Tucked away in the very NE corner of Italy is the quiet region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. It may not be on your bucket list, but it should be. It's Italy, off the beaten path!
Friuli is a quiet & hidden gem. It borders Austria to the north, Slovenia to the east, The Adriatic Sea to the south & The Veneto Region to the west.
For centuries, this region has served as the cultural crossroads of Western and Eastern Europe.
It’s unexpectedly diverse and enjoys a rich & deep relationship with the land. This is evident in the broad range of food, wine & local customs that coexist. It's one of a kind in a country known for its treasures.
From the Alps to The Adriatic, Friuli is home to a beautiful landscape .It's great for outdoor lovers.
With very rooted local traditions, history comes to life in the smallest of corners everywhere you go.
Shhh... it's one of the best kept secrets. Friuli is known for its wealth of local wines, especially white wine.
Welcome to Friuli,
Friuli might be one of the smaller regions in Italy, but it has a lot to offer. With the mountains, plains and the sea, as well as historic cities & villages; it has something for everyone.
Perhaps I am a bit bias, as this is my home. But, it also means that I intimately know the area and all it has to offer. And I can tell you that it's pretty hard to beat for local charm!
Unspoilt by mass tourism, Friuli is one of Italy's best kept secrets! You rarely see selfie sticks here and it is rather easy to immerse yourself in the local culture.
If you are looking for a less crowded & quieter travel experience, than look no further. Friuli is for you!
Other regions of Italy have dialects, Friulii has its own language, Friulano. Be prepared for sights and sounds that are unlike the rest of Italy.
Friuli is split into 4 providences: Gorizia, Pordenone, Trieste & Udine. Trieste is the capital.
It's a proudly independent region with Italian, German & Slavic populations. Despite the name, Venice is not in the region.
Look for Tourist Information Offices- they offer maps, ideas & local knowledge
For info at your fingertips,Download the region’s official tourism App, FVG Live
The Tourism board offers three FVG Sightseeing Passes
Ask locals for their help & recommendations, they're happy to share their small corner of the world :)
The weather and terrain are diverse in Friuli, make sure to plan & pack accordingly
Airport service is accessible from Marco Polo International Airport in Venice, as well as Regional Airports in Trieste & Treviso (both of which have regular flights from budget carriers across Europe!)
The train can be a good option for visiting the big cities. Buses are a budget choice for cities & outlying areas, but service can be limited so leave additional time.
There are boat services excursions from Venice and Slovenia to Trieste & other coastal areas.
UNESCO: Along with the Dolomites, there are four other UNESCO sites located in Friuli: Aquilea, Cividale, Palmanova & Palu di Livenza.
I BORGHI PIU BELLI: There are 12 towns of historical interest as recognized by The Tourism Council & awarded I Borghi Piu Belli d'Italia status.
CASTLES: There are hundreds of castles & fortifications dating back to Roman, Saxon & Medieval times. Many are still open to visitors.
WW I: Experience the historical & cultural heritage of WW1 through Itinerari della Grande Guerra , a multi-region project with walks traversing trenches, bunkers, battlefields & sacred spaces and highlighting monuments, historical buildings & cemeteries.
Almost one-half of Friuli is mountainous. The Dolomites that cover Friuli are considered less unspoiled than their counterparts in the Veneto or Trentino regions. They are also less visited, perhaps more peaceful and they certainly don't lack in memorable views. Here's a sampling of what you can find:
HIKE: There are over 200 trails in Friuli. Including long-hikes, thematic hikes and pilgrim hikes.
CLIMB: Rock climb The Dolomites, Alps or Pre-alps (including levels 3 & 4)
SKI: Hit the slopes at one of seven locations, boasting 42 ski lifts that cover over 90 km.
RIDE: Coast on an Alpine Coaster in Piancavallo or Tarvisio
ENJOY: Dog Trekking in Tarvisio
Friuli is an outdoor lover's dream! With such a diverse terrain, there are endless opportunities for year-round outdoor fun for everyone. Some highlights include:
Bike the Alpe Adria Radwig Cycle Track, which runs from Salzburg down thru Friuli to the Adriatic Sea.
Cross-country ski the 40 slopes spread over the mountains, woods, & valleys.
Scuba dive The Miramare Marine Reserve in Trieste.
Golf one of the nine 18-hole golf courses.
Take a guided tour in one of eight caves.
Frico: a dish of cooked cheese and potatoes
Prosciutto: Try the world renowned San Daniele DOP
MONTASIO: A NUTTY & FRUITY DOP CHEESE ORIGINALLY MADE BENEDICTINE MONKS IN THE 13TH CENTURY
Polenta: (White or Yellow) is a staple of the region and often served with meat, stews & cheeses
Gubana: A traditional fruit & nut cake that can be topped with a splash of Grappa
Friuli offers a unique fusion of peasant fare with Venetian, Slavic & Austrian influence. Each providence has its own traditional dishes. Here area few classic dishes to put on your bucket list!