A region long fought over throughout the centuries, Friuli-Venezia Giulia has been one of Italy’s five independent regions since gaining administrative autonomy in 1963. On top of Italian, this region has its own language – Friulian – which is common enough to appear alongside standard Italian on some official signs.
If you appreciate nature, you’re in luck here. In summer you can chill on the beaches or hike in the mountains, and in winter those same mountains become snow playgrounds. Sella Nevea is a ski resort that includes Raibl Lake (also known as Lago Del Predil), an intensely blue-green lake with a tiny island that makes it even more of an enchanting sight. Take a walk in the Val Rosandra Reserve for a 36-metre waterfall and a Roman aqueduct.
Stay in Trieste, the capital of the region, tucked into the border of Slovenia. You can spend time in art galleries and museums, cafes with delicious Viennese-style coffee, and cool bars. When it’s hot, cool off down at Barcola Beach. This beach is a little different. It’s a long concrete pavement, but it still comes with pine trees and beach bars for a relaxed seaside experience.
Outdoor shopping is always a good bet in Italy, and this region is a great place to keep up the tradition. Visit one of the large antique markets in places like Pordenone or Trieste, or visit a shopping centre like Palmanova Outlet Village, which is open-air and has over 90 stores in brightly coloured buildings. Like the rest of Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia is a great food destination, with everything from fine fish restaurants in Trieste to great coffee and wine, gelati and Italian faves like stewed meat and polenta.
Book one of our cheap flights to Trieste to go with your Friuli-Venezia Giulia accommodation and you’ll be all set to explore this triple-titled region. Hiring a car will help you really get around, but Trieste has a decent public transport system. All in all, this region is autonomous and awesome!Image credit Pierinut under Creative Commons