of impulse buying in the noisy stores of the usual brands. Concentration is required, because in Friuli even shopping demands elegance and a well-trained eye for beauty. For example, in the little village of Spilimbergo near Pordenone, the art of the mosaic reaches sublime heights thanks to an international school for mosaicists; here you can buy exqusite pieces made by artists from all over the world.

An obligatory stop to pick up a hearty souvenir of the holidays is the prosciutto shops in Cormons and San Daniele del Friuli, the birthplace of the prestigious ham; here, a guided tour and tasting is followed by the opportunity of going home with some of the world’s best prosciutto.

This area is a photographer’s paradise. In Friuli, in a few tens of kilometres you can move from the breathtaking scenery of the Carnic Alps to the Adriatic coast, with its wonderful seaside resorts such as Grado and Lignano Sabbiadoro. Friuli’s mountains also boast a magnificent UNESCO-listed area: the Friulian Dolomites, the most untouched part of the mountain region envied all over Europe. Here families, couples and groups of friends will find plenty of opportunity for year-round relaxation and enjoyment.

Trieste is the venue for the Barcolana, one of the world’s largest sporting events dedicated to sailing: 30 thousand yachts scud across the horizon in the Gulf of Trieste at once; an unforgettable experience. Need we add more?

If you’re looking for some great skiing, on the other hand, get your boots on, because there’s no shortage of opportunities for fabulous runs in Tarvisio or on Monte Zoncolan, ski resorts offering facilities of every kind. An excellent solution for families with young children looking for fun in the snow, since in Friuli, children under 10 don’t pay for their ski pass.

In Friuli, taking care of yourself and your wellbeing is as easy as having a coffee which – given the quality of Friuli coffee – is the first thing that’ll make you feel good during your holiday in the region. But that’s only the start, because the naturally health-giving waters of the Roman Spa at Monfalcone and the clean mountain air at the Arta Terme wellness centre in the wonderful Carnia area are the perfect ingredients to make dreams come true.

There are plenty of opportunities for looking after yourself near the sea too: the waters at the Grado Marine Spa will make you feel as pampered as an aristocrat of yesteryear.

Tranquil but with a touch of sparkle, Friuli-Venezia Giulia is a region where culture is truly important. Indeed, for visitors keen to attend events, there are numerous unmissable festivals of culture: Pordenone Legge and the Far East Film Festival in Udine are shining examples of this passion. Life in Friuli is enlivened all year round by events of this kind.

For carefree and fun times with friends or family, there are several amusement and adventure parks. Young and old alike will find plenty to get their teeth into at the Dolomiti Adventure Park orAquasplash in Lignano Sabbiadoro.

On Good Friday every year, a deeply moving representation in period costume of the Passion of Christ takes place at Erto, near Pordenone. An original way to get close to the local community and explore Friulian spirituality, with its sanctuaries nestled among the Alps, like the magnificent one at Monte Lussari above the town of Tarvisio.

Here the religious traditions of east and west have always come together and mixed, as shown by the many sacred places existing alongside the Catholic. The first stage in a singular spiritual journey has to be the Greek Orthodox church of San Nicolò dei Greci in Trieste.

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friuli-venezia-giulia

Excellences of the region

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