Information and Tourism
Tucked away in the north-eastern part of Italy, the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia has a distinctly cross-cultural feel about it. There are times when its Austrian heritage shines through and others where there is an obvious Slavic influence. Add into the mix that the Friulian language is alive and kicking in its small towns and villages, and you will get the idea that this is no straightforward Italian region.
Nowhere is such multi-culturalism more evident than in the capital of Trieste. Once one of Europe's main port cities, today Trieste doesn't echo quite so much to the sound of ships loading and unloading. Nowadays, life in the capital of Friuli-Venezia Giulia seems to centre on sampling the pastry-laden delights offered by its Viennese-style cafes. Alternatively, tourists can often be found admiring Trieste's rather grand 18th-century architecture, the Grand Canal and the city's many churches.
Nearby gems include the Castello di Miramare, once the home of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian. The park's manicured gardens, pavilions and ponds - designed by the Archduke himself, overlook the Adriatic Sea. Inland, the Roman town of Aquileia is an archaeology-lover's dream. In fact, it used to be one of the most important towns in the whole of the Roman Empire. Nearby, Udine turns on plenty of Italian-style charm, with a particularly interesting cathedral.
Other favourite destinations in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region come in the form of a host of Adriatic beach resorts, including the seaside village of Lignano Sabbiadoro. Arrive by sea and you get to experience what it feels like to berth your boat in the largest marina complex in Italy.
No trip to Friuli-Venezia Giulia would be complete without sampling a few regional delicacies. San Daniele ham is made here, a fact that is celebrated with a special 'ham festival' every summer. From the region's vineyards emerge some great white wines, including those made from the Pinot Grigio grape, a staple of wine bars the world over.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia Information and Fast Facts
- Country: Italy
- Main administrative centre: Trieste
- Population: approximately 1.3 million
- Language: Italian
- Area: 3,030 square miles / 7,850 square kilometres
Map of Italy