Friuli–Venezia Giulia, Italy

Friuli-Venezia Giulia is an autonomous region with a special status in northeastern Italy. It is one of the three Italian regions, together with Trentino-Alto Adige and Emilia-Romagna, which recalls in the duplicity of the name the duplicity of its nature, as a union of two historical regions: Friuli and Venezia Giulia. United by a common past since Roman times (Regio X), both then Venetian and then Austro-Hungarian, they belong with Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige to the geographical macro-area of Triveneto.

Together with Trentino-Alto Adige, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna, it forms the geographical area of north-eastern Italy.


Geographic hints

Friuli-Venezia Giulia has an area of 7,846 km² and has about 1,208,278 inhabitants.

The region is divided into four administrative provinces: Trieste, the regional capital and most populous city; Udine, the major center of Friuli and its historic capital; Gorizia, a border town; Pordenone, a city that is most affected by the influence of the Veneto, a region to which it is very close.

It borders Austria to the north, Veneto to the west, Slovenia to the east, while it is bordered by the Adriatic Sea to the south.

The highest peak is Monte Coglians with 2,780 m.

The Tagliamento with 172 km is the longest river while the largest lake is Lake Cavazzo with 1.8 km².


Spoken languages

In Friuli - Venezia Giulia there are three historical linguistic minorities recognized by the Italian State with the law 482/99: Friulian, Slovenian and German. Slovenian is spoken in the province of Trieste; in the province of Gorizia Friulian and Slovenian; in the province of Udine Friulian, Slovenian and German; in the province of Pordenone Friuli. The region also abounds in dialects: in Trieste Trieste, in the province of Gorizia bisiacco, while Slovenian and Friulian vary according to the territory. The Friulian-speaking linguistic minority (about 600,000 habitual speakers who become 900,000 including those who understand the language even if they speak it very little) is the linguistic majority in the region in terms of numbers.


Territories and tourist destinations

Friuli - It is the northwestern area of the Region; it borders with Veneto to the west and south, with Slovenia and Venezia Giulia to the east, with Austria to the north and with the Adriatic Sea to the south. It extends from the Friulian Alps to the sea and the lagoons of Grado and Marano, including between these two areas a large area of fertile plain rich in water. Alongside Italian, the Friulian language is widespread, recognized as an idiom by national laws; Slovenian is widespread on the Slavic border; in Val Canale and in other small areas, German is also spoken towards the border areas. Its main cities, after the capital Udine, are Pordenone, Latisana, Palmanova, Cividale del Friuli, Tolmezzo, Spilimbergo.

Venezia Giulia — It is the eastern area of the Region; it borders to the south with the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia, to the west with Friuli, to the east with Slovenia which also borders it to the north. Its main cities are, with the capital Trieste (which is also the capital of the entire Friuli-Venezia Giulia region), Gorizia, Monfalcone, Gradisca d'Isonzo, Grado and Cormons.
It is also divided into 20 homogeneous zones:
Carnia (Carnic Alps)
Julian Valleys (Prealps and Alps)
Valcellina (Friulian Dolomites)
Spilimbergo and the Three Valleys (Carnic Prealps)
Valleys of the Torre
Upper Livenza
San Daniele
Valleys of the Natisone
Middle Friuli
Trieste Riviera and Trieste
Karst of Trieste and Gorizia.

The Friuli-Venezia Giulia coast hosts the lagoons of Grado and Marano and the seaside resorts of Lignano Sabbiadoro, Grado and the Trieste Riviera.

The Friuli plain includes the cities of Pordenone, Sacile, Udine, Aquileia, Palmanova, Cividale del Friuli, Spilimbergo and San Daniele del Friuli.

The mountainous area is made up of the Carnic Alps and Pre-Alps and the Julian Alps and Pre-Alps.

On the eastern borders extends the Carso, a limestone plateau with numerous sinkholes and caves extended in Slovenia and Croatia. A section of it is made up of the Trieste Karst and the Val Rosandra.

Carnia is the mountainous region in the north of the province of Udine crossed by the Tagliamento river.

The area of Tarvisio or Tarvisiano offers the best opportunities for lovers of hiking. The Fusine lakes are two fine examples of alpine lakes. They have been established as a natural park.


Urban centers

City of Friuli

Udine - main city of Friuli is in fact the capital. It took over from Aquileia and Cividale, which were the main cities of the region, when the seat of the Patriarchate of Aquileia was transferred to Udine. It was the capital of the homeland of Friuli until the conquest by Venice which left a considerable architectural footprint. Monumental is the central piazza della Libertà, with harmonious buildings. The Castle, built on the site of the castle of the patriarchs of Aquileia, is a sixteenth-century building of impressive dimensions.
Pordenone - The great industrial and economic development has given birth to a vast area of new neighborhoods next to the old city. It has a beautiful historic center with mostly Gothic monuments. It is the birthplace of the painter Giovanni Antonio de' Sacchis known precisely as Pordenone.
Cividale del Friuli — The ancient "Forum Iulii" from the Roman era gave its name to all of Friuli, of which it was the ancient Lombard capital before Udine. It is included among the UNESCO sites among the prominent cities of the Lombard civilization in Italy.
Lignano Sabbiadoro — seaside resort with various opportunities for recreation.
Palmanova - Fortress city planned by the Venetians in 1593 to defend its borders with the Austrian Empire, it is called the starry city due to its polygonal star plan with 9 points. It has been a national monument since 1960.
Spilimbergo - The city has an important historic center which derives from a past as a crossroads for commerce and as the main center of the possessions of the Spengenberg counts: in the sixteenth century it was a cultural and artistic center where painters and writers worked.
Tolmezzo - In a wide valley in the Friulian Alps, the city is the most important center of Carnia and is therefore considered its de facto capital.
Maniago - the city of cutlery.
San Daniele del Friuli — the city of ham.


