Friuli Venezia Giulia, where Italy meets Europe
Land of the Celts, Romans, Longobards, Venetians and the Habsburgs, Friuli Venezia Giulia is a trove of art, history and culture. Lying in the heart of Europe, at the crossroads of the Latin, German and Slav worlds, it is a land of meetings: the result is an original and peculiar mix of languages, cultures and traditions.
Trieste achieves a perfect balance of styles in its architecture: Art Nouveau, eclectic and Baroque buildings stand cheek-by-jowl with Roman remains and solid, self-confident eighteenth-century Habsburg piles. But the real melting pot in the “Mitteleuropa” area is Gorizia, a favourite with the Habsburg bourgeoisie, who enjoyed the charming parks scattered at the foot of the hill, at the top of which lie the medieval village and castle. Udine also has a medieval core nestling between ancient palaces and Venetian squares, where the locals like to meet for a classic aperitif in the early evening, after work: a glass of excellent white wine. Pordenone is a smart town that has skillfully carved out a niche for itself as an important venue for sophisticated cultural events. Its centre, with frescoed palaces, elegant cafés and stylish shops, is ideal for a stroll that combines both art and shopping.
Gorizia, mentioned for the first time in a document of 1001, due to its geographical position has always been culturally influenced by the meeting of the Latin, Slavic and Germanic cultures.
Starting from 1117, and for four centuries, the Castle was the residence of the Counts of Gorizia, whose rule stretched from Tirol and Carinthia to the Treviso area, as far as the Croatian borders.
Afterwards, it was ruled by the Habsburgs under whose jurisdiction it remained until the end of the First World War, except for some short periods of Napoleonic and Venetian rule.
The city was subject to significant changes in recent times too, when, after the 1947 peace treaty, the territory was divided: for many years Gorizia and Nova Gorica remained separated by a small wall long the border.
Trieste – The monuments of the San Giusto hill, which date back to the Roman and Medieval ages, are evidence of life in a very old Trieste. On the contrary, the beginning of the city’s modern history may be 1740, the year in which Maria Theresa sat on the throne of Austria affecting, with reforms and initiatives, most of Austrian life and, as a consequence, the fate of Trieste.
Trieste stands out against the blue sea and sky of the northern Adriatic region, looking like a sort of last Mediterranean mirage to those who travel along this stretch of coast. Trieste’s originality and diversity can be seen in the succession of streets and beautiful squares overlooked by imposing palaces of considerable architectural value.
The city centre comprises magnificent buildings, often in the neoclassical style, situated next to interesting examples of eclectic, art nouveau and neo-gothic style.
Udine is at the centre of Friuli Venezia Giulia, in a privileged geographical position, surrounded by hills, near the sea and the mountains, not far from Austria and Slovenia, practically at the centre of Europe.
Its origins are very ancient but it has been deeply shaped since 1420, together with the whole Friuli, after becoming part of the Republic of Venice.
During The First World War (1915-1918) it was the seat of The Comando Supremo Italiano (Italian Military Command). It is a cosy sitting room-city, loved by famous painter Gianbattista Tiepolo, who came to live here several times, where Visitors will enjoy the local specialities and the “Tajut” (glass of wine) served in the ancient inns and wine cellars.
A city and its river, an indissoluble bond that has made Pordenone what it looks today in the eyes of tourists: a world still tightly linked to its past evidenced by palaces, frescoes, by the monuments of the fascinating city centre, but also ready to face present and future challenges, continuously looking for an equilibrium in which everything and everyone may find their space.
The history of Pordenone (the ancient Portus Naonis), in fact, is still connected to the Noncello, a silent waterway that for centuries has been navigable determining the economic development of the city and contributing to creating a peculiar propensity to innovation, exchange and comparison. Dynamism and creativity, for instance, reveal themselves in the architecture, in the artistic, musical and literary production, as well as in all the international events, such as Pordenonelegge.it and the Days of Silent Cinema, which have made Pordenone a rich and original cultural location in Italy. Visiting Pordenone and its province allows to have experiences that are very different from one another, where history, art, nature and food and wine tradition meet to provide everyone with their own personal and unforgettable journey.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Full of Early-Mediaeval works of art, Cividale del Friuli is a truly unmissable place to visit in Friuli Venezia Giulia. It conserves precious traces of its Longobard history and is the starting point on the UNESCO itinerary devoted to the heritage that this mysterious people left in Italy. A visit to the town must include at least the National Archaeological Museum, the Christian Museum, the extraordinary Tempietto Longobardo and the mysterious Celtic Hypogeum. Yet even without these treasures Cividale would still be well worth a visit to see its most recent display: CIPS is a centre devoted to marionettes by the Cividale-born Vittorio Podrecca, the greatest Italian artist of marionette theatre. In this exhibition space, the only one of its kind in Europe, his creations are joined by puppets made by Maria Signorelli
Aquileia, an ancient city of the Roman Empire, still has an exceptionally important archaeological area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One can tour the remains of the Roman forum, the necropolis, private houses with mosaic floors and the imposing buildings of the ancient river port. The Basilica Santa Maria Assunta is unmissable; it has the largest mosaic floor of the Western Christian world, marking a fundamental phase in the history of European art. Unmissable also the Museo Archeologico Nazionale (National Archaeological Museum) that has the richest collection of Roman archaeological finds in northern Italy. It conserves the precious treasures which Aquileia revealed to the world: engraved gems, skilfully-worked amber, richly- coloured glass, finely-chased gold, refined and imposing sculpture, mosaics. The incredibly magnificent legacy of a city that was one of the richest capitals of the Roman Empire.
Palmanova, is a fortified town which the Republic of Venice designed and built to defend its regional borders from foreign invasions. It is a masterpiece of military architecture and a model of the ideal Renaissance town. This unique town’s urban layout forms a nine-pointed star and has a central square where the three access roads (defended by monumental gateways) converge. Palmanova bid to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.