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Friuli Venezia Giulia: a treasure chest nestled between sea and mountains

A border region sandwiched between the Friulian Dolomites and the Upper Adriatic, blessed with an immense cultural heritage resulting from the influence of different cultures and peoples, cosmopolitan and modern, Friuli Venezia Giulia will also seduce you with its temptations of relaxation, sport and fun.

Trieste Pordenone Udine Gorizia

A unique atmosphere can be felt in Trieste, as a border town, a melting pot of at least three cultures: Latin, Slavic and German. It has a retro flavour of its own, between historic literary cafés and monuments from the past as an important city of the Habsburg Empire. Trieste is the ideal destination for those who love locations rich in a complex and troubled history that has bewitched, harboured, and nurtured writers and other intellectuals. The environment is diverse, with an international outlook. A place to be experienced at least once in a lifetime.


Elegant villages and natural beauty An elegant city in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Pordenone encompasses a quiet historic centre rich in historical and artistic beauty. Stroll down Corso Vittorio Emanuele in the shadow of the arcades, among the longest in Europe. Stop for a coffee in Piazza Cavour, the heart of city life, and admire the facades of the Palazzo Comunale and St Mark's Cathedral. It is impossible not to notice its Gothic-style bell tower, a full 72 metres high. On the outskirts of Pordenone, visit some of the most beautiful villages in northern Italy, such as Sacile, on the Livenza river, and Polcenigo, surrounded by greenery. In San Vito al Tagliamento you can admire what remains of the medieval village, such as the moat and the frescoed castle. For a relaxing moment away from the city, head for Lake Barcis. This corner of paradise, set in the Friulian Dolomites Natural Park, is the perfect place for those who enjoy sports such as sailing, surfing and canoeing, as well as hiking and mountain biking. And lastly, to enjoy typical Friulian cuisine, try the Frico with polenta and salami with vinegar: truly traditional flavours.


From the Alps to the sea, exploring mosaics and Baroque villas Views of the Carnic Alps, villages on gentle slopes, historic villas, lakes and forests, Roman and Lombard ruins and the golden beaches of Lignano Sabbiadoro: all this and more lies in the province of Udine, in the heart of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Walking through the historic centre of the capital, which branches out around the castle, you will find the Loggia del Lionello, the Clock Tower, the works of Tiepolo and the Tina Modotti Gallery, dedicated to the great photographer who was born here. Immersed in a large park is the Baroque-style Villa Manin, the residence of the last doge of Venice. You can admire nature is at its best in the thousand-year-old Tarvisio forest, in Val d’Arzino and by Lake Cornino. Don’t miss the villages of Spilimbergo, with its splendid 15th-century Palazzo Dipinto, San Daniele del Friuli, to taste its famous prosciutto, the star fort of Palmanova, and Cividale del Friuli, with its Lombard ruins and the famous Devil’s Bridge. If you love fortresses, we recommend visiting Villalta Castle. To dive into history, head for Aquileia, a very well-preserved Roman city. You’re sure to love the archaeological museum, the Roman Forum, and the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, with its mosaic floor and the Crypt of Frescoes.


The “city in the trenches” on the border between the Latin and Slavic worlds A melting pot of Romance, Slavic and Germanic cultures on the border with Slovenia, Gorizia has several historical sites. We recommend visiting the Castle, an 11th-century fortification subsequently extended in the 17th century, and the Palazzo Coronini Cronberg in the town centre, in the old village of Grafenberg. Surrounded by a picturesque, romantic park, the building has 15 furnished rooms. To understand the spirit of this “city in the trenches”, visit the Museum of the Great War of Gorizia, in the evocative basements of the 16th-century Dornberg and Tasso Houses. It offers an invaluable testimony to the war events of 1917, covering the defeat at Caporetto, the victory on the Piave and finally the Italian-Austrian armistice of 1918. Three kilometres from the city is the Luciano Viatori botanical garden, also called the Azalea Garden, as 500 varieties of azaleas flourish there, alongside rhododendrons, rare roses, camellias and magnolias. The garden is easy to explore thanks to a well-designed system of paths and wooden walkways, for an enchanting hour-long walk. The ideal time to visit is in spring, between March and June, when the flowers bloom.

