Friuli Venezia Giulia - Italy regions

Friuli Venezia Giulia


Any border region is bound to have a complicated past, and Friuli-Venezia Giulia is no exception – but this region packs more complicated punch into a small area than you might expect.



Friuli-Venezia Giulia is Italy’s most northeast region, off to the right on the map where Italy spreads out into continental Europe. It’s an oddly-shaped region, with the bulk of it seeming connected to the rest of Italy – except for one little spit of land that’s almost entirely surrounded by Slovenia.

The region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia is one of Italy’s smallest, and yet also one of the country’s most complex. Its history involves lots of back and forth with neighboring countries, and there’s not just a local dialect but a distinct language separate from Italian (and on most signage throughout the region). Despite its proximity to Venice (one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations), Friuli-Venezia Giulia remains largely un-touristed, making it even more enjoyable to the intrepid traveler.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia: Fast Facts
The English and Italian names of Friuli-Venezia Giulia are identical, and the Italian pronunciation is free|OO|lee vehn|ETZ|yah JOOL|yah.
The capital city of Friuli-Venezia Giulia is Trieste (pronounced tree|ESS|teh).
There’s one UNESCO World Heritage Site in Friuli-Venezia Giulia – the archaeological area and the cathedral of the ancient Roman city of Aquileia.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia borders the Veneto region, as well as the countries of Austria and Slovenia. The region also has a short coastline along the Adriatic Sea.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia is one of Italy’s five autonomous regions.
Two languages you’ll hear in Friuli-Venezia Giulia in addition to Italian are Friulano and Slovenian – in the Trieste province Slovenian is common, while in the rest of the region Friulano is so common it’s often on official signs right beside Italian.

The hyphenation in the name of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region refers to the two historic regions that combined – Friuli and Venezia Giulia.

Famous people from Friuli-Venezia Giulia include the founder of illycaffè Ernesto Illy; footballing players and managers Cesare Maldini, Fabio Capello, and Dino Zoff; and novelist Pier Paolo Pasolini.
People from Friuli-Venezia Giulia are called different things depending on which part of the region they hail from. Those from Friuli are called friulani (that’s the masc. pl. form; others are friulano – masc. sing., friulana – fem. sing., and friulane – fem. pl.), and those from Venezia Giulia are called giuliani (that’s the masc. pl. form; others are giuliano – masc. sing., giuliana – fem. sing., and giuliane – fem. pl.).

The Friuli-Venezia Giulia region is small, but its landscape is remarkably diverse. There are a few population centers where you’ll find the widest variety of accommodation options, and then there are more rural areas in the mountains where lodging choices are more limited (not to mention less plentiful).

The larger cities like Trieste, Udine, Gorizia, and Pordenone have the most options when it comes to where to stay, and although there’s certainly a high season there are people visiting year-round. On the coast of the region, the accommodation is much more seasonal – during the summers, the hotels along the Adriatic are likely to be full of Italians on holiday as well as tourists.

If you’re sticking to the cities and larger towns that you can access via trains and buses, you’ll find the usual suspects when it comes to hotels and hostels. If you want to get out into the countryside, you’ll find more lodging variety – such as agriturismi, vacation rentals, B&Bs, and even some rifugi (mountain huts). Just remember that if you’re hoping to get out of the cities and towns, you’re going to need a car.

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