City of Venezia Giulia

Trieste — Capital of the FVG region, "capital" of Venezia Giulia. Although devoted to Italian identity (it vigorously pursued its belonging to Italy when in the post-war period it risked being annexed to the then Yugoslavia) it nevertheless maintains a Central European character that it comes from its long history as a border city (now on one side, now on the other) and a hinge between the Germanic, Slavic and Latin worlds. Its port is one of the largest in the Adriatic and in Italy; its elegant town planning, its embrace with the sea and with the mountains behind make it a highly suggestive destination for artistic and natural beauties.
Gorizia - Provincial capital. Autonomous county with close relations with Venice, it was later included in the territories of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After the Second World War, now Italian, it suffered from the detachment of a large part of its territory in favor of the former Yugoslavia, finding itself with some districts separated by the border between the two states.
Monfalcone — An important port on the Upper Adriatic, it has an imposing medieval fortress which recalls its origins as a fortified city.
Gradisca d'Isonzo - It was a Venetian city fortified against Turkish incursions; passed under the Habsburgs it experienced its golden age during which it prospered becoming the seat of the County and greatly enriching its urban structure.
Muggia - On the extreme extension of the Italian territory on the Slovenian border, it has a remarkable cathedral, an interesting historic center and a good tourist port.
Grado - Already a Roman port for the trade of Aquileia, the ancient lagoon city has a respectable historical centre. In contemporary times it has developed an important seaside activity.





Other destinations

Miramare Castle

Beaches and marina — In Latisana.
Natural Park of the Julian Prealps
Valleys of the Natisone
Valleys of the Torre
Collio - Territory with its main center of Cormons.
Friulian Dolomites Natural Park — Valcellina, Val Cosa, Val Tramontina, upper Tagliamento valley, Claut, a small winter sports centre. UNESCO heritage.
Carnia — Arta Terme - Zuglio - Sauris - Prato Carnico - Carnic Alps.
Carso — Grotta Gigante and Val Rosandra.
Grotte di Villanova — The main caves that open in the area of Villanova delle Grotte, a fraction of Lusevera.
Grotte Verdi di Pradis — A complex of caves accessible to the public, formed by a set of a deep gorge dug into the limestone by the Cosa stream and by three caves connected to it in the municipality of Clauzetto.
Palù di Livenza pile-dwelling site — UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Getting here

By plane
Ronchi dei Legionari International Airport (TRS) is located in the town of the same name in the province of Gorizia and is 20 km from Gorizia, 30 km from Trieste and 40 km from Udine. The airport is small but it is connected with several Italian cities such as Rome Fiumicino (4 times a day), Naples, Catania, Bari, Milan Linate (2 times a day) and European hubs such as Munich (3 times a day ) and Frankfurt am Main (twice daily) as well as with London Stansted and Valencia. In the summer there are also several seasonal flights. The airport can be easily reached by train thanks to its stop called Trieste Airport where around 70 trains from Trieste, Udine, Venice and Tarvisio stop every day. Furthermore, with the extra-urban buses of the APT you can reach other tourist locations in the region such as Grado and Aquileia.

By car
The A4 from Turin reaches Trieste (and Slovenia), the A23 connects Palmanova to Tarvisio (and Austria), while the A28 Portogruaro to Sacile. The highways in the region are two-lane.

On the train
The main cities of the region are well connected with Venice/Mestre with regional trains that leave every hour, moreover there are two direct high-speed trains that connect Trieste and Udine with Rome once a day each. Milan is connected with 4 pairs of Frecciarossa trains to Trieste and 2 to Udine (which also stop in Pordenone). Furthermore, between Udine and Austria there are the following connections: 2 pairs of cross-border trains for Villach, and two railjets for Vienna.

Slovenia can also be reached by train both from Trieste (twice a day) and from Udine (directly once a day). The Udine Cividale railways operate on the Udine - Cividale line.


Getting around

By bus
For those who don't have a car, the ideal way to get around the region is with the extra-urban buses of the Saf Udine, APT Gorizia and ATAP companies or by train.

The main cities of the region are served by various urban public transport services:

Udine, Gemona and (only in the summer period) Lignano (SAF)
Gorizia, Monfalcone and Grado (APT Gorizia)
Pordenone (ATAP)
Trieste (Trieste Transport). It should be emphasized that Trieste's urban lines cover the entire provincial territory, reaching all the municipalities and hamlets of the Trieste Karst and replacing normal extra-urban transport.
It is also worth mentioning the presence in Trieste of the historic tramway that connects Villa Opicina with the central Piazza Oberdan via a rather suggestive and panoramic route with a steeply sloping section along which the cars are pushed (uphill) or held (downhill). from a particular funicular system unique in Europe.


