Prosciutto San Daniele

Prosciutto San Daniele

Prosciutto San Daniele: what is prosciutto? How to make prosciutto?

The curing process depends on a delicate balance of curing and “resting” phases: one slip and the prosciutto is ruined. Prosciutto is possessed of a delicate consistency which does not allow it to be cured just anywhere. It demands a rather particular climate. Producers of prosciutto in Veneto have known for centuries that conditions in the San Daniele area bordering Friuli affect the best results. In San Daniele whole pork hinds, including the foot, are cured. These “graduates” prosciuttos are of a pinky-red hue, marbled with veins of fat which ensure tenderness and should absolutely not be discarded. They also have a flatter pan shape, compared to Parma prosciutto which is usually rounded.

The local prosciutto producers are most proud of their famous local product: record books of the oldest prosciutto companies show that during the last century they supplied the British royal family and the imperial house of Vienna with prosciutto San Daniele.

In Italian there is a distinction between prosciutto crudo, literally “raw ham”, which is cured ham, what English speakers refer to as “prosciutto” and prosciutto cotto, “cooked ham”, which is similar to what English speakers call “ham”.

Prosciutto San Daniele

There’s a lot a person could do with a prosciutto (ham). In an Almodovar film, an exasperated housewife uses a prosciutto to kill her husband. The Italians have turned to making prosciutto a culinary work of art, dedicating 9 to 18 months to the process, depending on weight. The proof of their efforts lies in the taste and texture of the best cured prosciutto in the world, universally known as prosciutto San Daniele and prosciutto di Parma, enjoyed in paper-thin slices. In addition to these prominent prosciutto products, there are myriad Tuscan and Umbrian prosciuttos, prosciutto di montagna (mountain ham) and the greatest delicacy of them all – culatello, a legendary super-prosciutto from the Emilia region.

Recipes with prosciutto San Daniele

Prosciutto protected designation of origin
Under the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union, certain well-established meat products including some local prosciutto, are covered by a Protected Designation of Origin and other, less stringent designations of geographical origin for traditional specialties. There are two famous types of prosciutto crudo exported abroad: prosciutto di Parma, from Parma, and prosciutto San Daniele, from the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. The other protected designations for prosciutto are:

Prosciutto di Modena, Italy
Prosciutto di Veneto Berico-Euganeo, Italy
Prosciutto di Carpegna, near Montefeltro, Italy
Prosciutto di Norcia, Italy
Prosciutto Toscano, Italy
Karst/Kras Prosciutto (Kraški pršut), Slovenia

Adriatic and Venetian Civilization

In this itinerary, Venice looms large for the part it played as a mediator between the ancient Roman-Byzantine civilization. whose ideas spread with amazing persistence from Ravenna through Aquileia to the noble city of Parenzo (now in Slovenia) on the opposite shore of the Adriatic, and the Italian Renaissance which it took so important a hand in forming.

The influence of Venice is to be traced in the mountains of the Cadore, where Titian was born, up to and beyond Trent, where it assumed central European inflections and habits. If our second itinerary seems generously inter woven with Venetian life, the third will be almost completely Venetian, even in cities like Trieste which were not a part of the “Mainland territory”, but which were unable to resist the fascination, the almost hypnotic spell cast by the Queen of the Lagoon.

The itinerary:

At least two days should be spent in Venice.

Where to stay in Venice

There are high quality hotels, apartments, guesthouses and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.

We still have to visit the islands of Murano, Burano and most of all, Torcello, the most enchanting spot in the Lagoon.

Returning to Venice, we reach Mestre and drive towards Iesolo (27 miles), continuing towards Trieste, except for a detour (6 miles to the right) to see the Adriatic port of Caorle and the extremely rare cylindrical belltower (11th century), like those in Ravenna, next to its Romanesque Cathedral. Returning to the main road, we turn off only at the junction for Portogruaro, a lovely town with fine Gothic palaces (Palazzo Dal Moro, Palazzo Comunale) and a good Archaeological Museum. 32 miles from Portogruaro, in a picturesque setting of pines and cypresses, stand the remains of Aquileia.


Aquileia was a magnificent city in the times of Augustus and again after the barbarian invasions, in the high Middle Ages. In the 5th century, it became the seat of a patriarchate, and then Venetian. After having reached its maximum splendor in the 11th century, it fell slowly into decay, coming at last to its present state.

Standing isolated and austere is the mighty Basilica (1031) its interior built in various periods, with the richest and most elaborate mosaic floor in all western art. We shall also visit the imposing ruins of the Roman Forum, and the fine Archaeological Museum with mosaics, sarcophagi, and Roman heads including an outstanding one of Tiberius.

Where to stay in Aquileia

There are high quality hotels, hostels, campgrounds and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.


Grado – Photo © Marvin (PA)

From Aquileia, following one of the great highways of Adriatic civilization, we reach (10 miles) the city of Grado

Grado, the ancient harbor town of Aquileia set on a tiny island between the lagoon and the sea. It declined after the 12th, century and now only has an excellent beach. Here we shall visit the Basilica di S. Maria delle Grazie (6th century), as well as the Baptistery, set in a picturesque position, with medieval sarcophagi in front. We shall also explore the quaint fishermen’s houses and the pretty canal harbor, like those along the Romagna coast.

Where to stay in Grado

There are high quality hotels, apartments, condo hotels and villas available, check them out and make a reservation here.


We might also dine here, before going on our way along the 14 miles to the state highway which, passing through Monfalcone and leaving the Miramore Castle to our right, brings us (15 more miles) to Trieste, worth one day visit.

Leaving Trieste, we pass through Dome, with its beautiful castles, and turning right of the state highway for Venice, and passing through the Carso, drive another 15 miles until we come to Gorizia

Where to stay in Trieste

There are high quality hotels, apartments, condo hotels and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.


Gorizia, a city founded about the year 1000, a feudal honor of the Counts of Gorizia from whom it descended to the Hapsburgs in 1500. The eastern suburbs of it are, at present, in Slovenian territory. We climb up to the Castle, a massive monument overlooking the city and its surroundings, rich in memories of the Battle of the Isonzo (World War I). Inside the walls, we find the Romanesque Palazzina dei Conti and the lovely little Gothic church of S.Spirito. In the city are the sumptuous Jesuit church of S. lgnazio and various charming house near the Cathedral. The War Museum in Palazzo Attems is worth a visit.

Where to stay in Gorizia

There are high quality hotels, apartments, farm stays and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Cividale del Friuli

Crossing the Isonzo river, we come (9 miles) to Cormons where after some 10 miles more driving through the Collio Hills we reach Cividale del Friuli on the River Natisone, at the foot of the Julian Alps.

Cividale del Friuli. The town is said to have been founded by Julius Caesar. It was for some time the seat of the Patriarchate of Aquileia (8th-17th century) and many traces still remain here of that Adriatic civilization which, moving inland, mingled with barbarian, and especially Longobard, elements. Dating from this barbarian-Byzantine period is the Tempielto Longobardo, with noteworthy carved figures (9th century). The Cathedral, designed by Pietro Lombardo (16th century) contains a Venetian-Byzantine silver Altar-piece (12th century). There is also an interesting Archaeological Museum and a Chapter Museum with sculptures and tapestries. Before leaving, we will pass by and look at the elegant 14th century Porta Brossana. Another ten miles and we are in UDINE.

Where to stay in Cividale del Friuli

There are high quality hotels, apartments, villas and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.


A visit to Udine takes the rest of our day.

Where to stay in Udine

There are high quality hotels, apartments, guesthouses and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.


Pordenone – Photo © insea

The morning of the sixth day we leave Udine by Viale Venezia, go through Codroipo, and crossing the River Tagliamento, come (36 miles) to the city of Pordenone.

Pordenone with its fine 15th century Cathedral and Romanesque bell-tower: between the Cathedral and the Palazzo Comunale (1291), containing a small collection of paintings, we will see the lovely old house of Piazza San Marco.

Where to stay in Pordenone

There are high quality hotels and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Vittorio Veneto

Continuing west, we pass by Sacile (7 miles), with beautiful paintings by Bassano in its 15th century Cathedral, and leaving Highway No. 13 before Godega, we reach Highway N.51 at Vittorio Veneto which has a castle standing on a hill.

The city was formed by uniting the towns of Ceneda, which lies down towards the plain, and Serravalle where the road starts to climb among handsome Gothic houses.

The scenery along the ancient Strada di Alemagna, which we now take, soon becomes mountainous. Passing beside the Lake of Santa Croce we reach (44 miles from Pordenone) Ponte delle Alpi where taking State Highway SS 50 Via del Grappa e del Passo Rolle, we go 5 miles further on and reach the city of Belluno.


Belluno, set on a plateau at the meeting of the Rivers Ardo and Piave.

This ancient Roman and medieval center preserves, in an Alpine setting, the vigorous aspect of Venetian civilization. Crossing the Ardo on Via Simon da Cusighe and passing the fine Gothic church of S. Stefano, we reach, by way of Via Roma, the picturesque Piazza del Mercam with its 15th century fountain and beautiful Renaissance arcaded buildings. From here, we go on to the square in which stands the Cathedral, designed by Tullio Lombardo; inside, a 15th century Polyptych by Giovanni Francesco da Rimini, and printings by Bassano, Palma il Giovane and Schiavone. In the same square, we find the Renaissance Palazzo dei Rettori, the most beautiful in the city. By way of Borgo Garibaldi, we return to Ponte Nuovo and from here (5 miles) to Highway SS 51 (Passing 15 miles) Longarone, then, climbing up the valley of the Piave, we come (22 miles from Belluno) to the city of PIEVE DI CADORE, situated on an artificial lake. Pieve was the birthplace of Titian, whose house is fondly preserved, as well as a Madonna and Saints, in the Church. Another handsome building is the Palazzo delta Comunita Cadorina with its 16th century tower.

From Pieve it is worth driving another mile up the road to Pozzale (3,458 ft.) to admire, in the Church, a masterpiece signed (1514) by Vittore Carpaccio: the Madonna with SS. Tommaso and Rocco.

Where to stay in Belluno

There are high quality hotels, apartments, guesthouses and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Cortina d’Ampezzo

On the morning of the next day, return to Highway SS 51, through the Boite River Valley, amidst the magnificent scenery of Ml. Pelmo (10,397 ft.) on the left and the Amelao (10,705 ft.) on the right, we reach (18 miles from Pieve) Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Cortina d’Ampezzo, a famous resort for winter sports and mountaineering, with many hotels and clubs, cable-cars, ski-lifts, and possibilities for trips in all direction. We suggest devoting. the afternoon to a drive around Mt. Cristallo: from Cortina, by way of Passo Tre Croci.(Three Crosses Pass), up to the entrancing Lake of Misurina, then keeping to the left, to the small White Lake and, with Mt. Cristallo on one side and the Tribute Range on the other, back to Cortina.

On the next day we leave Cortina and take the marvelous State Highway SS 48 of the Dolomite Passes. After 17 miles, we reach the Falzarego Pass (6,906 ft.) from which there is an incredible view.

Where to stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo

There are high quality hotels, apartments, villas and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.


Descend to Pieve di Livinallongo (4,798 ft.), a charming village at the foot of Col di Lana, and then to Arabba, having the rocky mass of the Sella constantly before us. After the Pordoi Pass (7,675 ft.) we go down to Canazei (34 miles from Cortina in the Val di Fassa. At Vigo di Fassa (44 miles) we turn right onto the road to the romantic Lake of Carezza and from here (70 miles) down to Canazei (34 miles from Cortina)in the Val di Fassa. At Vigo di Fassa (44 miles) we turn right onto the road to the romantic Lake of Carezza and from here (70 miles) down to BOLZANO.

Where to stay in Bolzano

There are high quality hotels, apartments, guesthouses and villas available, check them out and make a reservation here.

