Friuli Venezia Giulia
WHAT TO SEE
Among the eminent figures of Friuli Venezia Giulia stands out the ancient city of Aquileia, which was one of the most important centres of the Roman Empire. Aquileia has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is rich in evidence such as the forum, the remains of the river port, and the basilica, one of the finest examples of early Christian art. The Dolomites are a natural monument of unique value. Another UNESCO site offers awe-inspiring landscapes and colours in winter and in summer: crystal clear water, snow-capped peaks, and lush valleys. From the Karst plateau to the sea, Trieste is waiting to be discovered: the historic cafes, neoclassical palaces along the Grand Canal, and other monuments show the charm of this Central European city and its glorious past. Another destination not to be missed is Gorizia, with its decidedly cosmopolitan character and medieval castle that tells centuries of history. Udine is also full of charm, dominated by the old castle and embellished by the works of Giambattista Tiepolo. Finally, with its ancient palaces and the characteristic Corso with long arcades, Pordenone is well worth a visit. Many towns and numerous small villages still enrich the region with their art and their traditions, such as Grado, characteristic of its Venetian historical centre, the small town of San Daniele, where the most valuable frescoes of the region in the church of Sant'Antonio are kept and Cividale del Friuli, a historic city and seat of the first Lombard duchy in Italy.
WHAT TO DO
The unspoiled environment of Friuli Venezia Giulia offers a thousand possibilities for an unforgettable vacation dedicated to physical activity, well-being, and fun. From the Dolomites to the Pre-Alps and the Carnic Alps, the Friulian mountains are the ideal destination for winter sports enthusiasts: skiing, snowboarding, climbing, ice skating, trekking. Renowned ski areas such as Tarvisio, Piancavallo, Sauris, and Sella Nevea offer visitors kilometres of slopes and modern equipment amid impressive rock massifs and enchanting views.
From the Grado lagoon to Lignano Sabbiadoro, you can spend relaxing stays on the sandy coast and the clear sea between exciting games such as beach volleyball, water skiing, windsurfing, sailing, long drives, and water games in fun water parks. This is followed by evenings devoted to entertainment and social life in discos, clubs, and restaurants.
There is a wide choice of golf courses throughout the area in the beautiful scenery. The various protected areas offer majestic landscapes and beautiful environments for walking and nature trails, trekking, or mountain biking: from the Cavanata Valley Reserve, which is also suitable for bird watching, to the Miraramare marine reserve, which is ideal for sea watching, from the Natural Park of the Dolomites, the Kingdom Mountaineering and climbing, the Carnic Hills also suitable for horse riding.
There are numerous ways to discover unspoiled surroundings, such as the rugged karst promontory between limestone cliffs and caves or the Tagliamento river banks or the Carnia. The naturalistic aspect merges with the historical under the remains of forts, galleries, and other evidence of the First World War.
For a relaxing holiday dedicated to health, wellness and beauty, you can reach the famous spas, including the historic Terme di Grado or the Lignano Riviera, with seawater-based treatments.
From the mountains to the sea, to discover wine and good food, the paths cross the entire region between vast vineyards and farms where you can taste specialities and typical products, including the famous San Daniele ham or Montasio cheese.
There are numerous events in every season: cultural events such as Pordenonlegge, characteristic religious festivals such as El Pardòn di Barbana, countless food and wine reviews, and festivals, including Sapori di Carnia in Raveo, Friuli Doc in Udine or Aria di Festa San Daniele.
WHAT TO EAT
The cuisine of Friuli Venezia Giulia is influenced by Slavic, Central European, and Venetian cultures. It is mainly based on simple recipes and on the authenticity of the ingredients: meat, dairy products, sausages, and legumes that are used to make delicious specialities.
Typical dishes are Polenta, Porcina, boiled pork and sausages, sauerkraut and mustard, and soups with vegetables and legumes.
San Daniele ham is the most typical product, which is known and exported around the world, followed by Montasio cheese and smoked ham from Sauris. Among the sausages, the salami, the sop press, the Salami, and the musèt with Brovada stand out, i.e., the Cotechino, which is served with beets leavened in the marc.
The most famous regional dessert is Gubana, a pastry bowl filled with dried fruits. The strudel and fruit cakes are delicious too. The production of high-quality red and white wines is vibrant. It can be combined with the Friulian tradition’s delicious dishes, including Picolit, Refosco, Terrano, Malvasia, Tocai, and Rebula.
Friuli Venezia Giulia is also known for producing spirits, including grappas, ranging from traditional to flavoured.
Sardella – known as “poor man’s caviar” – to pork sausages, from spices for the pasta to fish dishes.
The chilli pepper’s strong taste contrasts with the sweet taste of the famous Tropea red onion, protected by the IGP brand, and used both to flavour dishes and for medicinal purposes.
Calabria’s typical delicacies are: the extra virgin oil, wines, bergamot liqueur, liquorice, cedar or herbs, honey, jams, and pasta with characteristic shapes (Strangugghj, Fileja, Maccaruni) still worked with the old methods.
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