What to see

Patriarchal Basilica and archaeological area in Aquileia, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO
Historic center of Cividale del Friuli, Longobard capital of Friuli and UNESCO World Heritage Site for Longobard remains.
Shrine of Redipuglia di Fogliano.
Villa Manin in Passariano di Codroipo, a large Venetian villa and an important center of contemporary art.
Military urban structures in Palmanova.
Mummies of Venzone.
Frescoes by Tiepolo in the Patriarchal Palace in Udine.
Piazza Libertà, with the Portico of San Giovanni on which stands the Clock Tower (with the two Men of the Hours from 1527 on top) and the Loggia del Lionello in Venetian Gothic style from 1448 in Udine.
Palaeo-archaeological site of Palù di Livenza (UNESCO).
Abbey of S. Maria in Sylvis in Sesto al Reghena.
Cathedral, museums and town hall in Gemona del Friuli.
Butterfly House in Bordano.
Pier Paolo Pasolini Study Center in Casarsa della Delizia.
Sanctuary of Monte Santo of Lussari
Cathedral and museums of San Vito al Tagliamento.
Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of Castelmonte in Prepotto.

Venice Julia
Miramare Castle, Piazza Unità d'Italia, San Giusto Castle, Cathedral Basilica of San Giusto in Trieste
The Grotta Gigante, the Rilke Path, Duino Castle on the Trieste Karst
Proto-Christian basilicas in Grado
Cathedral and historic center in Muggia, the Venetian corner between Trieste and Istria.
Castle in Gorizia.
Cathedral and historic center in Gradisca d'Isonzo



The Road of Castles and Prosciutto represents a pleasant itinerary in the Friuli hills, to discover various castles and an excellent product: Prosciutto di San Daniele.
The ideal Renaissance Road is an itinerary that winds through the Pordenone area, skirting the right side of the Tagliamento and offering in its various stages an overview of Friulian Renaissance works.
The Wine and Cherry Road winds through the Gorizia Collio among its gentle slopes marked by vineyards and fruit trees.
The Terrano Wine Route is an itinerary created in the province of Trieste to enhance this wine and make it taste through the typical Karst hospitality of the osmizze.
The Aquileia Wine Route is a wine itinerary that starts from Aquileia, an ancient Roman city, and leads to the medieval village of Clauiano, considered among the hundred most beautiful villages in Italy.


What to do

In the northern part of the region rise the Alps and Pre-Alps where there are some ski resorts: Chiusaforte-Sella Nevea-Canin, Tarvisio, Malborghetto-Valbruna, Piancavallo di Aviano, Claut, Sauris, Forni di Sopra, Forni Avoltri, Ravascletto-Zoncolan and Piancavallo.

In summer, numerous paths, rivers and lakes allow you to practice alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, grass skiing, snowboarding, sledge-dogs, free-ride, biathlon, snowshoeing, ski mountaineering, ice-climbing, trekking, mountain biking, cycle tourism, walks, excursions on foot and on horseback, climbing, fishing, hunting, bathing, speleology, windsurfing, paragliding and hang gliding.

The southern area, on the other hand, is bordered by the Adriatic Sea with bathing establishments and water sports facilities including sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing, surfing, canoeing and kayaking, fishing and diving.

In the region there are also some golf courses, soccer fields, rivers where you can practice sports such as fishing, canoeing and rafting and spas.

Of course there is no shortage of tennis courts, ice skating rinks, bowling, discos, horse riding stables, cycle paths and paths of varying difficulty for long walks.

There are many festivals dedicated to eating, drinking, traditions, musical appointments, cinema, theatre, literature and sport reviews.

In Lignano Sabbiadoro there are also six amusement parks: Aquasplash (aquatic), Gulliverlandia (thematic), Luna Park Stabilia (evening attraction), Parco Junior, Gommosi and Beach Arena (sports activities).