The itinerary continues with: Adriatic and Venetian Civilization – Part 2: From Bolzano to Venice.
Recommended itineraries in Italy

I Love Italian Wine and Food The Friuli Venezia Giulia Region

Friuli “Pinot grigio” – Photo © tresora

An article by: Levi Reiss

If you are looking for fine Italian wine and food, consider the Friuli-Venezia Giuli region of northern Italy. You may find a bargain, and I hope that you’ll have fun on this fact-filled wine education tour.

Friuli-Venezia Giuli is a mountainous area tucked away in the northeast corner Italy, bordering on Austria and Slovenia. Experts believe that Friuli-Venezia Giuli was first inhabited twenty thousand years ago.

Like most regions of Italy, it has belonged to many nations over the years. Unlike most regions of Italy, it remains multicultural, an exceptional mixture of Italian, Austrian, and Slavic influences. To make this article easier to read, we will replace the region’s full name by its first part, Friuli. The total population is less than 1.2 million.

While Friuli is home to a wide variety of agricultural products, most farmers don’t get rich. The farms tend to be small and much of the land is unfertile, suitable only for grazing and grapes. Unfortunately the Adriatic sea is in poor condition and fishing is on the decline. However, a wide variety of seafood is available. Friuli’s best-known food is San Daniele prosciutto, an uncooked ham aged in sea salt for over a year. Gourmets debate whether this ham or its cousin prosciutto di Parma from the Emilia-Romagna region in northwestern Italy is the best ham in the world.

Friuli’s administrative center is Trieste, which only became part of Italy in 1954. This city was once the principle port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Like Vienna, Austria, Trieste is filled with cafes. It is also home to the famous International Center for Theoretical Physics.

Friuli devotes about one hundred fifty thousand acres to grapevines, it ranks 14th among the 20 Italian regions. Its total annual wine production is about 27 million gallons, giving it a 13th place. Approximately 48% of its wine production is red or rose’ (only a little rose’), leaving 52% for white. The region produces 9 DOC wines. DOC stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, which may be translated as Denomination of Controlled Origin, presumably a high-quality wine and 1 DOCG white dessert wine, Ramandolo. The G in DOCG stands for Garantita, but there is in fact no guarantee that such wines are truly superior. Over 60% of Friuli wine carries the DOC or DOCG designation. Friuli is home to almost four dozen major and secondary grape varieties, about half white and half red.

Widely grown international white grape varieties include Pinot Grigio, often called Pinot Gris outside of Italy, Pinot Bianco, often called Pinot Blanc outside of Italy, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. The best known strictly Italian white varieties are Tocai Friulano and Verduzzo Fruilano, exemplified in the DOCG wine, Ramandolo.

Widely grown international red grape varieties include Merlot, grown in Fruili for well over one hundred years, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The best-known strictly Italian red variety is Refosco. Fruili’s candidate for grape variety with the most unusual name is Tazzelenghe, which means tongue cutter in the local dialect. While I have never tasted any wines based on this grape, I can guess that they won’t be delicate.

Before we reviewing the Friuli wine and cheese that we were lucky enough to purchase at a local wine store and a local Italian food store, here are a few suggestions of what to eat with indigenous wines when touring this beautiful region.

Start with Cjalzons con Ripieno di Cioccolata e Spinaci, Chocolate and Spinach Filled Pasta with Smoked Ricotta. Then try Capesante alla Triestina, Broiled Scallops and Oysters with Watercress. And for dessert, indulge yourself with Strucolo di Ricotta, Ricotta Strudel. If you are like me, you think of Austria or Hungary, when you hear the word Strudel.

Wine Reviewed Pighin Pinot Grigio 2005 Grave del Fruili 12.5% alcohol about $13.50

I’ll start by quoting the marketing materials. “Toast, white flowers and mineral on the involved nose, this light-bodied white is all about zing, verve, and refreshing citrus flavors. Some notes of pit fruit, but mainly built to match up to seafood. Try with friends and grilled scampi drizzled with lemon juice.”

I first tasted this wine with sesame seed covered filo dough stuffed with hamburger meat and accompanied by zucchini in a tomato sauce. It was pleasantly acidic and fruity providing lemon and other citrus flavors. I liked it with a chocolate cake labeled strudel which intensified the wine’s acidity. I don’t think that any Friuli residents would have called that cake strudel, but this review is about the wine, and not the cake.

My next food pairing was with whole-wheat pasta in a spicy meat sauce. The wine stepped up to the plate and handled the spice very well. It was nice and round. I finished this meal with out of season strawberries, in whose presence the wine became almost sweet.

With filet of sole poached in onions, a side of brown rice, and okra in a tomato sauce, the wine became more acidic and rounder. It was quite refreshing. It was a sweet, acidic companion to fresh pomegranates. It took on a nice acidity with pecan and caramel chocolate candy.

Montasio is a cooked, full-fat, semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk and aged for several months. It has a pungent smell and a strong, pasty taste. The Pinot Grigio was not outmatched by this powerful cheese. Strictly speaking, Asiago cheese does not come from the Friuli region, but its neighbors Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto. Once again, the wine changed its character to match this softer cheese.

This wasn’t a great wine, but it did go well with everything. I would most likely buy it again.

About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His wine website is You can reach him at


The Collio is a hilly area in the province of Gorizia on the border with Slovenia, which stretches from Dolegna del Collio and the Judrio stream to the Isonzo river and the surroundings of Gorizia.

The nature of the ground and its location, sheltered from the cold of the Julian Alps and warmed by the sun of the nearby Adraitic, yields a premium-quality wine area, among the finest and the most renowned wines in the world; that is the reason why the Collio has always represented a special area for winegrowing where the hills are covered by rows of vines following its gentle slopes, among woodlands, meadow grounds, castles and small churches.

Cormons, has always been considered the hearth of Collio, a lively and ordered village, and above all it is proud of its historical and artistic heritage; its wine bars, wineries and wine cellars at the foot of the Quarin Mount are a landmark for all food – and – wine lovers.

Among the typical wines of the Collio area, the white wines are predominant (Pinot, Tocai and Sauvignon above all), even if the red ones are also renowned (Cabernet and Merlot).

Among the typical products there are sausages and cured meats: ham, salami, cotechino (a kind of boiled sausage) cakes: gubana (a roll of puff pastry filled with nuts, raisins, candied citrus peel, pine nuts and walnuts), strudel (with apples, plums or cherries), palacinke (jam or chocolate-filled pancakes), and furthermore delicious soups, bread dumplings, game meat and “patate in tecia” (sliced potatoes roasted in a pan), just to focus on the mix of Friulian Slovene and Austrian traditions.

Trieste to see…

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.


Trieste San Giusto – Photo © Renato Esti

Trieste is set between sea and hills and looms on the horizon white and bright over the blue of sea and sky. It seems like a final Mediterranean daydream to everyone who goes by this northern stretch of Adriatic coast.

Trieste streets follow one another and their exquisite palaces of great architectonic value recall the extraordinary development that the city enjoyed during the nineteenth century.


  • Civico Museo di Storia Naturale, Museo Sveviano e Biblioteca Civica “A. Hortis”
    Piazza A. Hortis, 4 – Trieste – Tel. 040 6758658
    This building is home to three institutes: the first houses an important entomological collection, the second one hosts a documentation center and the third contains 420.000 documents among volumes, papers, magazines and manuscripts.
  • Civico Museo della Risiera di S. Sabba
    Via G. Palatucci, 5 – Trieste – Tel. 040 826202
    It is a national monument commemorating the tragic events of the Second World War.
  • Castello e Parco di Miramare
    Viale Miramare -Trieste –  Tel. 040 224143
    National museum, residence of Archduke Maximilian of Hasburg and his wife Charlotte.


  • Piazza dell’Unita’ d’Italia
    (arch. G. Bruni, 1879)
    One of the biggest and most spectacular squares opened onto sea, transformed in 1999 by the Arch. B. Huet.
  • Cattedrale di San Giusto
    Piazza della Cattedrale, 3 – Trieste – Tel. 040 309666
    (XIV secolo)
    It was built by the joining of two earlier basilicas of the 14th century.
Castello di Duino


  • Castello di Duino
    Duino Aurisina – Trieste – Tel. 040 208120 Fax 040 208022
    It is a stately home which dates back to 1389 where once lived the Princes of Torre and Tasso.
  • Grotta Gigante
    Borgo Grotta Gigante / Sgonico – Tel. e Fax 040 327312
    The largest tourist cave in the world.

Where to stay in Trieste

There are high quality hotels, apartments, condo hotels and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”.

Trieste – History of the City

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Trieste – Photo ©

Discussing the origins of Trieste, historians sometimes set aside their customary academic rigor and cite ancient legends which tell that the city was founded by Tergeste, a friend of Jason and his Argonauts, who decided to make a landfall here. Other stories make mention of Noah, no less, and his son Japhet, who landed on these shores to create the kingdom of Japhidia on the Carso. Trieste was in fact founded by proto-Veneto tribes, as is witnessed by the prehistoric fortified settlements (defended by walls built with cut stone) constructed on San Giusto hill a number of Carso hilltops. But while – myths aside – there is clear pre-historical evidence as to the origin of the city itself, the same cannot be said of its name. There are two theories. The first has it that the Latin name Tergeste derives from Ter-egestum, meaning thrice-built, and according to the second name is formed of the Indo-European root Terg (market) and the Veneto suffix Este, meaning town or city.

Be that as it many, it was the settlement’s geographical position that determined its destiny. Realizing the strategic importance of these lands, the Romans sent their legions to conquer it and in so doing defeated the Istri, who were allied to Carthage. Having finally achieved victory in a demanding campaign, the Romans left a number of bases on the Carso and on the hill that dominated the settlement. This was the ancient Tergeste, a Roman colony that came into being in or about 178 B.C.

Though its induction into the Latin world brought about further warfare with neighboring tribes, it also led to commercial prosperity, cultural refinement, urban development and the construction of road communications, all of which started under the reign of Octavian (about 30 B.C.) and was consolidated during the imperial period. Christianity, which reached this part of the world late in the 1st century, was subject to persecution. One of its martyrs was Giusto, who later became patron saint of Trieste. With the Barbarian invasions that followed the fall of the Western Empire, the city name under the rule of the Goths, who were subsequently driven out by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian.

Then, after years of conflict and confusion, the Lomabrd razed Trieste to the ground. Its reconstruction was accompanied by the formation of the Numerous tergestinus, a military body organized for civil defense. One bright feature of the dark centuries which followed was the signing in 804 of the Placito del Risano, a decree by means of which the people of Trieste and Istria attempted to protect themselves from the mayhem and violence of the times. Meanwhile, local bishops were acquiring increasing temporal power as barons under the Carolingian system, and the figure of the Chamberlain (Gastaldo, an official elected by the people or appointed by a bishop) appeared in the context of burgeoning Venetian power. The bishop-barons tried to ward off the tide of Venetian expansion, but in 1202 Doge Enrico Dandolo took Trieste and forced it to swear allegiance to Venice. With the help of the Patriarchs of Aquileia Trieste rebelled against this dominion, which gave rise to a long series of wars between Venice and the Patriarchate.

Though the city was retaken by the Venetians, after the War of Chioggia Trieste finally gained recognition of its freedom. Since Venice continued to pose a threat, however, in 1382 Trieste placed itself under the protection of Duke Leopold of Austria, beginning a political relationship that was to last for more than five centuries. This was the final act of a stage in Medieval history marked by obscure intrigues such as the plot hatched by Marco Ranfo, a 14th century notable who tried to overthrow the Municipality and found a Signory, and the rise of a patrician class made up of 13 families, which actually ran the city for centuries. After a brief period of Spanish domination in the 16th century, and a series of disasters such as pestilence and famine, in the 18the century Trieste finally saw a new horizon. As the Habsburg Empire’s natural outlet to the sea, in 1719 Trieste was accorded the status of Free Port, which marked the beginning of a long period of prosperity for the city. The lifting of customs barriers brought large numbers of entrepreneurs and merchants from all over Europe and the Mediterranean area, which improved standards of living, stimulated urban development and gave rise to an unprecedented population increase.

