FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA REGION
A Region with endless opportunities for fun and beautiful places
Region often overlooked, really offers endless opportunities for fun and discover beautiful places, such as Aquileia, which, with its Roman ruins became a World Heritage Site; Trieste, between Central European memory and large projects, has been renewed by recovering the historical and contemporary art galleries opening at the highest level; or Udine, elegant and a little ‘coy, to discover calmly stopping to enjoy a tajut, the local aperitif.
But the Friuli is also sea (sandy shores on west, rocky and full of caves to the east) and mythical Mountains as the Karst.
One of the most fascinating sides of the region is the cultural one, which can be traced especially in countries bordering Austria and Slovenia: a mix flavor Middle Europe that feels both in language and in the kitchen.
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Trieste. A city between Italy and Central Europe, between the West and the Balkans. Trieste is a crossroads of cultural influences that can still be seen today in places of religious worship, neighborhoods, restaurants. Throughout the city, overlooking the Gulf of Trieste and is often swept by the Bora, the wind that comes to blow even up to 160 kilometers per hour. Piazza Unità d’Italy is the largest in Europe and is situated directly on the sea: the buildings that surround it are impressive, but it is fascinating to discover the old quarters of the merchants with narrow streets and tall buildings that back in time. In Trieste there are monuments from every era: Tthe Roman theater, the Cathedral of San Giusto in 1300, or the Victory Lighthouse, erected after the First World War to remember the fallen of the sea. A short walk from the center stands the Belvedere Castel the majestic palace by the sea, where they stayed kings and queens. To understand Trieste “just listen it”, as they had done some of the greatest writers of the past: James Joyce, Umberto Saba and Italo Svevo.
Friuli Venezia Giulia has an enviable geographic variety: mountains, hills, plains and coasts. Does not miss anything. The mountain area includes the Carnic and Julian Alps, while the hilly area is famous for its wine production. The coasts of Friuli Venezia Giulia have different conformations from each other: on one side the sandy beaches (in the area of Grado and Lignano), while the east coast becomes high and rocky, with karst caves and grottos.
One of the Friulian events world’s best known is the Barcolana of Trieste: sailors from everywhere flock to the bay of the city, showing off their boats (2000 sail on the sea). The race falls every second Sunday of October. Moving in Gemona del Friuli, in the province of Udine, in the first days of August there are the Tempus est Jocundum, evenings event and medieval animations: music, parades of ladies, knights and jesters and, on the tables, delicacies of ancient origin. In the summer time, is held the Folkest, or one of the most important touring festivals (holding, in stages, throughout the Friulian) international folk music. Returning to Trieste, this time in January, we find the Trieste Film Festival, film festival from Central and Eastern Europe. The festival has become in just over twenty years a cultural landmark film of all Europe.
By car. Friuli Venezia Giulia is located in the extreme north-east of Italy: whether you arrive from the north or south the road is the A4 towards Venice-Mestre, then you should take the SS14, panoramic coastal road to Trieste, or the ‘Highway A23 Alpe Adria Udine.
By Train. The Italian railway network connects efficiently all of Friuli Venezia Giulia to the rest of Italy. To get to Trieste from Milan Central there are daily Intercity and Eurostar trains that come to the center of Trieste. From Rome Termini to the Friuli capital must make a change in Mestre (trip takes about six hours). There is also a direct, but it takes about eight hours. For the major routes to Pordenone, Gorizia and Udine, changes are needed in stations as Mestre.
By Plane. To fly in Friuli Venezia Giulia, you have to lean to the Friuli Venezia Giulia, 30 kilometers from Trieste, at Ronchi of the Legionaries: daily connects national and international cities such as Rome, Milan, Catania or Birmingham, Monaco with company like Alitalia or Lufthansa.