Events and parties

Barcolana - famous regatta that takes place in Trieste every year on the second Sunday of October.
Bavisela — European Marathon which takes place in the month of May in Trieste.
Sky-Race of the Friulian Dolomites - In Forni di Sopra (UD) in August.
Aria di Festa — Ham festival in San Daniele in June.
Ham Festival - In Sauris (Carnia) in July.
Sunsplash — Reggae festival in Osoppo in July.
No Border Musci Festival — In Tarvisio at the end of July.
Science Plus Fiction - In Trieste in November.
Trieste Film Festival in July and August.
Far East Film Festival - In Udine in April.
Mutto Cinema Day - In Pordenone in October.
Latin American Film Festival - In Trieste in October.
Mittelfest - In Cividale del Friuli (UD) in July.
Topolò-Postaja Topolove station (UD) in July
Festival dei Cuori — World folklore festival in Tarcento in August.
In the Sounds of Places, June to September.
Festival in Tent - In Mortegliano (UD) in April-May.
Ein Prosit — Wine review in Tarvisio at the end of November.
Cellars open in May.
Castles open FVG in spring.
Friuli DOC - In Udine in September.
Flavors of the Karst.
Meat on the table.
Ancient Flavors - In Spilimbergo (PN).
Provincial Grape Festival - In Cormons (GO) in September.
Pumpkin Festival - In Venzone (UD) in October.
At the table in the Natisone Valleys.
Flavors of the Lagoon - Between Marano and Lignano (UD).
Feast of Lis Cidulis - In Forni Avoltri (UD).
Osei Festival - In Sacile (PN) in August.
Sagra dei Cést - In Polcenigo (PN) in September.
Festival of Place - In Paluzza (Carnia) in September.
Ancient festival of Borgat - In Tolmezzo (Carnia) in July
Festival of Strawberries and Raspberries - At Attimis (UD) in July.
Donkey race - In Fagagna (UD) in September.
Spring invitation - Gorizia in March.
Muggia Carnival — In Muggia (Trieste).
Karst Carnival — In Opicina on the Trieste Karst.
Carnival - In Sauris (Carnia).
Carnival - In Pontebba (Tarvisiano)
Resiano Carnival - in Val Resia (Prealpi Guilie)
Carnival of Monfalcone (GO).
Carnival of the Natisone Valleys.
Pignarûl Grant -A Tarcento (UD).
Feast of San Nicolo and the Krampus - In Tarvisio and Val Canale (UD) in December.
Karst Wedding - In Monrupino (TS) in August.
Folkest - Folk music festival in Spilimbergo (PN) in July.
The New Routes of Jazz - In Trieste in May.
Udine Jazz - between June and July.
Jazz and Wine of Peace Festival -A Cormons (GO) in October.
Gorizia Jazz - In Gorizia between March and April.
Muggia Jazz Festival, in September.
International Operetta Festival - In Trieste in July and August.
Medieval August - In Gemona del Friuli (UD).
Middle Ages in Valvasone(PN) in September.
Giostra del Castello - In Torre di Pordenone in September.
Historical re-enactment of the Macia - In Spilimbergo (PN) in August.
Historical Reenactment in Costume - In Palmanova (UD) in July.
Historical Re-enactment in Costume and Palio dei Gorghi - In Cordovado (UD) in September.
Historical Reenactment of the Renaissance - In Cormons (GO) in September.
History Festival - In Gorizia in May
Feast of San Vito - In Marano Lagunare (UD) in June.
Maniago in Festa, between August and September.
Musical summer Villa Manin
World Folklore Festival - In Gorizia in August.
International Folklore Review - In Aviano-Piancavallo (PN) in August.
Puppett Festival - In Gorizia in August.
Pordenonelegge - In Pordenone in September.
Dedica Festival - In Pordenone in March.
Living Nativity - In Sesto al Reghéna (PN), 24 and 26 December.
Musical Summer - In Sesto at the Reghéna between June and July
Mass of the Spadone - In Cividale del Friuli (UD) in January.
Mass of Talero - In Gemona del Friuli (UD) in January.
The Kiss of the Crosses - In Zuglio (Carnia).
The Passion and Death of Christ - In Erto e Casso (PN), Good Friday.
Perdon di Barbana -A Grado(GO) in July.
Fair of S. Caterina - In Udine in November.
FVG Region international cycling tour.



Typical products
San Daniele raw ham - from San Daniele del Friuli
Cormons cured meats and smoked hams. of the Carso and Sauris
Goose cured meats (salami, breast, speck); the goose is also widely used in numerous regional dishes.
Pitina from Val Tramontina
Filon from the Pordenone area
Pindulis or Brusaula
Cooked of Trieste
Cheeses among which the Montasio, the donkey from the Pordenone valleys, the cheeses from the malghe and the Formadi frant from Carnia, the caciotta caprina, the smoked ricotta from the Canale Valley, the Tabor and the Monte Re del Carso stand out.
Vegetables: Rose of Gorizia, red radicchio; * Radic di mont della Carnia; Lidric cul poç (attributable to chicory) from Bassa Friulana; Savoy cabbage from Carnia; Cartufule (papate) of Reana del Rojale and Ribis. Among the legumes: borlotti beans from Carnia; Cesariins bean; ancient bean of San Quirino.
Blave di Mortean (polenta flour): in the region polenta is made white, yellow and red.
Tergeste extra virgin olive oil and Val Rosandra oil
Apple vinegar, grape balsamic vinegar
Ont (melted butter)
Resia garlic
Smoked trout from San Daniele and Carnia.
Rabbit and derivatives
Canulatta chestnuts, Obiacco, Vito d'Asio chestnuts