Castello di Duino

The reign of Empress Maria Theresa saw the foundation and growth of great shipping (Lloyd Triestino) and insurance companies (Generali, RAS) as well as new industries, all of which contributed to remarkable economic development. At the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries Trieste was occupied for three relatively brief periods by Napoleon’s armies. In the second half of the 19th century the Italian Risorgimento stimulated the growth of irredentism in the city. This process culminated at the end of the First World War, which marked the disintegration for the Habsburg Mitteleuropa to which Trieste had belonged for centuries, and the return of Italian rule to the city (November 3rd 1918).

Following Italy’s withdrawal from the Second World War on September 8th 1943, Trieste and Venezia Giulia were incorporated under the direct government of the Third Reich. But German defeat and the end of the war did not produce a solution to the area’s delicate position. After a 40-day occupation by Tito’s Yugoslav army in May 1945, Trieste spent no fewer than nine years under an Anglo-American military government before an international compromise was agreed to establish Italy’s eastern border, which had been subject to Yugoslav territorial claims. After years of tension and uncertainty with regard to its future, Trieste was handed over to the Italian government on October 26th 1954.

Where to stay in Trieste

There are high quality hotels, apartments, condo hotels and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. Get the ebook for the complete content.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Holiday in Friuli Venezia Giulia to discover the most authentic mountains

The Alps in Friuli Venezia Giulia: from the forest in Tarvis – the largest in Italy and among the oldest ones in Europe – through the green Carnic valleys to the Natural Park of Friuli Dolomites, mountain lovers can live a natural experience, far away from noises, crowds and the ubiquitous technology thanks to the respect of nature and to environmental protection.

A well-structured system of paths and mountain huts offers hikers unforgettable moments. Practice walls, trekking paths and routes making it possible to observe the many animals living undisturbed in these mountains are the ideal ingredients of a natural and active holiday.

Friuli Mountains

Among the main holiday areas: the Tarvis area, the Carnic area (with Sauris, Forni di Sopra, Ravascletto, Arta Terme, Forni Avoltri and Sutrio) as well as Piancavallo with the mountains around Pordenone, among which the untouched Valcellina.

Here you can find the authentic and genuine spirit of the mountains, enjoy forgotten tastes, sleep in the so-called albergo diffuso (typical holiday apartments linked to each other) and experience festivals well-rooted in the local traditions.

In every season you can practice any kind of sport (mountain bike, horse-riding, paragliding, fishing as well as skiing and other snow sports in winter, of course), tourists can enjoy courses, entertainment activities, shows and various events, folk festivals and wine and dine events.

All this helps you spend pleasant holidays in one of the purest environments of the Alps offering at the same time high-level facilities and an excellent quality-price ratio.

Among other things, tourists simply have to try out the “borderless” offers of the Tarvis area (creating a single international holiday area with Slovenia and Carintia) as well as discover the villages on the Carnic slopes with their art treasures and the delicious mountain cuisine.

The crowning glories of Friuli Venezia Giulia are its two regional parks: the Park of Friuli Dolomites (37 thousand hectares from the Valcellina to the Alta Valle del Tagliamento) and the Park of Julian Prealps (with the charming Valle di Resia), the Eastern boundary of which is marked by the massif of Mount Canin with the only regional glacier.

Five Things To Do In Friuli Venezia Giulia

Sauris – Photo ©

Friuli-Venezia Giulia is one of the 5 beautiful regions of Italy and is famous for the delicious cuisines, cakes and wine. This place is well known for the beautiful ALPS Mountains. This region also offers various in door and out door actives like basket ball, skiing, exotic spas and horse riding.

Being surrounded with the sea this region is also famous for the beautiful beaches. Italy rentals are very popular in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region.

The first and most important thing tourists can do, tasting the delicious cuisines and various varieties of wine in this region. Friuli-Venezia Giulia is world famous for its wine such as vino Del Collio, Verduzzo di, Picolit, Tocai and Pinot. People specially come to this region for its wide variety and ultimate wine.

When it comes to food tourists will find Polenta a famous dish on every restaurant and resorts of this region. This dish is basically made of rabbit and served with the salted cheese known as frico. Tourists can also taste this cheese with butter. Soups of this region are also liked by the people as it is assorted with delicious species.

Nothing is better than relaxation during the holidays so for that this region has the best thing to do such as spas and sauna bath. Tourists will find these activities in every sea side, resorts and hotels. Friuli-Venezia Giulia is very famous for the excellent spas as the herbs used during this are extraordinary and unique. The best place where tourist can enjoy the spa is Grado Spa Station which is famous for the old herbalist tradition.

In addition to this spa tourists can also enjoy the sand bath and hot water swimming pool which makes it more attractive tourist’s attraction. If you want to enjoy the sight seeing along with the spa then this region also offers you Lignano spa station which is newly constructed at the foot of ALPS Mountains and equipped with the modern facilities.

In Friuli Venezia Giulia tourists can also find places where skiing is done for adventure. There are many downhill slopes for those tourists who like adventure and want to run with the thrill of fast speed. This region also offers various small slopes, if tourists want to ski for relaxation.

Sella Nevea and the Julian Alps are well known ski areas which caters the different categories of skiers and new learners. Tourists can also hire the ski instructors and learn skiing easily. Besides skiing tourist can also enjoy various ice sports such as ice skating, snow boarding and the traditional dish of Friuli Mountains Sauris ham with the white wines.

Other thing to do is exploring the Art and Culture of this region. The best place of this region is city of Pordenone which is constructed almost 300 years ago and famous for its beautiful churches and decorative constructions. This is the city where tourists can feel the fragrance of the real heritage of this region.

Last but not the least; tourists can also enjoy the Lignano River which is famous for various water sports. This river is always occupied with numerous surfers and sailors and it the best place for kids also as it is equipped with the volley ball players. Families and couples come to the Friuli Venezia Giulia region of Italy to rent holiday homes and chalets and use it as a base to explore this beautiful region.


Andrew Gibson is M.D of Direct Holiday Bookings.

Where to stay in Sella Nevea

Hotels are available for reservation here.

Clauiano: Piéris and Clàps.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.


Though penalized by the provincial road that passes through it (a bypass to divert traffic to another road is scheduled for construction) and by a few small “villas” with an atypical terrace built around the historic center, overall Clauiano has maintained a precise identity.

The village has not been contaminated by that desolating anarchy of construction of apartment buildings and small factories – poor in spirit and in memory – which has erased traditions, culture and beauty from the rural Italian landscape. Not here, because it is the rocks and stones, the piéris and clàps, that speak. The decoration and the ambition of the doorways, the buildings of the rural life – the fogolâr, the foledôr, the granary – these are the many small traces left by history, which here is not that of great architectural achievements and big events, but rather that dictated by the impelling necessities of everyday life.

Clauiano villa Manin

There are two religious buildings. Just outside the village, secluded, is the Church of San Marco, originally built in the 14th century but extensively remodeled in the 16th century. It is has a single aisle and a semicircular apse, and has fragments of frescoes from the mid-14th cent.: amid the quiet of the country appear Apostles giving blessings, an Enthroned Madonna and Child, symbols of the evangelists, a tree of life – simple devotional images of a rural world that lived with a sense of community.

The present appearance of the Church of San Giorgio goes back to the 18th century, but the church´s origins are older. It has a longitudinal plan, with a single aisle and a polygonal apse. Inside there is a handsome 16th-century baptismal font attributed to Pietro da Carona.

Clauiano – Photo

In the historic center of Clauiano the oldest buildings go back to the 15th cent. and are located mostly near the Church of S. Giorgio and on Via Borgo S. Martino.

Buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries are more numerous. Their style is essentially that of the typical Friulian house: the main entrance facing the street, a splendid stone doorway and an inside courtyard. Each house has its own history, which can be best learned by going to see it.

Casa Gardellini, built in the 15th cent. and considered the oldest in town, has a white and red decoration with diamond patterns on its façade.

Villa Ariis represents the typical 18th-century master´s residence in the Veneto-Friuli area, composed of a house, rustic outbuildings and a large vegetable garden enclosed by a crenellated wall with two stone columns. The façade has a stone portal, over which is a mullioned window and, above that, the Lion of St. Mark. The two stone patere at the sides of the first story are perhaps the remembrance of ancient libations to a deity.

The complex of buildings that form Casa Palladino is situated inside a typical 18th-century Friulian yard that preserves its original characteristics. The layout is in the shape of a Z, on two courtyards, on which there are houses, outbuildings, and the master´s house. Particular decorative elements include the typical Venetian-style fireplace, the colonnade of the loggia, the sundial on the façade, the stone column that supports the portico in front of the stable, the stone basins of the sink and in the yards, and the fireplaces in the granary used to warm the rooms where silkworms were raised.

Clauiano Borge – Photo

The nearby Casa Bellotto was built in 1791 and has an exposed brick façade and an arched stone doorway. The complex of the Bosco residence was transformed into its current state in the 18th cent.; the façades of the rustic buildings have geometric decorations and writing from the 16th century.
Casa Foffani is a townhouse from the 1800s with 18th-century stuccoed ceilings. The rustic buildings were used in the 1700s for making and storing wine (which is still done today), tobacco, and grain for raising silkworms.

Villa Manin is a fine 18th-century residence of a noble family of the Friulian plain. It belonged to one of the most important families of Venice, known also for its stately villa in Passariano, and was a large production center, as can be seen by the buildings used for agricultural purposes, including the foledôr, the enormous wine cellar next to the main residence. The villa is classical in style, and is preceded by an “honor court.”

Here, as elsewhere – Casa Menotti, Casa de Checo, Casa Marcuzzi Zanuttini, Casa Zof Piano – the splendid portals and stone-framed windows bear witness to the dignity of the place and the people.

Musetto e brovada – Photo

The local products

Honey produced using traditional methods, organic spelt and produce, organic whole meal flours from the Antico Molino Moras mill.This is the right place for visiting wineries, where one can enjoy white and red “Friuli Aquileia” DOC wines.

The local dishes

Musetto e brovada, i.e. spiced pork sausage (cotechino) served with turnips fermented in marc.

After about two months the turnips take on a pinkish color, and are ready to be grated and sautéed with onions and lard.

The cotechino is boiled separately and when cooked, sliced over the brovada.

Poffabro: the magic of stone and wood.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.


According to the painter Armando Pizzinato, Poffabro is the most rational and imaginative example of spontaneous architecture in our Pre-Alps.

Its “magic force” lies in the enchanting effect of the exposed hewn stones and the wooden balconies, architectural elements that are plain and austere, but nonetheless give a sense of intimacy and welcome in the enclosed courtyards, which are reached through a narrow arch, or in the long rows of houses from the 1500-1600s.

Not even the 1976 earthquake was able to affect the three- and four-storey houses built in local sandstone or limestone, with the wide wooden balconies with vertical protections at the sides, joined together as if seeking protection.  The village’s charm lies in the fact that it has no pompous, aristocratic buildings, and in the humble reality of pilasters, stairs, balconies and stone arches in perfect harmony with the surrounding nature.


The peace and silence here have attracted a number of artists in recent years, enchanted by the simplicity and the absence of magniloquence. Poffabro and the surrounding area cannot boast, for example, of great churches with marvelous art treasures, but there are votive shrines scattered just about everywhere and minor little churches born from a strong – if perhaps ingenuous – devotional need, sometimes connected with unusual episodes, such as the site chosen for the building of the oratory of San Floriano in Crociera (15th cent.), supposedly indicated by a flock of sheep that stopped there. Thus also the Church of San Nicolò, first and foremost the sign of an undeniable faith, demonstrated by its anomalous size compared with that of the other buildings in the town. The present appearance of the church, with its majestic white façade, goes back to the late 1600s, but it has been restored and changed many times, duly recorded in the church registers, due to frequent earthquakes and tremors.

