At the very north-east of Italy is the autonomous region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, which borders not only on the Adriatic coast but also on Austria and Slovenia. Here, holidaymakers can expect fantastic landscapes in the southernmost foothills of the Alps, which invite them to go on long hikes, but also picturesque stretches of coast that are ideal for swimming and relaxing. In addition, there is a multitude of cultural highlights, including historic castles and the centre of Trieste. The hotels in Friuli Venezia Giulia enchant their guests with their special charm. You can choose from many luxurious houses along the Mediterranean coast or small, romantic accommodations in the interior.
The untouched nature in the north of the region, which borders on Austria, is considered a paradise for hikers and skiers. Around the Carnic Alps, travellers will find a wide range of impressive hiking trails through the mountain world. In the surroundings of larger communities there are also some interesting and at the same time extremely demanding routes for cyclists. Excursions to the Laghi di Fusine have long been more than an insider tip. The Weißenfels lakes with their turquoise blue water and the high peaks of the Alps in the background offer impressive photo locations and invite you to sunbathe, swim and relax in the summer months. Numerous sections of the shore are deserted and promise moments of complete peace. For active vacationers, tours to the Adriatic coast are also worthwhile. The Mediterranean Sea there is ideal for sailing, wind and kite surfing and many other water sports. If you want to make excursions outside the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, not only can you travel quickly to Slovenia and Austria, but also reach the legendary city of Venice in the south immediately by car. There, the Rialto Bridge, St. Mark's Basilica and the many iconic canals are among the sights that are famous all over the world.
Near Trieste is the Castello di Miramare, built in the 19th century as a noble residence. To this day the building impresses with its extraordinary architecture from the Habsburg period, a garden with many rare plants and a fantastic panoramic view over the Gulf of Trieste. The former Austro-Hungarian monarchy is also reflected in the chic architecture and the interior of some hotels. Trieste, the capital of the region, also offers visitors some interesting sights, such as the 14th century cathedral and the Victory Lighthouse. Also worth a visit are the Castello di San Giusto and the Museo Revoltella, one of the most important art historical exhibition houses. The symbol of the metropolis, however, is the Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia, which is surrounded by idyllic cafés. By following the Adriatic coast in western direction, one quickly gets to the Castello Duino. Located right at a cliff, this gigantic complex was built in the 14th century. It also has an impressive terrace garden, several bunkers and many other highlights that can be visited in guided tours. One of the oldest buildings in Friuli Venezia Giulia is the Basilica of Aquileia. The church, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was built in the 11th century and is impressive not only from the outside but also with the many mosaics inside.
The Friuli Venezia Giulia region is also extremely diverse in terms of culinary delights. The rather simple, rustic and hearty cuisine with a long tradition shows clear influences of the neighbours Slovenia, Austria and Veneto. A celebrated tradition is the multiple-course dinner. The tripe soup Busecca is very popular to start with. The main course in many places is braised veal shank ossobuco and trout with rosemary. The spaghetti made from whole wheat with an anchovy sauce, which can be found on the menus as bigoli in salsa, came originally from Venice. The same goes for the wafer-thin slices of beef carpaccio, sprinkled with parmesan and lemon. Also typical for the north-east of Italy are the traditional coffee houses, which remind us of the time when this region was part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Here the locals like to drink their aperitivo or aromatic coffee and eat the almond biscuits Brutti Ma Buoni, which is Italian for “ugly but good”. Many red and white wines come from the northern mountains of Friuli Venezia Giulia, but the wines from Trieste are also very popular. The Carso wine-growing region is of particular importance. For lovers of sweet dishes we recommend the cake Pinza and the apple strudel, which comes from Austria and is interpreted here in its own way.
The regions along the Adriatic coast are characterised by a Mediterranean climate, so that mild temperatures of up to 10°C can be expected even in winter. The months around the turn of the year are therefore ideal for sightseeing, but also for skiing and snowboarding in the Alps. For classic hiking and cycling holidays, on the other hand, the transitional periods are ideal. In spring and autumn, maximum temperatures of around 20°C are the order of the day, while on average it rains only six days a month. From the end of June and into September, it is warm enough to swim in the Mediterranean, which warms up to 25°C at the height of summer. During this time of the year the thermometer constantly shows 30°C and higher, the sun shines up to 10 hours a day. It is much cooler at higher altitudes, where temperatures rarely exceed 25°C.
From many German cities direct flights to Trieste are offered, which only take about 1.5 hours. An alternative is a trip by train. If you start your journey in Munich, you will have to change trains for about 8 to 9 hours until you arrive in the regional capital. Car drivers need between 5 and 7 hours for the same distance.