Typical dishes
In Grado: Brodetto or Boreto alla graisana (fish soup).
In Gorizia and Collio: Potato, bread and plum gnocchi, Zlikrof, Kaiserfleisch, Cevapcici, Gorizia goulash, Kipfel, Blecs, Strudel, Favette, Krapfen, Palacincke.
In Trieste and the Carso: Jota (sauerkraut and bean soup), Sardoni in savor, Caperozzoli, Peoci, Trieste-style cod, Bread gnocchi (similar to dumplings), Gnocchi with plums (filled with plums), Cooked ham in a bread, Greek rice, Bohemian blood sausage, Viennese cutlet, Porcina, Cevapcici, Trieste goulash, Liptauer . Among the typical desserts there are the Favette, the Pinza, the Putizza and the Strucolo cotto in straza (strudel cooked in a cloth).
In Carnia: Cjarsons (ravioli dressed with melted butter), Klotznudl and Gepitschta Kropfen di Sauris, Savôrs di Carnia, Testina alla carniola, Marmelate.
In Friuli: Frico (similar to a cheese omelette), Formai dal cit, Brovada and musetto, Omelettes, Salviate, Pestât, Craut Garp, Pistum, Roast beef, Cueste, Lujagne, Friulian goulash, Sope di Cjavàl, Carpa al Traminer , Potatoes in pan, Gubana friulana, Strudel, Boreto de Maran, Grilled squid, Stewed cuttlefish, Sarde in saôr, Bisato in spèo, Artisan breadsticks from Resia, Marmelatte.* In the Natisone Valleys: Bizna (brovada and potato soup ), Štakanje (mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables), corn, pumpkin and chestnut soups, Gubana (sweet).



White wines: Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Malvasia, Pinot bianco, Pinot Grigio, Ramandolo. Native vines: Picolit, Ribolla Gialla (or Ribolla or Rebula), Friulano.

Red wines: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Franconia, Malbech, Merlot. Autochthonous vine: Refosco dal peduncolo rosso, Terrano, Schioppettino, Pignolo.

Among the local wines, the following have received DOCG recognition: Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit, Lison, Ramandolo and Rosazzo.

Friuli is also known for its grappas, spirits, liqueurs and coffee and it is no coincidence that this is the land of the producers Ciemme, Ceschia, Nonino and Illy. Among the other drinks, the Cividale, Carnia and Pordenonese apple cider, the Val Canale pear cider, the Carnia apple juice and the Pordenonese Magredi aperitif stand out.

Sea buckthorn and dandelion syrups.

Mineral waters: "Pradis", "Dolomia", "Goccia di Carnia", "Paradiso Pocenia".

Beers: "Castello di Udine", "Agribeer" from Sauris, "Resiutta" and "Valscura".



Friuli-Venezia Giulia is a reasonably safe region from every point of view, but this clearly does not allow us to abandon common sense.


Physical geography

Friuli-Venezia Giulia occupies the north-eastern end of the Italian territory and has an area of 7845 km². The regional territory is made up of the historical-geographical region of Friuli, which constitutes the very large majority of its surface, and of the part of Venezia Giulia which remained in Italy after the Second World War: the demarcation between the two historical-geographical regions is constituted by the mouth of the Timavo river, near San Giovanni di Duino, on the border of the former provinces of Gorizia and Trieste. The region borders:

to the north with Austria (Carinthia - District of Hermagor and District of Villach-Land);
to the east with Slovenia (Upper Carniola, Slovenian Gorizia, Littoral-Carso);
to the west with Veneto (Belluno, Eastern Veneto);
to the south with the Adriatic Sea (Alto Adriatico).



Morphologically the region can be divided into 5 natural regions:
alpine (Carnic Alps and Julian Alps)
prealpine (Carnic Prealps and Julian Prealps)
hilly (eserese in Slovenian language);
flat (Friuli plain);
coastal (upper Adriatic).



The entire northern part of Friuli-Venezia Giulia is made up of mountain territory, crossed by valleys in correspondence with waterways such as the Tagliamento and the Fella. The part to the west of the Fella, which includes the Carnic Alps and Pre-Alps, separated by the upper course of the Tagliamento, is called Carnia. The most important reliefs, from west to east, are among the Friulian Dolomites (belonging to the Carnic Pre-Alps) the Cima dei Preti (2703 m), Monte Duranno (2652 m) and the Cridola (2580 m); between the Carnic Alps Mount Coglians (which with its 2780 m is the highest altitude of the region), Creta delle Chianevate (2769 m) and Mount Peralba (2691 m); between the Julian Alps and Pre-Alps separated from the Carnic Alps by the so-called Italian Canal del Ferro, the Jôf di Montasio (2754 m), the Mangart (2677 m), the Jôf Fuârt (2666 m) and Mount Canin (2587 m), which dominates the plain. To the south of the Julian Pre-Alps is the Carso plateau, which extends south almost to the Upper Adriatic.

The hilly area is located south of the mountainous area and along the central part of the border with Slovenia. The main product of the agricultural sector in this area is wine, the quality of which, especially the white variety, is known throughout the world (verduzzo friulano, ramandolo, picolit, terrano, vitovska). The easternmost part of the hilly area is also known as Slavia friulana, whose name recalls the lands where, from the 7th century AD. people of Slavic origin had settled.

Central plains
The flat area that reaches from the hills to the Adriatic Sea is part of the so-called Friuli plain, belonging to the Veneto-Friuli plain, and is usually divided into high and low Friuli. The area is formed by a high plain, located to the north, with soils formed by coarse and permeable fluvial deposits, and by a low plain, to the south, with soils formed by fine and impermeable fluvial deposits. Between the two stretches, from north/west to south/east, the band of resurgences, where the underground aquifers, coming from upstream, emerge on the surface giving life to numerous water courses, called precisely "of resurgence ".

In the low plains the landscape is that of irrigated plains, while in the high plains the landscape is that of arid grasslands called magredi (magrêts or marsuris in the Friulian language), even if in recent decades these lands have been cultivated using modern and effective irrigation systems. Much of the Friuli plain is now used for intensive agricultural use (corn and soybeans) and intensive breeding.