Mosaics, ancient columns, millennial roads. Aquileia is one of the most important Roman archaeological sites in northern Italy: its exhibits and the beauty of the place meant that in 1998 the UNESCO elect it World Heritage Site. Do not miss the Basilica (dating from the year one thousand) and its bell tower, the cemetery, the ancient Roman forum and the old streets of the Empire. Other Fruilian city born under the Roman Empere is Cividale dei Friuli, once called Forum Iulii by Julius Caesar in person :stands on the banks of the river Natisone and among his ways encloses palaces and monuments from every era. In 2011 it was declared a World Heritage Site, becoming the second jewel of UNESCO in Friuli Venezia Giulia. Udine is an elegant and ancient city, in a small space that encompasses some of the finest treasures of Friuli, among which the Loggia del Lionello, in Freedom Square, by the Venetian Gothic style, the sixteenth-century loggia of St. John with the Clock Tower and Udine Castle overlooking the city from the hill. It is not hard to find in this region villages that are born from old medieval agricultural courts, characterized by the presence of a castle and the stately homes of the laborers around: Cordovado already contains the name Curtis de Vado its origin, meaning “near the court ford “the Tagliamento river , and you can still admire the ancient structure of the agricultural complex, remained intact. Even Fagagna , is an open-air museum of the past life of the peasantry: the center of the village are the remains of the ancient castle and its square tower converted into a bell tower. The castle of Gorizia, dominates all the city , half Slavic identity and half Italian. Gorizia between its streets hiding palaces and temples of different styles: do not miss the Church of St. Ignatius, the Cathedral and the Castle park. Pordenone is small, but its center collects beautiful buildings such as the Town Hall and Palazzo Ricchieri, or the Duomo (with its bell tower of 79 meters) and the Tower Castle
TRADITIONS AND FOLKLORE
One of the oldest traditions is that of Bonfire beginning of the year: a pile of wood called “casèra” is ignited in many areas of Friuli in the first days of January (not necessarily at New Year), often the day of Epiphany. The origin of this popular tradition is Celtic and symbolizes rebirth and purification from the old. Every year in August, in the village of Sacile there is the Festival of the Osei (the festival of birds) where they are exposed to birds singing: the origins of this folkloric event are ancient and date back to the Middle Ages, in conjunction with the Fair San Lorenzo. In some stories popular in Friuli is the Orcolat, the evil ogre and threatening, because of the natural disasters that happened in Friuli. From folk figure has become a real way of telling traditional to remember the earthquake of 1976.
AT THE TABLE
The cuisine of Friuli Venezia Giulia has the basic elements simple and genuine: on the Friulian table, country or city, never fail polenta (which varies depending on the grain used), rice and a glass of wine. Paparot Soup is a mix of polenta and spinach, really tasty. And just soups and soups are a constant in Friuli cuisine: the jota, made with sauerkraut, potatoes, bacon and sausage; good is made of dried peas, delicate flavor, while the “soup” melee crustaceans and small fish. Always based on fish, the Busara, or a plate of shrimp with pepper, bread crumbs and tomatoes that had once served on ships. A first course that Udinese have done in a thousand different variants are the dumplings, bread, chickpeas, of plum, pumpkin. For meat, served mainly inland, you can taste especially hares, wild boars, deer and game, seasoned with spices and served with polenta. In all of Friuli Venezia Giulia are popular dishes from Central Europe, such as goulash, traditional Hungarian specialties. The sweeter taste Friuli we find it in the Esse of Raveo, typical biscuits of the area of the Carnia, and in gubana (typical of Udine), stuffed with raisins, walnuts, pine nuts and drowned in a plum liqueur. Among the white wines we can not forget the white Friulano (also called Tocai), the Sauvignon and the Picolit ; while for the wine reds are Refosco, Pignolo and Teran. The most popular liquors are the regional distilled pears, berries and syrup to the elder, and the Sliwowitz, great plum distillate.
One of the most famous Dop products of Friuli is the : San Daniele ham: the preparation of this sausage is made in San Daniele del Friuli (UD), where thirty companies involved in the maturation of the meat. In the area of Pordenone, we find the meatball smoked, called pitina. The ceramics decorated with flowers and plants are a constant in the markets of Friuli, as well as the hand-embroidered fabrics. From the processing of the leaf of the cob you get the typical Friulian dolls, baskets, flowers, small furnishings.
DID YOU KNOW THAT
…the largest tourist cave in the world is in Friuli Venezia Giulia? It’s called Grotta Gigante and is located at Sgonico, in the province of Trieste. The maximum height of its times reaches almost 100 meters, the width between a wall and the other is of 76 meters, the length of 167. The Column Ruggero is the tallest stalagmite (12 m). The whole complex dates back to 10 million years ago.