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Relax and wellness
Arta Terme

Arta Terme

Arta Terme, the pearl of Carnia, combining wellness, alpine itineraries and archaic cults A small Friulian town in the province of Udine, 442 metres above sea level, 10 kilometres from the Austrian border and 20 from the Slovenian border: there are many reasons to visit Arta Terme. The town, nestled in the Valle del But that connects Tolmezzo to Austria via the Passo di Monte Croce Carnico pass, has been renowned for its waters since Roman times. The sulphurous water gushes from the Fonte Pudia spring, which has been providing cures and wellbeing for centuries, and has also made Arta a popular spa resort, the perfect place to rejuvenate the body and spirit, and the ideal starting point for walks and hikes among the malghe (shepherd's huts) and mountain huts. The Arta Thermal Baths and its portentous waters, loved by Carducci Enclosed in a green basin, the Arta Thermal Baths are located within a complex, the Water Palace, formed by two connected buildings. The first, dating back to the 1960s and designed by architect Gino Valle, features an oriental-style roof; the second is more recently built. Its rooms invite you to relax among the saunas and Turkish baths or to recharge your batteries under the sensory showers and along the Kneipp path. Surrounding it is a beautiful park where you can enjoy mini-golf, tennis, or freshen up in the swimming pool with hydromassage. A word of advice: don't be put off by the intense sulphurous odour of the waters flowing from Fonte Pudia, whose name originates from the Latin participle putens and alludes to its not particularly pleasant odour, because it is precisely because of the wealth of minerals in its waters that the Arta Thermal Baths are able to offer highly specialised treatment and rehabilitation courses for various ailments, especially those of the airways. In fact, for centuries their medicinal properties have attracted tourists and patients to the Carnic locality: among the most famous personalities is Giosuè Carducci, who dedicated one of his poems, Il comune rustico (The Rustic Municipality), to Arta. Excursions amid history and spectacular views Piano d'Arta, a few kilometres from Arta Terme, is an excellent starting point for a series of walks that will allow you to better discover the area. If you enjoy trekking, the first destination you should tackle is without a doubt Mount Zoncolan, one of Friuli Venezia Giulia's best-known mountain settings, home to a well-known ski resort in winter and criss-crossed in summer by panoramic itineraries, amidst flower-filled pastures, woods and malghe (shepherd's huts). You should not miss, in the vicinity of Arta Terme, the town of Zuglio, the ancient Iulium Carnicum, a flourishing economic and trade centre in Roman times, founded between 58 and 40 B.C., which became a colony in the 1st century A.D.. Close to its Archaeological Museum, you will be able to admire the remains of the Roman forum and artefacts found during archaeological excavations. On the road back to Arta, also worth a visit for its architectural merit is the parish church of San Pietro near Zuglio, a Gothic church built on the site of an earlier Romanesque parish church, the windows of which still survive. Inside, the church preserves a wooden altar by Domenico da Tolmezzo, a masterpiece of Renaissance art, as well as a Baroque organ, and two canvases painted between the 16th and 18th centuries, portraying the conversion of St. Peter and the handing over of the keys to the Saint. Discovering ancient Carnic traditions It is precisely in this parish church that every year, to mark the feast of the Ascension, the so-called Kissing of the Crosses takes place. This is one of the most cherished sacred festivities, dating back to a very ancient cult, probably of mediaeval origin: following a series of paths through the woods, the faithful carry in procession to the parish church of San Pietro the precious astylar crosses, crucifixes for procession placed on a pole, which are stored throughout the year in the churches of the nearby valleys. And if you pass through Arta Terme during the Christmas festivities, as well as visiting the Christmas market, you will be able to experience an ancient Carnic tradition that is celebrated every year, from 26 December until the Epiphany: that of the Stele di Nadal, a procession of believers led by the Three Wise Men who, singing songs and holding a wooden star decorated with coloured paper bows and a lamp in the centre, go from house to house to herald the birth of the Saviour. And at the table, cjarsòns, a dish that is a symbol of Carnic tradition You cannot leave without being enticed by the delights of Friuli's gastronomic tradition. In the local shops you can buy honey, plum and pear distillates, cheeses and, above all, the typical cjarsòns, one of Carnia's signature dishes: handmade agnolotti stuffed with officinal herbs and spices, usually topped with melted butter and smoked ricotta. There is a festival is dedicated to cjarsòns, which is held every year on the first Sunday in August in Arta Terme, in the locality of Val Rivalpo.

A border region nestled between sea and mountains

From the Barcolana in Trieste to the harmony of Udine's architecture, from the ski slopes of Piancavallo to the enchantment of the Laghetti di Fusine, from cycling on the Kaiser Zoncolan to the descent in the Grotta Gigante, Friuli Venezia Giulia will give you an unforgettable holiday.

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