The Bassa Friulana near Cervignano del Friuli
The Friuli high plain has different characteristics in its eastern and western sections, separated by the course of the Tagliamento river. The second, crossed by the wide gravel banks of the Cellina and Meduna streams, is markedly more arid than the first. The different characteristics of the high and low plains condition the population: while in the first the human settlements are discontinuous, in the second they are widespread in the territory and give life to conurbations. Most of the region's agricultural activities are concentrated in this area.



An area that can be further divided into two sub-areas, the western and central one (in correspondence with Friuli) and the eastern one (Venezia Giulia), separated by the mouth of the Timavo river. To the west of this the coast is low and sandy with large lagoons (lagoon of Grado, Laguna di Marano and Foce dell'Isonzo Nature Reserve) as well as famous seaside resorts such as Grado and Lignano Sabbiadoro. To the east the coast is rocky where the karst plateau meets the Adriatic, up to the border with Slovenia. At the end of the province of Gorizia and all of Trieste there is in fact a portion of the Karst, characterized by remarkable geological phenomena such as sinkholes, numerous caves (including the Grotta Gigante) and underground rivers such as the Timavo. The modest reliefs of the Italian Karst reach their maximum altitude at 672 m a.s.l. of Monte Cocusso, which marks the national border.



The climate of Friuli Venezia Giulia ranges from the Mediterranean climate of the coastal areas, to a temperate humid climate in the plains and hilly areas, up to the alpine climate of the mountains. The average annual temperature of Trieste (1994-2020 data) is 15.9 °C, while that of the plain ranges from 13.5 to 14.5 °C. The mildest area of the region is the coastal area near Trieste, both due to the influence of the deeper sea and due to the partial protection of the karst plateau. This stretch of coast enjoys one of the driest climates in Italy and, especially in the low temperatures, it is almost always significantly milder than the rest of the region, counting on average (1994/2020) only five lows below zero (generally a few tenths or −1 or −2 °C) per year against the minimum 60 and over (which can reach down to −10 °C and over) in some areas of the plain.

On the coast the main winds are the Bora from E-NE and the Scirocco from the South, which alternate during the winter, while the Mistral from W and the breezes predominate in summer. The Trieste coastal area between Sistiana and Miramare is sheltered from the Bora wind thanks to the overlying karst edge, while Trieste, the rest of the coast, the lower plain, the Cividale area and partially the plain from Palmanova to Gemona are exposed, areas on which the north-east wind penetrates by exploiting various lateral valleys of the Julian Alps. The Friulian mountains have a more rigid and rainy climate and the altitude levels of snowfall and vegetation are lower than in the rest of the Alps.



Much of the hilly and mountainous Friuli is classified as a moderate or high seismic risk area due to the presence of an active fault system. Of historical importance was the Friuli earthquake of 1976.




The vegetation cover of Friuli Venezia Giulia is largely modified, with respect to its original conformation, by human intervention. In this regard, the radical deforestation to which the Region was subjected in the modern age (15th-18th century) was decisive and which profoundly altered, from a naturalistic point of view, almost the entire southern flat belt and, in part, also the central hilly one and piedmont. The coastal areas (above all the lagoons) and the Alps are the most uncontaminated, although some of them are destinations for substantial tourist flows (Grado and Lignano Sabbiadoro on the coast, Tarvisio and the Tarvisiano area, Forni di Sopra, Ravascletto and Arta Terme in the Alps). The Friulian territory has a great variety of plant species (over 3,000) many of which are typical of the area, and is divided, from a naturalistic point of view, into five large sub-regions.

The Adriatic lagoon area, particularly suggestive and characterized by brackish basins, marshes and island aggregates. The predominant vegetation is shrubby or herbaceous, although pine forests are not uncommon, sometimes even of considerable size. In this micro-region there is also a very rare plant species: the Venetian apocynus (Apocynum venetum).
The flat coastal (or Bassa Friulana) and sub-coastal area cultivated intensively (maize in particular) and sparsely wooded (poplars, hornbeams and ash trees are the most common species) because they were subject to large-scale deforestation in the modern age. Along the strip of resurgences grows the famous Erucastrum palustre, an endemic and highly endangered plant. Some Mediterranean-type species are also present, in limited numbers, in the area, including the holm oak.
The magredi area in the upper plain of western Friuli, characterized by vast arid and bushy grasslands. In these places Brassica glabrescens grows, which is exclusive to these areas worldwide. We also find the Crambe tataria widespread in the steppes of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, but in Italy present only in the Friulian magredi.
The hilly and central pre-Alpine area, with a great variety of flowers and plant species typical of both the Po Valley and central-eastern Europe. The wooded area, not very extensive, is rich in oak and birch trees (hornbeams in particular), but also in lindens, elms and maples.
The alpine area, characterized, at lower altitudes, by larch and fir woods. From a certain height (approximately 1,700 - 1,800 metres) the alder trees and mountain scrub dominate. Among the plant species typical of these woods, rhododendrons, native to the Eastern Alps, and blueberries should be mentioned. The very rare Wulfenia is also present in the Tarvisio area.