Poffabro presepe

The poverty of the area was such that the sacred church ornaments were brought in from outside (from Concordia Sagittaria in the province of Venice, as reported in a document from 1587) and were added to the few objects acquired through great sacrifice by the people. The church has sculptures in wood by Giacomo Marizza and a 17th-century wooden altar.

Near Poffabro is the Sanctuary of the Beata Vergine della Salute, built in 1873 in Pian Delle Merie in a clean neoclassical style.

Scarpeti festival – Photo webrond

The local products

The scarpeti of Poffabro, velvet slippers handmade by the last remaining artisans. Wooden objects and baskets are also made.

The local dishes

The cuisine of the valleys in the Pordenone area is simple and humble, but seasoned with aromatic mountain herbs.

A typical dish is frico, a cheese preserved in brine and pan-fried; also appetizing are brovada and muset (a turnip-based dish) and many kinds of game specialties.

The sausages are excellent, and lastly there is pitina, a traditional mixture of seasoned ground meats that is smoked and can be eaten raw or cooked.

A short journey into the cuisine of Friuli Venezia Giulia

Musetto e brovada – Photo

The dishes that you can eat in Italian region Friuli Venezia Giulia mirror the history, the culture, the habits and the morphology of this wonderful region.

If you happen to travel to one of the beautiful cites of Italian region Friuli Venezia Giulia, do not miss the chance to stop off in a restaurant to experience the tasty cuisine of this region. Italy is well-known all over the world also for its regional cuisines, each one being different from the others and rich in local dishes and wines. Friuli Venezia Giulia does not make an exception, and with its simple but tasty dishes it can satisfy all tastes.

Like all the Italian regional cuisines, the cuisine of Friuli Venezia Giulia, too, is the result of the history and features of the region, of the contaminations that there have been through history and of the products that the land can give. As a result, the typical dishes of Friuli Venezia Giulia are influenced by the near lands, like the region Veneto, but also by Austria, Hungary and Slovenia, and since this region overlooks the sea but also has mountains and rich inland parts, in Friuli Venezia Giulia you can find both fish and meat and dishes prepared with the land products, like potatoes, turnips and other vegetables growing on plain. In Friuli Venezia Giulia you will find a wide choice of dishes, in most cases rustic but still very appetizing!

One of the main dishes of the cuisine of this region is soup, which can be prepared in many different ways: from consommé to potages, the choice is really wide. To the most famous ones belongs the bean soup, which is very tasty and traditionally cooked in crock pots with lard and various spices. Other essential features of the cuisine of Friuli Venezia Giulia are sauces (from mustard to jam), heritage of the culture of the lands of the North, like Austria and Hungary, but we must also speak about dishes like “polenta”, bread or pumpkin dumplings, the “muset”, i.e. a special type of large pork sausage, and the “gubana”, the main cake of the region prepared with puff pastry filled with dried fruit and spices. In Fiuli Venezia Giulia all dishes can be accompanied by excellent wines, which have made this region famous: wines like Picolit, Cabernet Sauvignon, Istrian Malvasia, Tocai, Refosco and many more certainly need no introduction.

The varied morphology of the region as well as its different local traditions give you the possibility to taste many different dishes in different cities. In Grado, for example, you can taste excellent fish dishes, like the “brodetto gradese”, a special soup; in Trieste, a cauldron of Austrian, Hungarian, Slavonic, oriental and Jewish influences you are really spoilt for choice: you must try “cevapcici”, which are spicy sausages, and poppy lasagna. In Udine you will find dishes like rice and beans, “bisna” (polenta with beans and sauerkrauts) and cialzons, i.e. ravioli with aromatic herbs, while in Gorizia you can eat dishes like Hungarian goulash and potato dumplings filled with prunes.

In conclusion, the cuisine of Friuli Venezia Giulia can be described as a varied cuisine that can meet all tastes.


This article was written by Francesca Tessarollo with help from ristorante ricette.

I Love Travelling To The Unknown Italy – Trieste

Trieste Canal – Photo ©

If you are planning to tour Europe, you should consider the Friuli-Venezia Giuli region of northeastern Italy, bordering on Austria and Slovenia. For simplicity’s sake we abbreviate the region’s full name to Friuli. This lovely region may be an ideal vacation spot. You can get classic Italian food and other specialties, and wash it all down with fine local wine. While Friuli is by no means undiscovered by tourists you usually won’t be fighting crowds to see what you want. Like most regions of Italy, it has belonged to many nations over the years. The region remains multicultural, an exceptional mixture of Italian, Austrian, and Slavic influences. This article explores Trieste, Friuli’s capital. A companion article examines several other attractions in this beautiful region.

Trieste, with a population of about two hundred thousand, is the region’s largest city. Trieste was definitely part and parcel of Mittleleuropa (Central Europe) as the major port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Trieste only joined Italy in 1954. One can easily imagine that with such a unique history Trieste is quite a unique place to visit. It is.

As soon as you arrive in Trieste you’ll notice its ubiquitous coffee houses. Among the best known is the Antico Caffe San Marco. As befits its internationality, Trieste is home to a variety of historic religious buildings representing many faiths. The Serbian-Orthodox church of the Holy Trinity and Saint Spyridion, which was built in the mid-Nineteenth Century shows a strong Byzantine influence. Go inside for a look at its beautiful frescoes and icons. The Israelite Temple of Trieste, just over a century old, is Italy’s largest synagogue. The Trieste Cathedral dedicated to the city’s patron saint, San Guisto (Saint Justus) who was martyred at the beginning of the Fourth Century, was initially built in the Sixth Century on Roman ruins. It is adjacent to a castle of the same name. Walk on its ramparts for an excellent view of the city and its surroundings. There is no shortage of other churches and museums to visit.

The Gratta Gigante (Giant Cave) located some 9 miles (15 kilometers) north of Trieste is the biggest tourist cave in the world. Its main room is over 160 feet (100 meters) high, almost three times as long, and about 100 feet (65 meters) wide. It’s large enough to contain Saint Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, the largest religious building in the world.

What about food? Trieste cuisine is definitely international. Its foreign influences include Hungary for meat and fish goulash, Austria for coffee and a wide variety of pastries, Yugoslavia for grilled meat, and Germany for wurst and sauerkraut. There are many local Italian specialties such as potato, bread and plum gnocchi (dumplings), pasticcio and crespelle (filled pasta envelopes), potato and spinach rolls. And you will want to check out the fine Friuli wines.


Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine French or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His major wine website is which links to his other web sites.

Where to stay in Trieste

Hotels, B&Bs, condo hotels and apartments are available for reservation here.

Wine importers: The Friuli method for the viticulture and winemaking

The winemaking history of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia has been strongly influenced by the history of the Friuli and Venezia Giulia regions that were important stops along the Mediterranean spice route from the Byzantine Empire to the trading center of Venice. During the Middle Ages, travelers passing through this area brought grapewines from Macedonia and Anatolia. Under the Habsburgreign, the French varieties grape varieties were introduced. Prior to the phylloxera epidemic over 350 grape varieties were grown in the region. During the 19th century, the region served as a major Mediterranean port for the Austro-Hungarian Empire which installed a Teutonic influence in the people of the area.

Following the phylloxera epidemic, winemaking in the Friuli region was very muted and did not begin to garner much attention till the 1970s. The international popularity of Pinot Grigio in the 1980s and 1990s help to change the dynamic of Friuli-Venezia Giulia winemaking. Prior to this time vineyard owners sold their grapes in bulk to co-ops and négociant-like wineries that would blend the grapes together.

Friuli has built a glowing reputation for white wines made by relatively small wineries and estates. The whites had long been dominated by Tocai Friulano, a variety related to Sauvignon Vert or Sauvignonasse. But a European court has ruled that Tocai must change its name so as not to be confused with the Tokay or Tokaji of Hungary—which, curiously, is the name of a wine but not a vine.

Friuli’s Malvasia Istriana, Ribolla Gialla and Verduzzo also can be intriguing, as can such admirable foreign varieties as Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco and the ever popular Pinot Grigio. The Friulian style in whites favors the exquisitely fresh and fruity, with delicate fragrance and flavor that express clear varietal character. Many producers consider their whites to be too pure and linear to benefit from wood aging. But there are a growing number of exceptions to the rule, in white wines that gain depth and complexity from blending, oak aging and other artistic touches.

The best vineyards in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia are located on the south facing slopes of the Alps foothills in the southern part of the region where it can benefit from the most direct sunlight to go along with the night time cool breezes from the Adriatic. The vineyard yields of the Friuli are among the lowest in Italy averaging 3.5 tons an acre. This is a result of the Friuli quest for high quality over quantity in their wines and also a reason why these wines tend to be more costly than other Italian whites.

While white wine dominates Friuli wine production, nearly 40% of the production is red with Merlot being the leading red wine grape. In the 1960s, winemakers of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia pioneered using modern techniques for white wine making in Italy by quickly getting juice off the grape skins and taking extra measures to prevent oxidation. Through Italy these techniques came to be known as the metodo friulano or “Friuli method”. Most Friuli wines are made in varietal form, with most appellations in the region requiring wines to be made with 100% of one grape, but distinguished blends are also made. The generally philosophy of Friuli winemakers (especially in regards to their white wines) is to emphasis the grape’s pure fruitiness and acidity without the masking affects of oak. To this extent, the Friulians more closely resemble the Alsatians and winemakers of the Loire Valley than their counterparts in Burgundy, Spain and other parts of Italy.[

In recent years there has been a revival of Orange wine production in the Friuli which involves leaving the white wine grapes in extended maceration with their grape skins. The resulting wines have a hint of color pigments that gives it an orange hue.

Friulian reds were traditionally light and fruity, best to drink within two to five years of the harvest. That style applied to the predominant Merlot and Cabernet Franc, as well as to Pinot Nero and the worthy native variety of Refosco. But certain winemakers have heightened structure and nuance by blending Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other varieties and aging the wine in small oak barrels.

Friulians have shown an encouraging tendency to revive varieties that had been neglected. Foremost among the legends is Picolit, a white that ranked as one of Europe’s finest sweet wines around 1800, when it was favored by the Hapsburgs and other royal families. Despite low yields, Picolit has been coming back. So has Verduzzo, notably in Ramandolo. Ribolla Gialla, a native of Collio, has benefited from new methods that make it into a dry white of character.

Among the reds are Refosco, also known as Terrano, which can be made either light and fruity or into a durable wine for aging. Though rare and odd, Franconia and Tazzelenghe make distinctive reds, but perhaps the Pignolo and Schioppettino varieties have the most intriguing potential.

Sparkling wines represent a growing field, as producers bring not only choice Pinot and Chardonnay grapes into their cuvées but also Ribolla for fine spumante by the classical and charmat methods.



Trieste art and culture

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Trieste in the evening – Photo © Gabriella Marino

The City of the Music and Theatre
Trieste boasts an established tradition in music in general, but equally long-standing is its passion for all types of theatre production, confirmed every year by the remarkable number of tickets sold in proportion to the population. Many public and private institutions organise programmes of concerts and performances in the city’s theatres, churches, museums and other venues, some of which are open-air. The main center of production is the Fondazione Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi, which stages performances in the splendid Verdi Theatre and the smaller Sala Tripcovich. In two centuries of history the Teatro Nuovo, opened on April 21st 1801 with Giovanni Simone Mayr’s opera Ginevra di Scozia and subsequently renamed the Teatro Grande, has played host, among other things, to the premieres of Giuseppe Verdi’s operas Il Corsaro and Stiffelio, in 1848 and 1850 respectively.

