It is a region of contrasts – multicultural cities and diverse landscapes – that never fail to captivate tourists visiting Friuli-Venezia Giulia. This part of Italy tucked between Austria and Slovenia is a delight for outdoor enthusiasts due to the high mountains surrounding the area and enclosing different landscapes. Caves, holls, and windswept rocks can also be found here, which add to the region's craggy countryside charms. Eastern Dolomites are particularly spectacular, with the coast serving more attractions from lagoons to long, sandy beaches.
The cultural scene is also bright in Friuli-Venezia Giulia due to the complex history and the combination of various civilisations in the territory. Many therefore call the region, the land of contrasts, which pose fascinating attractions for tourists who want to see more of Italy, apart from its more crowded destinations such as Rome and Naples.
What to see & do
Trieste, the capital of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, makes a fascinating destination for travellers who want to avoid the crowds of Rome and other major cities of Italy. This city in the extreme northeast lies near the border, which has sparked various contesting claims. This created diverse populations, however, which influenced the architecture of the city and its way of life.
One can start the sightseeing on the Castello di Miramare, which was once the neo-Gothic home of the Archduke Maximilian of Austria. The rooms were kept intact, which preserves the memory of Maximilian. From here, tourists can visit the remains of the Roman theatre in Roman Trieste which was built between 1st and 2nd centuries CE and then check out the Civico Museo Sartorio to see beautiful artworks, ceramics, and jewellery. Beautiful ceiling frescoes can also be found here, with some dating back to the late 18th century. The highlight of any trip to Trieste, however, is the Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia, which features an elegant triumph between Austro-Hungarian civic planning.
Those going away from the capital can check out the undulating landscape of San Daniele del Friuli which can be marvellous for hikers. The Carnic Alps jut up to the horizon which can be challenging to climb. Those who do so will have a tasty incentive due to the famous ham and other delicious treats that await those who are tired from their climbing trips. Architecture buffs will also be delighted with the place, as one will find here the Ciesa di San Antonio Abate's frescoes, while the literary luminaries can check out the Biblioteca Guarneriana, one of the best and oldest libraries in Italy. It is famous for its collection of around 12,000 wonderfully preserved antique books, among which is Dante's Inferno.
Upon hearing the name, tourists might mistake Cividale del Friuli as a simple town. This part of the region, however, is hugely significant in terms of Friulian history and identity. It was founded by Julius Caesar in 50 BCE as the Forum de Lulii. Those going here can visit the Tempietto Longobardo, a splendid complex of houses that epitomise Lombard architecture and artwork with their stuccowork and dark wooden stalls. One can also visit here Museo Archeologico to see a collection of Roman and medieval sculptures, as well as the Cathedral, and the Ponte del Diavolo.
How to get around
Travellers going around the region can start from Trieste, which has an efficient public transport system. The bus system here is extensive and has more than 50 lines. Ferry boats are also available from Trieste to Muggia, which allows those going to the waterfront towns to make their way in a convenient manner. Tram lines are also located in the area which allows for speedy travel. Those staying in the city, however, can go to various destinations within the area via taxis.
How to get there
Those visiting the region can take connecting regular or seasonal flights to Trieste-Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport. Airlines serving here include Alitalia, Lufthansa Regional, Meridiana, and Ryanair. They take passengers between Alghero, Bari, Cagliari, London-Stansted, Milan-Linate, Munich, Naples, Olbia, Rome-Fiumicino, Trapani, and Valencia.