From a wildlife point of view, Friuli Venezia Giulia can be divided into three zones.

The Alpine area, characterized by the presence of bears, European lynxes (these first two species reappeared at the end of the 20th century, coming from nearby Slovenia), wolves, wild cats, ibex (reintroduced in the 20th century), deer, roe deer, chamois , badgers, black grouse, hazel grouse, stoats and marmots. In recent years there has been an arrival of substantial populations of golden jackals, which have settled mainly at low altitudes in the karst and in the Julian Alps, but there have been sightings in the Carnic Alps and in the Friulian Dolomites. There are also falconiformes such as buzzards, falcons and golden eagles. Reptiles include the asp, better known as the common viper, the adder, the horned viper. In the Friuli reliefs and in the high hills, two species of amphibians which are also widespread in many other areas of the Alps are not uncommon: the Alpine newt and the Alpine salamander. Finally, there are numerous freshwater fish species present in the mountain streams and in the foothills: among these, trout, tench and barbel predominate. The wolf has returned to the region in recent years, with sporadic presences. In 2018, however, the first wolf breeding in the region in about 90 years was confirmed.
The area of the hills and the plains, highly anthropized, in which the presence of hares, foxes, pheasants and wild boars stands out. Among the fish species of the plains there are numerous, in addition to the species that inhabit streams and mountain lake basins, also carp (rare on the highest hills) and marble trout.
The lagoon area, which is characterized by being a stopover for numerous species of migrating birds such as the mallard, the teal, the garganey, the pintail, the wigeon, the pochard. Herons such as the gray heron, the red heron and the little egret also stop here. In the lagoon areas, the cultivation of shellfish is also quite widespread, especially oysters and mussels.



We can only talk about the history of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region starting from 1963, i.e. from the promulgation of the Constitutional Law n. 1 of 31 January 1963, which established this region. Before that date, the territory on which Friuli Venezia Giulia extends today was made up, in the course of history, of various territorial entities characterized by distinct historical events marked by the clash/encounter of the Latin world (Roman Empire, Patriarchate of Aquilea, Republic of Venice,…) of the Germanic world (Lombards, Franks, Germans) and of the Slavic world. Before 1963, the history of Friuli Venezia Giulia must therefore be studied taking into account the various state and ethnic entities that gravitated to the area that today constitutes this region.


Pre-Roman era

The oldest ethnic groups known in the area or nearby are those of the Euganeans of pre-Indo-European origin (western plain) and the Reti (western Alps), the latter akin to the Etruscans. In the southern area and in nearby Istria, the culture of the Castellieri also flourished, whose identification with a similarly known people is uncertain. Subsequently the Venetici overlapped, which they replaced in the 5th century BC. the Carni of Celtic origin which introduced new and advanced iron and silver working techniques in the territories they occupied and in the neighboring ones.


Roman times

Rome intervened in Istria with three military expeditions (221, 178-177 and 129 BC), interested in the control of the eastern subalpine regions. In 181 BC. the colony of Aquileia was born and from here the Roman power radiated, vainly opposed by the indigenous populations: in 177 BC. the Histri were defeated and their capital Nesactius was destroyed. In 129 BC. the Iapids were defeated and in 115 B.C. the Meats. A ring of roads connected Aquileia to the Alpine passes and, to guard these, other centers were founded, Iulium Carnicum (Zuglio) on the road to Monte Croce, Forum Iulii (Cividale) on that of Piedicolle, and again Tergeste (Trieste) and Pietas Iulia (Pula). In 42 BC. the whole region up to Formione (Risano) became part of Italy whose border was brought to Arsa in the Augustan age, probably between 18 and 12 BC. The Eastern Alps then had the name of Julian Alps. These territories were part of Regio X Venetia et Histria, the tenth region of Italy, and most of their cities were ascribed to different tribes: Aquileia and Pola alla Velina, Iulium Carnicum alla Claudia, Forum Iuilii alla Scapita, Trieste alla Pupinia, Poreč alla Lemonia. In the age of Marcus Aurelius, the eastern border of Italy goes beyond the Julian Alps and includes Emona (Ljubljana), Albona and Tarsatica.

The region underwent a Romanization process similar to that of other parts of the Empire, and the subjugated populations limited themselves to preserving the memory of their prehistoric origins in the toponyms (the ending "acco" of the names of many Friulian localities is due to the Gallo- Romans). For a long time the cult of local divinities remained alive, Illyrian in eastern Istria, Gallic (Beleno) in Friuli. They were centuries of prosperity, people from all over the Roman world flowed into Aquileia, it hosted the commands of the Danubian army, the fleet of the events that led to the dissolution of the Roman Empire were tumultuous and dramatic in the region, exposed to the barbarians and a crossroads between east and west. In 239 there was the "bellum aquileiense" between the forces of the senate and the emperor Maximinus, who was defeated and killed.

The fortification works along the arc of the Julian Alps, which had already begun at the end of the 2nd century. over time they came to form a complex defensive system centered on the Castellum di Castra (Aidussina) and the walled enclosures also spread; but the Limes Italicus Orientalis did not prevent Theodosius, victorious over Frigidus (Vipacco) in the Battle of Frigidus against Eugene from sacking Aquileia in 394 AD. Finally in 452 the city was besieged and pillaged by Attila, with this episode we can end the Roman period of the history of the north-eastern part of Italy.