A few days after Verdi’s death in 1901 the local authorities decided to rename the theatre after him, making it the first in the world to be so named. The Fondazione Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi, which comprises a symphony orchestra, choir, corps de ballet and chamber music groups, now offers a wide range of operas, light operas, ballets and symphonic and chamber music concerts. The opera and ballet season lasts from November to May, presenting eight operas and three classical and modern ballet productions. From mid-June to mid-August the Fondazione holds the International Festival of Light Opera. The only one of its kind in Italy, it takes pride of pace in the Fondazione and the city alike. The works staged are Viennese, Italian, French and Spanish. The symphonic seasons, in May, September and October, present double performances of ten or so concerts featuring internationally renowned conductors and soloists. Sunday mornings also feature “aperitif” concerts with the Theatre’s instrumental groups or other chamber music ensembles. Another important musical institution is the Societè dei Concerti, a private non-profit-making body in activity for over 70 years which organises chamber music recitals from November to April evenings at the Politeama Rossetti.

Chamber music concerts are also staged at the Auditorium of the Museo Revoltella, where at the various times of the year a number of bodies organise short seasons mainly featuring young concert artists and international prizewinning musicians. Devotional music is presented by the Cappella Civica in San Giusto Cathedral during Sunday mass and on other Catholic festivities. The Cappella also organises concerts during Advent and Lent, and in September assists in the organisation of an organ music festival. In no way does Trieste neglect contemporary music. Every November the Associazione “Musica Libera” organises the Festival Luigi Nono. And an important contribution to the city’s music scene is the free summer evening concerts performed by the woodwinds of the Civica Orchestra di Fiati outside the Harbourmaster’s Office on the seafront, in addition to their annual concert of January 6th. A chamber music season is also offerede by the Slovene Music School, the Glasbena Matica, presenting a selection of musicians from Slav countries. Concerts by many Italian singer-songwriters are held at the Politeama Rossetti and the Sala Tripcovich, as well as in the capacious venues of the Palazzo dello Sport and the Nereo Rocco football stadium.

The Teatro Miela acts as a special venue for alternative types of music: electronic, ethnic, funky, jazz, mystic, pop, tribal – the most eclectic and innovative forms performed by musicians from all over the world. A rich selection of drama is also produced by the city’s three public theatre companies. The Teatro Stabile del Friuli Venezia Giulia (Repertory Theatre), based at the Politeama Rossetti, plays host between October and May to a varied selection of its own and guest productions, with works ranging from the great Greek classics to 20th-century plays, in addition to musicals, modern dance and the big spectacles of the new musical theatre. Interesting contemporary drama productions are also performed in the compact spaces of the new Sala Bartoli. The Repertory company of the Teatro Stabile la Contrada, based at the Teatro Cristallo, specialises in comedy theatre, with a number of productions in local dialect. The Slovene Repertory Theatre – Slovensko Stalno Gledalisce, founded in 1903 – is part of the Offspring Project, an association of European minority theatres. From December to April it presents a varied programme of drama productions, acted for the most part in Slovene. Every summer the Roman amphitheatre, a number of squares, the waterfront and other city spaces are transformed into new stages of various sizes for the presentation of all kinds of music, theatre and dance productions ranging from the most traditional and popular to the alternative and avant-garde.

Trieste Canal – Photo ©

The City of Books
Twentieth-century Trieste produced writers and poets of international standing and renown. A series of circumstances made the city a special vantage point for the observation and analysis of the problems of contemporary amn – his losses and his torments- and their consequent translation into psycological sensitivity and poetic expression. Trieste has always generated individuals in search of their raison d’etre. Here, identity has to constructed personally because the one an individual is born with does not include the certainty of belonging to a territory with its own rules and traditions. Scipio Slataper, the brevity of whose life deprived the city of a crystalline intellect, as well as a writer who had pinpointed the peculiarities of his birthplace, wrote, “Trieste is a place of transition – geographical, historical, cultural and commercial – that is to say a place of struggle.

Everything in Trieste is dual or triple, starting with the flora and finishing with ethnicity”. Analytical and introspective research run through the work of Svevo and Saba alike. The very names of these writers make up a sort of manifesto. Italo Svevo was the nom de plume of Ettore Schmitz, a Jew of German origin who chose a name that would reflect his belonging to two cultures (“Svevo” is the Italian for “Schwabian”). Umberto Saba, son of Ugo abramo Poli and Rachele Coen, decided on a pseudonym in honour of his beloved nursemaid Beppa Sabaz. Scipio is a most italian – in fact a Latin – name which went with the Slovene surname Slataper. None of them was well received by the critics of the time – they were different from their Italian contemporaries in terms of both content and form. They all had to wait for domestic recognition. Italo Svevo was born in Trieste on December 19th 1861 and died following a road accident on September 13th 1928. He gained critical acclaim abroad before being accepted in Italy, partly as a result of the “spurious” quality of his language, which made the limpidity of his narrative difficult to appreciate. Only well after publication did A life, Senility and

The Conscience of Zeno, to name only the most successful of his works, find the place they deserve in the 20th-century literary firmament. Scipio Slataper was born in Trieste on July 14th 1888 and died on December 3rd 1915 on the Italian front line at Podgora. His My Carso analyses Trieste’s relationship with its Slovene hinterland and the cultural peculiarities deriving from it. Umberto Saba was born in Trieste on March 9th 1883 and died in Gorizia on August 25th 1957. His poetry, whose finest expressions is Il Canzoniere, draws heavily on his own life experience in the formulation of an introspection which verges on psychoanalysis. The baton of this analysis, and an awareness that a configuration of ungovernably changing factors may always call human destiny into question, especially for a border people, was taken up in the second half of the century by Fulvio Tomizza, who died in Trieste in 1999. He was born on January 26th 1935 in Materada, in Istria – once Austrian, then Italian, subsequently Yugoslav and now in Croatia. He brought his lucid awareness to the torment of the people who have lived in these lands. Materada, The Girl from Petrovia and The Acacia Wood, indeed his work as a whole, stand as an attempt to find dialogue going beyond ethnic, social and politi cal differences.

Civic Museums
The Civic Museums of Trieste are made up of a series of museums of different types, conserving records of local history and culture. With documents telling of the city’s past, objects which belonged to far-sighted collectors, exemplifying the tastes and styles of an epoch, architectural constructions bearing witness to particular historical moments and the popular imagination of an age, together they stand as an important body of material for acquiring a knowledge of the city. The Civic Museum of History and Art is located in Via della Cattedrale. Established in the 19th century with the aim of collecting local historical and cultural material, it houses archaeological objects from prehistoric and protohistoric times, an Egyptian collection, a collection of Greek vases and rooms given over to Ancient Rome.

Annexed to the Museum is the Stone Monument Garden, whose natural greenery is an ideal setting for the cultural events held there on summer evenings. It houses Roman epigraphs, monuments and sculptures and a tiny neo-Classical temple with a cenotaph dedicated to Winckelmann. The Captain’s Garden conserves medieval and modern sculptures, plinths and inscriptions. In the nearby Castle of San Giusto is the Castle Civic Museum, housing a rich display of weapons obtained from private collections in the early 20th century. In the restored interior of the Lalio Bastion, April 4th 2001 saw the opening of the new Lapidario Tergestino, containing inscriptions, sculptures, bas-reliefs and architectural remains from Roman times. Since 1930 the Castle has been owned by the City Council, which has fitted it out as a tourist attraction and uses it for cultural events, shows and exhibitions. The Castle occupies a particularly privileged position from a panoramic point of view. The hill on which it stands gives a fine all-round view of the city and the surrounding area.

The Sartorio Civic Museum and the Morpurgo Civic Museum are named after prestigious local families who left their homes and furnishings to the City Council, which uses them to present images of the daily life of the hold Triestine bourgeoisie. The Sartorio is located in the 18th-century villa belonging to the family, which originally hailed from San Remo. On the first floor the entire interior design of the house is conserved intact: furniture, pictures, drawings, books, rugs, ornaments and other objects. The second floor houses a precious collection of drawings by Giambattista Tiepolo. There is also the Rusconi-Opuich Collection – about 2.500 pieces: paintings, drawings, prints, jewellery, fans, fabrics, objects in silver and pewter – and the Stavropulos Art Collection. A Greek-born captain of industry, collector and patron of the arts who lived in Trieste and Budapest, Socrates Stavropulos donated to the city his collection of paintings and sculptures ranging from antiquity to the 20th century. The Sartorio also boasts a collection of 18th-century Italian majolica, presented together with specimens of local and English production. The Morpurgo is sited in the apartment of a rich 19th-century family prominent in the local entrepeneurial class. Located on the second floor of a building in Via Imbriani designed in 1875 by Giovanni Berlam, it was bequeathed to the City Council in 1943 by Mario Morpurgo de Nilma, a refined collector.

It is a magnificent example of a sumptuous bourgeois residence; the interior spaces, all original, represent a range of styles typical of the second half of the 19th century. On the first floor of the same building is the Carlo Schmidl Foundation Theatrical Museum, formed from the legacy left by the music publisher after which it is named and supplemente by the archives of the Teatro Verdi and a number of other 19th- and 20th- century theatres and theatre companies. In terms of the documents and publications contained in it, in Italy it is secobd only to the museum of La Scala in Milan. It bears witness to the musical life of Trieste and its theatres from 1801 the present day with posters, programmes, photographs, prints, medals, pictures, drawings, designs, musical instruments, memorabilia, archive material and signed manuscripts.

A wealth of material is also contained in the specialised music and entertainment library, and the photograph and media libraries. The same building also houses the Civic Museum of Homeland History, which conserves documents, relics, paintings and prints telling of local folklore. In Piazza Oberdan is the Museum of the Risorgimento, housed in a purpose-built construction designed by Umberto Nordio in 1934 and decorated with frescoes by Carlo Sbiso’. It displays documents, photographs, uniforms, memorabilia and paintings related to the events and people who shaped the local Risorgimento, from the upheavals of 1848 to the First World War. On the building’s exterior is a memorial chapel dedictaed to Guglielmo Oberdan (a Triestine patriot hanged for an attempt on the life of Emperor Franz Josef in 1882) with a martyr’s cell and a monument sculpted by Attilio Selva.

Commemorating the tragic events of the Second World War is the Risiera di San Sabba, a rice-husking factory used after September 1943 as a prison, a transit camp for deportees destined for Germany and Poland, a depot for confiscated property and a detention and death campo of hostages, partisans, political prisoners and Jews. On April 4th 1944 it was fitted with a working gas oven.

In 1965 the Risiera was declared a National Monument by Decree of the President of the Republic and ten years later was rebuilt to a plan by Romano Boico, so becoming the Civic Museum of the Risiera di San Sabba. Also in the chain of city museums is the Diego de Henriquez Civic Museum of War for Peace, based on the collection of the Triestine scholar (1909-1974) after whom it is named. In addition to the ordnance and light arms on display is a huge library and a military, civilian and cartographic archive. It also has sections specialising in telecommunications, sound reproduction, seals, philately, military uniforms and headgear, prints, pictures and medals and a particularly broad-ranging photographic archive.

The recently opened Civic Museum of Oriental Art is the first in Friuli Venezia Giulia specifically devoted to this subject. Its collections and objects include Chinese and Japanese porcelain, a rich collection of Japanese silographs, travel memoirs, weapons, musical instruments and ethno-anthropological articles from all over the Asian continent, especially, China and Japan. Also part of the Civic Museum network is the Mitteleuropa Post and Telegraph Museum, opened in 1997 in the central Post Office building (designed by F. Setz). It displays records of the “postal culture” of the Region and the neighbouring countries in the central European area.

The Revoltella Museum
The Revoltella Museum is a major art gallery brought into being by the development of an institute founded in 1872 at the behest of Baron Pasquale Revoltella (1795-1869), who left his home and art collection to the city of Trieste in his Will.

