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Friuli Venezia Giulia overlooks the Adriatic Sea and is surrounded by high mountains, enclosing many different landscapes. The mountain sceneries of the Eastern Dolomites are truly spectacular: the Carnia and the Julian Alps, in addition to the lakes, valleys and protected areas. This region is situated in Italy's northeast and borders Slovenia and Austria.

Trieste is the capital of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and the other provinces include Udine, Gorizia and Pordenone.

Historically the region has been part of the Romans, the Lombards, the Slavs and Venice. Later became part of Austria and Yugoslavia. In 1963, became the united Friuli Venezia Giulia region. Each of these historic powers has influenced the region that we see today. For this reason, Friuli Venezia Giulia looks like a small universe with many different traditions: it is the “land of contrasts”.

The region has both popular coastal destinations in the summer and mountain ski resorts in the winter, as well as year round opportunities to enjoy impressive scenery. Although slightly away from the more popular destinations in Italy, there is a great deal to discover in the region - and ideal for those wishing to avoid the tourist hordes and explore somewhere new.

There are three UNESCO Heritage in Friuli

•        Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia

•        Cividale del Friuli (Longobard Site)

•        The Dolomites (Shared with Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige)

Friuli Venezia Giulia

By Thomas,CC BY2.0


Beautiful and cultured Trieste, a seaport town lying between the Adriatic Sea, Slovenia and Croatia, is the capital of the autonomous region Friuli-Venezia Giulia. It is Italy’s most cosmopolitan city. This important port town has passed through the hands of the Romans, the Venetians, the powerful Habsburg monarchy, the Germans during WWII and the Slovenian. In fact, it was only returned to Italy in 1954. It has developed a unique and vibrant culture between Austrian, Slovenian and Italian, in its characteristic mixture of languages, peoples and religions.

The heart of the city is the most beautiful and most symbolic of all its squares, the epic Piazza Unità d’Italia. The grand buildings around it echo Trieste’s glorious past when the city was part of the Habsburg Empire.

The square also has a number of monuments in it, most noteworthy of which is the The Fountain of the four Continents (Fontana dei Quattro Continenti).

The most spectacular side of the square is the one facing the sea, Molo Audace Waterfront, with a long stone promenade, that stretches out into the water, making it a beautiful place to sit or stroll. The port of Trieste is still the busiest in the Mediterranean. You could literally spend hours admiring the impressive ports and the quaint quays full of fishing boats.

Some other attractions include Trieste Cathedral, the Canal Grande, the Greek Orthodox Church of San Nicolò , the Roman Theatre and the Castello di San Giusto.

The architecture in Trieste has more in common with the Austrian than Italian. You won’t confuse Trieste with Rome or Florence, that’s for sure!

The Cathedral of San Giusto

The cathedral of San Giusto was formed in the 14th century by combining two churches from the 6th and 11th centuries. On the right was the church of San Giusto and on the left, Santa Maria; their side aisles were combined to make the cathedral's central aisle (the nave). Outside are the remains of the second-century Roman forum and a first-century temple.

Castle of San Giusto

Next to the Cathedral, is the Castle of San Giusto. With its glorious position on the crown of a homonymous hill, the ramparts offer stunning views over the city, the Gulf of Trieste and the surrounding hills. The Castle was built by the Habsburgs in the 15th to 17th centuries over a medieval Venetian fortress. Its drawbridges, ramparts and a museum catapulting you back to medieval times. The museum houses rich collection of weapons dating from the twelfth to nineteenth century, as well as furniture and tapestries.

Castello Miramare

Built for the Archduke of  Habsburgs in the 19th century, it sits perched between cliffs and sea . It’s simply the most impressive landmark of Trieste. The castle offers a spectacular view of the Gulf of Trieste.   Inside the grand imperial, you’ll find testaments to his vanity as well as wealth, with portraits hung in nearly every room, different dining rooms for winter and summer . After admiring the grand interior, you can explore the garden. Its worth a wander, especially if you’re into exotic flowers.


Cividale del Friuli

Julius Caesar founded the city around 50 BC and named it Forum Iulii. It was conquered by the Lombards in the 6th century. A.D. The Lombards stronghold in the province of Udine, made it their own important bulwark, enriching the city with numerous monuments: among these, the so-called Longobard Tempietto built overhanging the Natisone river is not to be missed. 

Longobards in Italy and their Places of Power Serial Sites (568–774 A.D) UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Monastery of Santa Maria in Valle, the church of San Giovanni and the Longobard Temple, are one of the most important urban centres of Longobard Cividale, preserving the main monumental remains of the seventh century AD. It was declare as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011, under the Longobards in Italy and their Places of Power Serial Sites (568–774 A.D) , comprises seven groups of historic buildings including fortresses, churches, and monasteries throughout the Italian Peninsula.The seven components are located in  Campania, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Puglia, and Umbria. They testify the achievements of the Lombards, who migrated from northern Europe and and established a Lombard Kingdom in Italy where they ruled over vast territories till 774 A.D. The Lombards contributed a major role in the spiritual and cultural development of Medieval European Christianity.

Fusine Lakes

The Fusine Lakes (German: Weissenfelser, Slovenian: Belopeska Jezera)  is one of Italy’s best-kept secrets. The two glacial-formed lakes, Lago Inferiore (the inferior lake) and Lago Superiore (the superior lake), connected to each other by easy paths, are well inserted in a thick spruce forest and located at the base of the Mangart mountain range. It is such a peaceful, yet overwhelmingly beautiful setting. The colors of the lakes change according to the light and seasons, making this site even more fascinating and magical.

Here you can simply relax, rent a small boat and head out onto the lake, or simply walk around the lakes which leads to the forest separating the two lakes or hiking to various mountain huts and peaks in the Julian Alps.

By Pixabay
By Julien Seguinot -flickr


Gorizia, located at the border of Italy and Slovenia, is a very charming city rich in art and history. Gorizia, in fact, can be considered the crossroads of three different cultures: Italian, Germanic and Slavic.


The medieval castle, symbol of the city, standing on a hill above the town with dominating views of Gorizia, is worth visiting for the panoramic views from the castle walls, across the town and surrounding countryside. The castle was built  during the 13th century, was  once  the seat of the judiciary and administrative power of Italy. It comprises several different parts, with small palaces, some remains of early fortifications, a chapel and a museum.

Not to be miss is the border city in the Piazza Transalpina, a square divided between the towns of Gorizia (Italy) and Nova Gorica (Slovenia). which until 2004 was physically divided by a wall, you will walk with one foot in Italy and one foot in Slovenia.

Other city historical buildings, like the Palazzo della Torre, Palazzo Attems Petzenstein and Palazzo Werdenberg - Biblioteca Statale Isontina (State Library) stand out too.

Gorizia has numerous well-kept public gardens, where you can take long and relaxing walks.

Piazza Transalpina

Slovenia and Italy Border.  The Metal plaque was installed in 2004 in the middle of the square at the border point, once crossed by the "Gorizia Wall" the latter separated Slovenian Yugoslavia from Italy, and during this era border controls were carried out the same way as along Berlin wall- strengthened with barbed wire to prevent escapes.


The Castle Of Gorizia

One of the most popular sight seeing attraction in the city is the ancient castle which is located within the old walls of the town and was built in the Middle Ages. The castle had once been the seat of the judiciary and administrative power of Italy. There is a small palatine chapel inside the castle which was dedicted to Saint Bartholomew. Inside the chapel are beautiful paintings and canvases which have been attributed to the Venetian School. There are also faint traces of frescoes in renaissance style.