Medieval era

In the Middle Ages in Friuli the patriarchal Principality of Aquileia or Patriarchate of Aquileia played a decisive role, established in 1077 by the emperor Henry IV, to reward the loyalty shown to it by the patriarch Sigeard of Beilstein, which lasted until 1420, when its territory it was conquered by the Republic of Venice.

In the 15th century, the territory of today's Friuli Venezia Giulia was hit by repeated Turkish incursions. The main purpose of Turkish raids was predatory; in carrying out the raids the Turks also made prisoners to be exploited or sold as slaves, they destroyed entire villages, and carried out rapes and bloody massacres. The consequence of these raids was the total destruction of some villages, some rebuilt and others left to their fate. One of the bloodiest raids was that of 1499, carried out by about 10,000 soldiers commanded by Skander Pascià (Skender Pascha), who pushed as far as Conegliano: in eight days of raids, over 10,000 people were killed or taken into captivity and were looted and 132 villages burned down.


Modern era

After the death of Count Leonardo di Gorizia, which took place on 12 April 1500, the County of Gorizia was added to the Habsburg domains. The Treaty of Noyon, signed on 13 August 1516, decreed the division of the territory of the present Friuli Venezia Giulia region between the Republic of Venice and the Habsburgs - a division between two distinct areas of political influence which lasted for over 400 years, until the end of the First World War.

The constitution of the Kingdom of Italy strengthened irredentism, not only in Istria but also in Trieste and Gorizia. This claim was favored by the Austrian electoral system. The industrialization process of Trieste, Monfalcone and Pola, which became a large naval base after 1866, introduced a consistent and well-organized political force into the political struggle: the socialist party, while the international situation caused by the Triple Alliance often made it difficult action of irredentism which had its main manifestations in Trieste and in the cities in general. The Catholic political movement had its greatest successes in the Gorizia area strongly characterized by Slavic Catholic nationalism. These struggles favored a notable cultural and social process, as well as the national consciousness among the Italians to which the Austrian Empire tried to counteract by favoring Austroslavism in the territories concerned.

Once the war against the Austrian Empire was won, the Kingdom of Italy saw itself assigned following the treaties of Saint Germain (1919), Rapallo (1920) and the Treaty of Rome (1924) an extensive territory to the east of the previous eastern border, in which over 400,000 Italians resided (there were less than 15,000 Italians residing in the disputed territories, assigned instead to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia).
In addition to the Italian-speaking population, around 475,000 Yugoslavs (Slovenes and Croats) also lived in the newly conquered territories of the Kingdom of Italy. Almost immediately, the Kingdom of Italy denied them many rights that they had acquired within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, for example the possibility of compulsory education or the possibility of dealing with the state authorities in their mother tongue, the which created quite a few inconveniences for the members of these non-global groups, if we consider the fact that at least a third of them were unable to express themselves in Italian.

In dotted white: The new eastern border of the Kingdom of Italy and relative ethnic composition based on the 1910 Austro-Hungarian census.

The Italo-Austrian war of 1915 had among its fundamental objectives the annexation of Venezia Giulia to Italy. It was fought for the most part in the territory of the region which was severely affected by the war operations. To the east and west of the Isonzo river, the region was behind the conflict for three years and suffered serious damage to the ports and valleys of the Isonzo where Gorizia was almost completely razed to the ground. The police oppression of Austria weighed heavily on the Italians and after the rout of Caporetto in 1917 Friuli underwent the severe test of the invasion and exodus of part of the population and the consequent looting.

Friuli Venezia Giulia reaches its current shape after the Second World War. On 10 February 1947, at the end of the Second World War, defeated Italy had signed the Treaty of Peace in Paris with the victorious allied (and associated) powers, losing a large part of Venezia Giulia. However, the establishment of the autonomous region had to wait for the reunification of the Free Territory of Trieste which effectively took place in 1954 with the Memorandum of London (de jure only in 1975 with the Treaty of Osimo). The special statute of the autonomous region was promulgated in 1963.[15] The choice of Trieste as the regional capital was made to give the Julian city, deprived of its traditional outlet markets and its area of influence since the end of the First World War and of its immediate hinterland immediately after the second, an important administrative role. Trieste, with an important and troubled recent history, was in the 19th century the main port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and one of the major emporiums in the Mediterranean, as well as a cultural center of undisputed importance. The city which, from the end of the 19th century, had also become one of the symbols of Italian nationalism, however, at the time of the union, appeared to be extraneous to the historical and geographical region of Friuli.

Udine, for its part, since the thirteenth century became one of the cities where the Patriarch of Aquileia resided, in the Middle Ages one of the largest and most important states in northern Italy. The patriarchate of Aquileia endowed itself, very early, with a university established in Cividale del Friuli in 1353 by direct concession of the emperor Charles IV. The city of Udine still continues today with its cultural centers to keep alive the history and traditions of the lands to which it historically belongs. In December 2017, the transfer to the region of the municipality of Sappada, coming from the Veneto region (province of Belluno), was approved, concluding a process that began with a specific referendum held in 2008.