Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Friuli-Venezia Giulia is located in the northeast corner of Italy. It’s a small region with mountains, plains and hills. The region is surrounded by the Veneto region and Austria, Slovenia as well as the Adriatic Sea. Friuli-Venezia Giulia is truly a melting pot region, both culturally and architecturally. Influence from Austria, Croatia and Slovenia are evident in many of the towns. The main cities are Trieste and Udine. It’s not an area people generally feel the "need" to visit…..usually it’s "on the way" to Italy from another country/town (Vienna perhaps?). I find "untouristy" pleasures and beauty in Friuli-Venezia Giulia — discoveries….places I return to over and over. The region truly offers something for everyone. You’ll find ruins, castles, hill towns, artsy towns, fishing villages, rivers, the Alps, forests, strong traditions, parks, bird and animal preserves and an interesting charm to the people. Keep in mind that there was a devastating series of earthquakes here in May 1976 and many lives, villages and artistic treasures were lost. It’s a testament to the people of the region that so much has been recovered, rebuilt and restored.

The cuisine is a mix of cultures and you’ll find pasta, prosciutto (some of the finest in San Daniele), vegetables, corn, rice, fresh fish…..make sure you try the polenta here as it is on many menus (I even found grits here! — I’m originally from the south and grits are a staple there). Do try the Montasio cheese and wines like Carso, Collio Goriziano, Friuli Aquileia and Friuli Latisana.

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