In Italy, there are postcards at every step. If you like to lounge on the beach and people watch, you’ll have your choice of thousands of miles of coastline. Foodie? You can’t find any better food in Europe. And any history or architecture buff finds themselves in heaven with the rich patrimony in every region.
Yet, there are still some undiscovered areas within Italy that offer everything you’re looking for and more. Friuli Venezia Giulia is one of those areas. Nicknamed FVG affectionately by the locals, Friuli should definitely be on your radar. In this article, let’s go over several of the things that make FVG ideal for your next Italian holiday.
Things you didn’t know about Friuli Venezia Giulia:
- This lovely region of Italy stretches from the Adriatic Sea to the Alps and accommodates about 1.2 million inhabitants.
- There are three languages spoken in the region: Italian, German and Slovenian.
- Although Venice is part of its name, the region’s capital is the city of Trieste. Venice is the capital of Veneto, which is the Eastern border of FVG.
- The region includes 4 main geographical areas:mountains to the North, followed by hills, central plains more to the south and a West coast with lagoons.
These being said, let’s go further with some of the main reasons why Friuli Venezia Giuli should be part on your upcoming travel plans:
As everybody is aware, Italy was struck very hard by the coronavirus. For quite a while, Italy was the epicenter. What not many people are aware, though, is that not all of Italy had high numbers of infections. And Friuli is one of those regions that was spared the worst from the coronavirus.
One of the reasons is that there is a low population and plenty of wide open spaces. Much of Italy has a high population concentration, but Friuli has a lot of open plains and sparsely populated mountains.
Though traveling during covid 19 is still a challenge and many countries are blocked from entering Italy, if you are able to visit, then coming to Friuli will afford you the peace of mind that the virus is well under control here.
#Not overly touristed
The travel landscape has changed dramatically over the last few months and people are rightly looking to travel to areas that don’t attract big crowds.
Luckily, there is still a rich patrimony for travelers going to Friuli Venezia Julia but without the hordes of tourists. Though it lacks an obvious bucket list sight like the Coliseum or the Amalfi coast, it does offer many of the same benefits as other regions of Italy but in a more relaxed and less commercial setting.
For instance, if you love history, there are some stand out areas to visit in Friuli. In particular, Aquileia was one of the biggest Roman cities on the Italian peninsula and is in the heart of Friuli. There are two cathedrals that were some of the first Christian churches in the Roman empire in which you can still see the floor mosaics intact from the 4th Century AD. And the museum there is rich with artifacts.
The best part is that there are so few tourists that you can enjoy the site without being rushed and still maintain safe social distancing measures.
#Great for outdoorsy types
FVG should be on the radar of anybody who loves to be out in breathtaking nature and exploring. In the Dolomites, there is a wide range of activities for the adrenaline junkie. Paragliding is incredible as there are many different peaks to choose from. Whether a beginner or expert there is a spot where you can satisfy that urge for adventure.
Canyoning is also popular here as there are many gorges carved through the mountains with hundreds of waterfalls scattered throughout. Even if you like leisurely exploring nature, there are thousands of miles of hiking trails all laid out and organized by the Alpine groups for tourists.
There are several nature reserves where you can bird watch or hunt for that perfect picture of the wild horses and other animals.
There really is no such thing as “Italian food” since the cuisine varies dramatically by region. Friuli is a perfect example of this as it draws from the countries on its borders for its cooking style.
Since Friuli was once a part of the Austrian Empire, things like Sacher torte, strudel, sauerkraut and goulash are all common dishes here. Then when you add in the influence of Slovenia on its border, the cuisine changes further with smoked meats being present in many dishes.
#Easy to reach
Though it is tucked away and undiscovered, it is well connected to Europe and North America. Venice has two airports very close to Friuli so you can be here in a matter of hours from anywhere in Europe. And direct flights from NYC fly into Venice every day.
If you are into train travel, then you can get here in a matter of hours from Milan on the high speed train. Coming down from Vienna by train takes around 4 hours.
Take advantage of the lack of big touristy sites and enjoy what may be Italy’s last great undiscovered region and all it has to offer. If you like getting off the beaten path but still want all the benefits of being in Italy then this is the place for you!