Together with the building and its contents, he endowed the museum with a substantial income which enabled his legacy to be built up as the years passed, thus producing a noteworthy art collection in a relatively short time. By the end of the 19th century is comprised the work of celebrated Italian painters such as Hayez, Morelli, Favretto, Nono and Palizzi, in addition to that of many foreign artists. Over the last century the Museum has enjoyed further development, becoming a cultural institution of ever-increasing prestige and a major reference point for modern and contemporary art.

Not only does it boast the biggest names in 20th-century Italian art, including Casorati, Sironi, Carra’, Morandi, De Chirico, Manzù, Marini, Fontana and Burri, it has staged a series of exhibitions whose top-level academic content has made a significant contribution to enhancing appreciation of the art of the last two centuries. The Museum has also been able to axpand through the purchase of the nearby Palazzo Brunner, which was thoroughly restructured between 1968 and 1991 (the realisation of Carlo Scarpa’s design underwent several suspensions) to give it new facilities for the exhibition of modern art.

The Revoltella now occupies a huge complex of three buildings making up an entire block bounded by Piazza Venezia, Via Diaz, Via Cadorna and Via San Giorgio. The third building – Palazzina Basevi, whose entrance is on Via San Giorgio – houses the Museum’s management and administrative offices. Palazzo Revoltella, built in 1858 to a design by Friedrich Hitzig and lived in by Pasquale Revoltella until his death in 1869, has three floors joined by a huge spiral staircase, and conserves almost all the original furnishings and works of the Revoltella collection. The second floor gives access to the gallery of modern art, which displays a selection of over 200 19th- and 20th-century paintings.

The City of Science
Modern-day Trieste may be said to be a fullblown scientific capital. In the period following the Second World War a concerted effort was made to launch the city as an important center for the production of scientific knowledge for the benefit of developing countries but also, and significantly, the countries of central and eastern Europe. Starting from the premise that the most advanced science was essential to bring the Third World out of underdevelopment, in 1964 the International center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) was founded under the directorship of Professor Abdus Salam, a Pakistani who 15 years later was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.

The center is supported by two UN agencies, the International Atomic Energy Agency and UNESCO, but the bulk of its financing is provided by the Italian government. It has contributed to the advanced training of about 60.000 scientists, most of whom are from developing countries. Subsequent years saw the foundation of the International High School for Advanced Studies (Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati – SISSA), providing Englishtaught doctorate courses with an international staff and student body which has earned itself a reputation for scientific excellence.

The great strides made in molecular genetics in the 1970s led to the idea of establishing a center of excellence for research and training in genetic engineering and biotechnology with the aim of tackling the main problems besetting the Third World (food, health and economic development).
The International center of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) thus came into being in 1987. It is an autonomous international body whose head office and one of two laboratories are in Trieste (the other laboratory is in New Delhi).

This center, also financed mainly by the Italian government, plays host to 150 researchers and is another body to have earned a reputation for the quality of its scintific work. In the same years the Italian government also decided on Trieste as the location for a new national Synchrotron Light Laboratory dedicated to the production ox X-rays for the study of material structures and biomolecules. The founder and first President of ELETTRA, as it is now called, was Professor Carlo Rubbia, who also won a Nobel Prize for Physics in that period.

Together with the ICGEB and a range of other research bodies, ELETTRA is located in the AREA Science Park, the biggest facility of its kind in Italy. The local scientific panorama is completed by a range of long-established such as the University, the Astronomical Observatory of the National Institute of Astrophysics, the National Institute and Experimental Geophysics, the National Research Council Institute of Marine Science, the Marine Biology Laboratory and the interactive museum facility named Science center – Immaginario Scientifico. This complex of research institutions, some of which enojy great international standing, give Trieste the well-earned reputation as a capital of science.

Where to stay in Trieste

There are high quality hotels, apartments, condo hotels and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Italian Winter Holidays – Visit The Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region

You shouldn’t think of Italy as only a summer destination. There are so many things to do and to see during the Italian spring, fall, and even winter. This series of articles provides ideas for your Italian winter vacation, describing regional spectacles, tourist attractions, and special events, and sometimes skiing and other winter sports. Italian winter holidays have several advantages: You won’t fight the crowds, hotels and other accommodations are easier and cheaper to find, and every region has its own winter festivals. When we say winter, we mean November to February; spring comes early in Italy. Don’t look here for information about Italy’s marvelous Carnevale; we are planning a separate series covering regional Carnevale celebrations. Talk about planning; start organizing your Italian winter holidays now. Keep reading.

The Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeastern Italy borders on Austria and Slovenia. This lovely Alpine region shares more than a border with these two countries, Friuli is one of the most multicultural areas of Italy. You will taste and see the difference in Friuli’s food, wine, and festivals. Given its location don’t be surprised that there are lots of opportunities for excellent skiing. This article presents other winter attractions.

Trieste, the regional capital, holds its Christmas market, Fiera di San Nicolo, in the first week of December. Many Alpine towns and hamlets celebrate the Krampus festivities during the first two weeks of December. Young men disguised in hideous masks roam the streets and frighten little children. Unlike Saint Nicholas who gives gifts to good children, Krampus warns and even punishes the bad children. You’ll also see traditional Nativity Scenes everywhere in Friuli. New Year’s Eve festivals include Alessio’s Twenty Year Festival, La Koleda in Resia, and Cicigolis (Pulfero). Or you may prefer celebrating this holiday in Trieste at the seaside Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia (Italian Unity Square), which happens to be the largest seaside plaza in Europe. I can’t promise you good weather.

January 6 means the feast of Epiphany. Many of the towns and villages hold traditional, colorful celebrations. Gemona del Friuili hosts the Epiphany of the Thaler, a historical parade of dames and knights who accompany the town’s Mayor to the Duomo (Cathedral) where a special Mass is recited. Paularo hosts a bonfire called La Femenate. Tarcento’s Pignarul Giant Bonfire Festival dates back centuries. A venerable old man tells stories and at the top of a hill lights a bonfire. Legend says that the direction of the smoke serves to predict the nature of the year to come. Other local Epiphany events include Cividale’s Historical Pageant and Costume Parade and Gemona’s Messa del Tallero (Medieval Pageant).

In February the town of Pordenone holds a Costumed Kangaroo Court. Pracchiuso is well known for its celebration of St. Valentine’s Day. And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Friuli wines including Ramandolo.


Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but he prefers drinking fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods and people. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college.

Where to stay in Trieste

Hotels, apartments, condo hotels and villas are available for reservation here.

Friuli food

When talking about food and wine in Friuli Venezia Giulia special mention has to be made of San Daniele ham, famous and exported all over the world. The slightly smoked ham of  Saurisis also well known. Their secret lies in the patient technique with which they are prepared (passed down form generation to generation) and the air of the places where they are seasoned, the charming hills of S. Daniele and the Alpine valley of Sauris. Other characteristic hams (with a more limited production) include those of the Carso plateau and Cormons.

Cheeses are very tasty. Supreme among them is Montasio, whose authenticity is guaranteed by an origin and quality label. Fresh and smoked ricotta as well as mountain cheeses, with different degrees of seasonings, are produced in Carnia, while the characteristic salty cheese is produced in the Arzino, Cosa and Tramonti valleys and Tabor on the Carso.

Among cold cuts, still produced by local butchers: salamisoppressesausages and musot (often accompanied by brovada). Locally produced cakes include the gubana and strucoli of the Natisone valleys.

Various spirits are renowned, first and foremost grappa (some top-quality single-grape ones), from the most traditional to those flavored with herbs, berries and wild fruit.

Courtesy of Turismo Friuli Venezia Giulia

Trieste: San Giusto and the Capitoline Hill

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Trieste San Giusto – Photo © Renato Esti

Over a Roman propylaeum, which may have been the entrance to a memorial monument called ‘Tempio Capitolino’, a pyramid was found. With the symbols of the capitoline triad (Jupiter, Juno and Minerva) and a part of it was kept to build a large cultural room in the 6th century.

Today this room consists only of a mosaic on the floor which shows the limits of the paleochristian and was destroyed a few years after it was opened for worship by the lombard invaders.

Between the 9th and the 11th century, two basilicas were built over these ruins. The first was dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption and the second to Saint Giusto.

The latter had originally a central plan but was eventually made longer. In the 14th century the basilicas were joined together destroying the side-aisles to create one large aisle.

A simple facade was built asymmetrically with an elegant Gothic rose window dominating the structure.

The facade and the bell tower were decorated using local Roman stones.

Inside the basilica many things are worth seeing such as mosaics on the apse of the Lady of the Assumption and San Giusto by artists from Veneto dated XII-XIII century.

The little church of Saint John (old baptistery), dated 3rd century, is on the left. On the right, near the entrance to the museum, is Saint Michael of Carnale. These two churches complete the medieval impression of the yard.

On the square can be found the altar to remember the consecration and dismissal of weapons of the third Army. The column with the halberd and the memorial to the fallen soldiers of WWI.

During the 1930’s some remains were found from the Roman Forum with its civil basilica. The basilica had been constructed with two floors with columns and two apses.

After restoration the Castle of San Giusto was emphasized more. It has a long history because it was built on the remains of previous castles. Its construction took almost two centuries. Inside the castle one can find the central part, ordered by Federico III (1470-71), the round bastion (Venetian style 1508-1509), the Hoyos-lalio bastion (1553-61), the Pomis or floral bastion (1630).

All these structures represent the evolution in the centuries of defense buildings.

San Giusto – Photo © Blue_Valentine

Today the castle has many rooms open to the public, such as the Caprin chamber. In the castle of San Giusto there is a civic museum with old weapons and it is also a place where exhibits and open air shows are held. Walking along the terraces of the castle one can see a lovely view of the city, the sea and the hills. The Parco della Rimembranza (Rememberance Park) was built to honor the memory of those who died in WWI. One can not miss a visit to this simple natural oasis of peace.

From the square of the Cathedral one can enter through the iron gate to the Orto Lapidario (garden). It was built in 1834 by Domenico Rossetti over the previous cemetery of San Giusto which was moved to another location at the end of the 18th century. Here are preserved Roman and Medieval ruins found in Trieste and the rest of the region. The Cenotafio (cenotaph) is dedicated to the archeologist Giovanni Winckelmann, father of Neoclassicism, who died in Trieste in 1769.

Where to stay in Trieste

There are high quality hotels, apartments, condo hotels and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Friuli – Venezia Giulia Wine

A vineyard called Friuli. This is a particularly suitable definition for the large variety and high quality of the regional wine production. There are no fewer than eight controlled origin denomination areas, which produce some excellent wines: Friuli-Aquileia, Carso, Collio, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Friuli Grave, Friuli Latisana, Friuli-Isonzo and Friuli Annia.

Though different, all these areas are particularly suited to vine growing, a centuries-old tradition in Friuli Venezia Giulia, dating back to Roman times.

Apart from the precious and rare Picolit, a famous “meditation wine”, sturdy red wines (Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Refosco dal peduncolo rosso, Terrano, Pinot nero, Schioppettino, ecc.) and aromatic white wines (Tocai friulano, Verduzzo friulano – Ramandolo is exceptional – Malvasia istriana, Chardonnay, Pinot bianco, Pinot grigio, Ribolla, Riesling, Sauvignon, Traminer aromatico, etc.) are perfect to accompany the tasty and refined dishes of local international cuisines.

The two most prominent wine zones of Friuli are Collio and Colli Orientali del Friuli, both lying in the hills along the eastern border. Terraced slopes subject to Alpine and Adriatic currents have proven their natural suitability to viticulture although the Isonzo plains also make this eastern region one of the nations major wine producing areas.

The interplay between the Alps and the Adriatic creates a mild and somewhat damp and breezy climate that cools the vineyards in the hot summer. For the most part winters are mild causing little problems to growers.

One of the most dominant varietals is Tocai Friuliano (of no relation to Alsatian Tokay or Hungary’s Tokaji). Other local wines made from Malvasia, Ribolla Gialla and Verduzzo are as interesting as those made from proven varietals like Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Pinot Bianco and Grigio and Riesling. The whites produced in this region embody characteristic freshness and are noted for their ample fruit and delicate perfumes.

The Friuli wines match very well the Friuli cuisine, with its local recipes.

 Friuli – Venezia Giulia Wines:

Colli Orientali del Friuli Piccolit

DOC Wine
Colli Orientali del Friuli
Collio Goriziano or Collio
Friuli Annia
Friuli Aquileia
Friuli Grave
Friuli Isonzo
Friuli Latisana

IGT Wine
Alto Livenza
Delle Venezie
Venezia Giulia

A Hidden Gem of Italy – try Friuli for your next Holiday

Friuli is not a region of Italy that many people have heard of. Hidden up in the North-Eastern corner it has, for a long time, kept itself to itself, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that Friuli has a huge amount to offer. If you are inclined to get off the beaten track and away from the leading Italian tourist hotspots then a house in Friuli might be the perfect antidote. The area is incredibly versatile and landscape wise, it has a little bit of everything. Houses in Friuli also offer access to a delicious selection of local white wines, as well as the world-renowned San Daniele ham. Locally produced foods and wines cannot be matched and if you’re going for a self-catering property then you can happily over-indulge in all of this!

For a start there are mountains heavily dusted with snow and dotted with tiny hidden hamlets. Up here you can just enjoy the views and the fresh alpine air, or you can take part in some outdoor activities like hiking and skiing in places like Carnia. A holiday house in the mountains of Friuli would be a truly refreshing break. Further down and deeper into the Friulian countryside you will find vast country villas – if you’re lucky one of them might be your own holiday rental! Nearer to the coast there are no fewer delights. The shoreline boasts lovely sandy beaches, imposing cliffs and lagoons rich in wildlife. In particular Marano, Lignano and Grado are worth a visit, not only for the bird life but also for the soothing sea air and views. If you want to be by the sea then there are charming fishing villages and lively seaports alike, all of which have their own character but are also within easy reach of one another.

Friuli has a long and fascinating history, and this is evident in the many Roman ruins and remains dotted around the region. Houses in Friuli have stories to tell and the area’s connections with Austria and Slovenia are everywhere evident. In fact Friuli even has its own language which has been influenced heavily by these two neighboring countries. The city of Friuli itself has parts which date back to the 8th century and it is both thought-provoking and eye-catching to visit. But there are also other cities and towns well worth exploring. One of these is Trieste which has a past of its own. Today it is magnificent, with enormous castles and captivating museums to a medley of cafes and restaurants, but it was once also one of the most important sea ports in the Mediterranean. Again the variety of cultural influences, from Latin to Germanic to Slavic, is palpable. If you want to stay somewhere with real quirks then a holiday house in Gorizia on the border would be a great choice. Here you are in both Italy and Slovenia at the same time!


Tabitha Symonds is the founder of One Off Places, a holiday property rentals website specifically geared towards individual and one-off style properties.

Where to stay in Trieste

Hotels, B&Bs, apartments and condo hotels are available for reservation here.

Fagagna: Country of Storks.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.


Fagagna village is in reality made up of seven ancient and separate suburbs that construction development put together in a single urban centre over the last decades, extending spaces of the countryside to new buildings. Like other areas in the north-east, here progress made its mark on ancient rural physiognomy as well: modern roof tiles, aluminum gates, incongruous plasterworks, internal emptying, newly constructed floors on buildings, cobblestone pavements replaced by asphalt cement.

Fortunately, there is reversal of this trend, and Fagagna has also decided to rally its soul. The first step is to restore the old cobblestone pavements that will allow to combine a fascinating route connecting the village square, the castle, small rural church and arriving, through the forest, to a small military pillbox that is about to be transformed into a small museum.

Fagagna Castle

Even now, leaving the municipality building, you can go up towards hill where the castle is located through an old paved road (vicolo Morcjùte and via Cecconaia street). On the top, there arePalazzo della Comunità palace, which was the administrative and judicial headquarters of the Fragagna community since the beginning of the 16th century until 1797, and the castle ruins, the oldest part of which is from the 11th century.

Going through another paved street, via Salizzada, you arrive at Pieve di Santa Maria Assuntachurch. It was built, perhaps on some preexisting paleochristian ruins, in the 13th century and its bell tower that shyly appears behind castle, has been watching over the village for centuries. From the church, passing along panoramic street such as via dei Tigli and via della Pieve, you arrive at a small fortified house dating to the 14th century and finally to the Museum of a farmer’s life housed within Cjase Cocèl, a typical country home of Friuli of the 17th century.


Here, a long pause is mandatory because this is, perhaps, the most lively, the most real and complete museum of a farmer’s daily life in Italy. All rooms from the Friulan memory are recreated; from to kitchen with its fogolâr , to the bedroom set as a barn. The smells are remarkable: those of stables signifying the presence of animals, of must because wine is being produced, of carbon in the forge, the fragrance of baked bread and flour in the mill.

There are ladies making lace, those who are using a spindle, a miller, a smith and finally, a glass of wine waiting for us in the tavern. You can re-emerge into the past, but immediately return to the present by entering a small Church of S.Leonardo (14th century) with its evanescent frescoes of the 14th century. Again, we face an ancient small path (vicolo degli Orzinutti), a pair of other streets (in via Umberto I street there is Palazzo Nigris palace(18th century) and the we arrive again at the town square.

From the municipality building we now take another route, towards Borgo Paludo. Once you’ve passed by Asquini and Pico palaces( the first was the residence of a noble family, built in the 17th century; the other is a type of factory building, where once tobacco was treated), you arrive at the old district, where you can see Palazzo Pecile (18th century) and a line of old houses with nice main entranceways (Via Paludo and Via Lucca). From Via Paludo you can turn back to the castle and to the church to leave, passing through a panoramic road (Daûr Glesie road) to a small pillbox from World War I and from there, following the road across open country (Riva di Cjastenêt) to Borgo Riolo, built at the end of the 16th century.

Fagagna storks

Religous people may make a tour of seven churches, where five old organs can be found: in the Parish church of Madrisio there is one made by Nacchini (1752); the Comelli’s, one from 1788, with its splendid inlayed keyboard made of ebony and ivory, is located in the Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Fagagna. In the Parish church of Villalta there is a “Calido” dating from 1792.

Organs made by Valentino Zanin (1827) and Beniamino Zanin (1903), are, respectively, located in the churches of Ciconicco and  S. Giacomo in Fagagna. Finally, the Villalta castle is worth a visit, even if it can only be seen from the outside, because today it is privately owned. It is located in the middle of the country with its tower and walls dating from 1216, when it was mentioned for the fist time in local chronicles as the property owned by the noble family of Villaltas.

Fagagna cheese – Photo

The local products

The famous Fagagna cheese is the real heir of the tradition of dairy manufacturing. The farmers cooperative for dairy products, established in 1885, was the first of its kind in Friuli. Today, there are two cheese factories that still continue to guarantee the quality of cheese produced by raw, not pasteurized milk, with an unmistakable taste thanks to herbs that can be found in hay collected in the fields around Fagagna.

The local dishes

Pig trading was developed in Fagagna during the times of Napoleon. Here, we are a few kilometers away from San Daniele, where the air coming down from the Alps region joins that coming from the Adriatic Sea. Combined these make a balm for hams. So ham is dominant in the region, with its traditional recipes: brovada e muset (white sour turnip and cotechino), cabbage, sausages etc.

Many dishes are based on polenta and Fagagna cheese and on pestât (lards with vegetables and aromas) that is served with pot roast or bean soup. Particular Fagagna’s dish is also one based on goose meat, cooked in an old restored rural house. And, of course, not to be forgotten, wines: especially the rare Picolit, the production of which began here in 1761 by Count Asquini (not long ago vineyards were planted within castle walls). This is a land of taverns, where people socialize with pleasure, accompanied by a glass of wine, things rarely seen in pubs or fast food restaurants.

Where to stay in Fagagna

There are high quality hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Pordenone Food


This proposal suggests a characteristic gastronomic route, from starters originating in the mountain valleys to desserts.

To start off, we suggest a dish with a variety of prime quality and artisan-made cold cuts such as salami, soppressa (a kind of larger-sized salami), pork brawn, ossocollo (a kind of cured ham) and bacon together with smoked meat coming from the Pre-Alps and from the lower mountain areas, such as the pitina or peta/petucia.

Among the first courses, the soups are the most delicious, especially the bean soup with pasta but also with barley and potatoes, and while eating you will taste those ingredients which are the products of the seasons, both the spring-time herbs, such as the grisol or sclopit and bruscandoi, or the products of the vegetable garden, especially peas and asparagus. A very popular dish is the risotto with mushrooms, with chicken livers, sausages, pumpkins and the gnocchidressed with rassa (duck) sauce.

Butter bean salad fasoi bianchi

Second courses are mainly characterized by pork meat dishes with some of the most traditional dishes such as muset co la brovada (a kind of meat sausage with turnips), grilled ribs and sausages, salami cooked in vinegar and the bondiola del Saoc.
Two very typical dishes which visitors must taste and which are made with the winter chicory are: radicio co le frisse (chicory with fried pork-fat) and radicio e fasioi (chicory and beans). The most popular cheese is the Montasio, but in the Pordenone valleys they also produce a tasty Asono and salty cheese.

To finish your meal, you must taste the Pordenone biscuits which are identified with the history and the customs of the territory.

Where to stay in Pordenone

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Gradisca d´Isonzo: Frontier Baroque.

Gradisca has four periods: the Venetian 15th century, the Austrian 17th century, the Habsburg 19th century and the Italian 20th century.

Conceived by the Republic of Venice as a bulwark against Turkish incursions, which were frequent and devastating in the Friuli area, it was erected by Venetian architects as a fortified village, with wide streets intersecting at right angles (in order to facilitate the maneuvers of troops), which together form a regular urban layout, subdivided into compact blocks of houses.

The 15th-century civic constructions have been lost.  Of Gradisca´s oldest period remain the Venetian Casa dei Provveditori (superintendents´ palace), now home of “La Serenissima”, the Regional Wine Cellar, and the Palazzo del Fisco (tax authorities´ palace), also called Palazzo Coassini, erected between 1479 and 1483, whose façade shows recent modifications.

Gradisca – La Serenissima

Palazzo Strassoldo was constructed between the second half of the 16th century and the first quarter of the 17th, the prototype of numerous other aristocratic residences erected in Gradisca in the course of the 17th and 18th centuries.

The rule of the princes of Eggenberg (1647-1717) constitutes Gradisca´s golden age, a period of remarkable economic, civil, demographic and urban development.  Thus the village´s appearance changes from the construction point of view as well; its late-15th century fortified village is transformed into a residential citadel with a lordly aspect.

Between 1650 and 1750 almost all of the aristocratic palaces which still distinguish the historic center were erected.  Casa de´ Portis was probably already completed by the end of the 17th century, as well as Casa de´ Salamanca, Casa Wassermann, and one of the town´s most important edifices, Palazzo de´ Comelli-Stuckenfeld, austere and massive, which borrows the structure of its façade from Palazzo Strassoldo.

In the following decades other aristocratic dwellings sprang up including Casa de´ Brumatti, Casa Spangher and Casa Ciotti: with the last two we enter the 18th century.  These are all closed and compact structures, with lovely rustic portals on the façade, their style inspired by the late Mannerism of the Venetian baroque period.

However here we are in the countryside, inside a fortress: this justifies the town´s slightly austere appearance, certainly tempered by a ciàcole (chat) in the pub, and by the stylistic level that is slightly less magnificent than the Venetian-style architectural models, but without doubt still higher than the Friulian construction standards of that period.

Apart from these aristocratic palaces, two structures were erected by public initiative in the historic center during the captaincy of Francesco Ulderico della Torre (1656-95): the Loggia of the Merchants, conceived as a meeting place for the local nobility and later a reference point for the merchant class, and the Palazzo del Monte di Pietà, constructed to counter the usury then practiced by the Jews.  The former is situated opposite the Palazzo dei Provveditori and on the ground floor presents a charming loggia with dressed stone arches; the latter, imposing, has an elegant portal overhung by a canopy, inside which a Baroque sculpture depicts the Pietà.

During the government of Della Torre, Palazzo Torriani (1710-30) also took shape, the Gradisca residence of this noble household, a splendid suburban villa halfway between a city palace and a country dwelling.  This structure, now the Town Hall, is without doubt the most important in Gradisca: of Palladian inspiration, it can be interpreted as an outpost of Venetian culture in eastern Friuli.

Casa Toscani is also remarkable, with an imposing rustic portal slightly refined by its balcony and railing, Palazzo de Fin-Patuna, already with a slight rococo influence, but Transalpine in style, and Palazzo Lottieri, whose façade is the restoration of the preceding 15th-century structure.

In 1863, with the demolition of a tract of the defensive walls, Gradisca was opened to the green of the park, to the Friuli plain, freed of its military obsession.

The “Spianata,” center of the town´s social life, attracted foreigners during the 19th century, with Austrian mounted military parades and concerts by the Philharmonic Society.  The cafés in the Habsburg tradition sprang up after the war.

Walking along the perimeter of the Venetian walls, designed by Leonardo da Vinci, the visitor can count six mighty towers and two gates: Porta Nuova and Porta del Soccorso. Inside the walls stands the Castle, whose main nucleus is comprised of the Palazzo del Capitano.

As far as religious edifices are concerned, the Duomo with its lovely Baroque façade is worth seeing, as well as the Church of the Addolorata, constructed at the end of the 15th century.

Cantina La Serenissima – Gradisca

The local products

One visit to the Regional Wine Cellar “La Serenissima” is enough to appreciate the excellence of this region´s wines, already planned in the vineyard and refined in the cellar.

The town of Gradisca features the Palazzo dei Provveditori veneti (Venetian provosts), which covers an area of over 1,000 square metres. Francesco Ten, who ruled the town from 1481 to 1486, designed the bauilding. It is characterized by cross vaults and it was restored in 1989. Since 1965, it has hosted the regional wine cellar “La Serenissima”, which is managed by ERSA (the regional authority for the promotion and development of agricultural activities in Friuli Venezia Giulia). Its rooms contain frescoes by Fred Pittino depicting rural scenes, and are used for exhibitions and the tastings of many regional wines. Perfect combinations of wines, local dishes and a variety of produce is presented to the many visitors.

This wine cellar is a comprehensive and interesting shop window for those who wish to learn more about local products, their historical background, their links with tradition and the local area. A wide range of about three hundred wines is precisely selected by wine experts.

Gradisca – La Serenissima

Over six hundred bottlers attend the annual competition which is named Grandi vini Noè (great wines of Noah) in honour of the biblical culture. The aim of the competition is to carefully choose the best regional wines, include them in the produce list of the wine cellar and promote them at home as well as abroad. Promotions start with the official opening of the competition during the second half of May. On this occasion many other minor exhibitions are held, for instance, the exhibition of grappa and spumante (sparkling wine), the tasting of D.O.P. (Protected Denomination of Origin) produce and of traditional produce. Rural production sites, wine cellars, vineyards and other places of local historical interest, attract visitors.

After all, there are vineyards everywhere in Friuli. And there are eateries and taverns everywhere for tasting the treasures of these lands.

This fertile plain irrigated by the Isonzo river, of which Gradisca is the center, produces wines which are part of the “Isonzo del Friuli” DOC tradition: the best is offered by the reds, such as the robust Cabernet, the fragrant Merlot and the full-bodied Refosco; the whites include the splendid Pinot.

Goulash Triestino – Photo

The local dishes

Excellent cured meats and cheeses, and among the first jota, a hearty soup made from beans, potatoes, pork rind, smoked pork ribs and sauerkraut.

Among the classics isontina there are goulash, tripe, cod, and in the cold season, the sausage (which here is called “nose”) served with turnips.

The desserts in Gradisca play an important role and, above all, apple strudel and gubana.

The latter contains in a pastry case with a filling made ​​from nuts, raisins, raisins, pine nuts, chocolate, sliced ​​and served drizzled with brandy.

A sweet baroque, as the halls Gradisca.

Ceramic articles created in the handicraft workshop La Felce also provide a memory of Gradisca.

Friuli Venezia Giulia small beautiful villages

Trieste gastronomy

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Castello di Miramare

The plentiful “souls” of Trieste influence the every-day life with the habits of the numerous populations which inhabited it during the centuries and which are still alive: the dishes proposed in the city “buffets”, the typical restaurants of Middle-European origins, is an experienced and flavored mixture of the local Austrian and Slavik tradition. The snacks are still today based on pork meat boiled in the typical pot called caldaia and many varieties of ham, sausages, often served with sauerkrauts and cran sauce, paprika or cumin. As a first dish we suggest jota, a soup prepared with the pork skin, potatoes, beans and cappucci agri or the goulash, tripe or sguazeto, or veal stew. Among the typical dishes you will also find the gnocchi of bread and ham, those with jam or stuffed with plums.

Trieste: Dishes and wines

Among the most typical ones are: the brodetto (fish soup), risottos, the sardoni in savor, (flavored pilchards) and typical of the interland are the salads (chicory and rocket), the bruscandoli and last but not least wines that alternate with beer on the table. The DOC local wine is Terrano, red and thick: in order to make it popular, in 1986 the Terrano Wine Path connecting Opicina to Visogliano. In the restaurants of the province you can taste other DOC wines of the Carso: the Rosso, Malvasia, and the white Vitovska Garganja.

Trieste: Carso

Farmers of the plateau who had been allowed by an emperial decree to sell their own products during a period of 8 days, organized the so-called “osmizze”, where it is possible to taste local wines and products: Tabor cheese of Monrupino and honey of San Dorligo are other typical products.

Trieste: The pastry shops

The pastry shops in Trieste offer delicious local varieties of the most famous Austrian cakes: Sacher cake, krapfen, strucolo cotto and strucolo de pomi (local varieties of local kinds of “strudel”), chiffeletti (typical cookies made with four, eggs and potatoes and fried in oil)

Castello di Duino

During Easter you can taste the pinza, a sweet leavened bread that many women still prepare at home and take to the bakery to be cooked. Richer variants of this are: the titola, that is decorated with a hard egg, the putizza and presnitz. Fritole, pancakes stuffed and fried in oil and fave, small round cookies made with almonds and aromas are typical during Carnival.

Trieste: Cafes

Let’s not forget the Trieste of Joyce, Svevo, and Saba, the crowded port pervaded by voices and exotic flavors, wonderful cafès considered by the citizens of Trieste as a place where it is possible to discuss, work, write, read and study.Some historical cafès still well-known and popular have been recently restored brought back to their ancient beauty.

Where to stay in Trieste

There are high quality hotels, apartments, condo hotels and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Artistic treasures in Udine

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Udine – Photo ©

The connection between Udine and art is very old, it began various centuries ago when very rich aristocratic and institutional palaces were built here; precious works of art are still preserved in these buildings, as is the case of Tiepolo’s frescoes in the Archiepiscopal Palace.

Udine is a city in which art represents every period: we can admire both Caravaggio’s masterpieces in the Gallery of Antique Art and Modigliani’s and Sironi’s works in the Gallery of Modern Art. In Villa Manin – an extraordinary complex built after 1650 in Passariano, few kilometers away from the city – we find the new center of Contemporary Art, opened in 2004. Even the ex church San Francesco, among the oldest buildings in the center of the city, has been turned into a wonderful exhibition room.

Loggia del Lionello Udine Italy – Photo ©

Art to admire and art to experience: this is one of Udine’s features, of this lovely city built for people, in which it is a pleasure to wander, lost in one’s thoughts… thus discovering everywhere a magnificent palace, an old residence, a romantic view… When you come here, do not forget to visit the historical cafès and above all one of the many inns in which to drink a tajut, the traditional glass of Tocai!

Where to stay in Udine

There are high quality hotels, apartments, villas and agriturismi (farm stays) available, check them out and make a reservation here.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia Food & Recipes

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”.

Prosciutto San Daniele

San Daniele prosciutto is the most famous product of the Friuli agricolture.

Love and respect for food are the pride and the banner of Friuli Venezia Giulia. Every single itinerary, every discovery regarding arts or nature has its joyful ending around a table lavishly laid out with different and surprising tasty dishes. In actual fact, here you will find yourself right in the heart of the cross-roads where the freshness of the Mediterranean cuisine, the mountain goodness of the Alpine dishes, the savory taste of the Slav and Austro-Hungarian specialties all come together, without being mixed up. And you will always feel satisfied and contented.

Molluscsshellfish and fresh fish all add color and savor to the characteristic cuisine that can be tasted along the coastline.

However, Friuli Venezia Giulia also means frico (a delicious cooked cheese dish), Montasio Cheese, San Daniele prosciutto – cured ham, asparagus, gubana (a traditional cake made with dried fruit), olive oil from the Riviera in Trieste and thousands of other specialties and products characteristic of the single places and territories.

Whether you may have chosen one of the most famous restaurants mentioned in the best Italian and foreign guidebooks, or an agri-resort on a hill, or a village osteria or inn (In Friuli Venezia Giulia there are still many of these typical places!) or even a typical osmizza (a kind of agri-resort) on the Carsic area in Trieste, the Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia will always be a surprise for you when you sit down to eat at one of its tables.

San Daniele prosciutto is one of the world’s best hams, made only by 27 small producers within the town of San Daniele. The locals will tell you that the quality of the pigs, fresh air from the nearby Alps, humidity of the Adriatic Sea, and the care taken with seasoning are what make this ham deliciously unique. Free of additives and seasoned only with sea salt, San Daniele proscuitto has no more than 3-4% fat, found only on the edges of the meat.

A basic frico consists of cheese that has been fried like a pancake until it is crisp. Potatoes and other ingredients can be added, which makes the dish more of a frittata or omelet.  There are endless variations to be found throughout Fruili Venezia-Giulia; every village and valley seems to have its own special version. Once a staple of local shepherds, today a frico most often appears as an appetizer.

Montasio cheese

Montasio cheese has been an export of the region since the 18th century, and today, it may only be produced legally within the area covering Friuli Venezia-Giulia and the Veneto provinces of Belluno and Treviso, together with parts of Padua and Venice.  This delicious cow’s milk cheese is mild when young; stronger when aged to 10 months; and tangy at its most mature, when it can be grated as an alternative to Parmesan.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia Recipes:

Friuli typical foods include:

Boreto alla graisana: chowder of fish (preferably turbot) stewed with olive oil, garlic, vinegar.
Fasoj e uardi: bean and barley soup with pork, onion, celery and herbs.
Frico: aged Montasio grated, mixed with cornmeal and fried flat and crisp; some recipes add chopped onions or potatoes.
Granzevola alla triestina: spider crab meat baked with breadcrumbs, garlic, lemon, parsley.
Gulasch or glas: beef stewed with onion, tomato, herbs, chili peppers and paprika. 
Jota or jote:
 beans, potatoes and sausages simmered with broth in an earthenware pot are flavored with sauerkraut and sage sauteed in garlic in the Trieste version of the soup. 
Muset e bruada
 pork-rind sausage boiled and served with bruada or brovada (turnips pickled in vinegar), sauteed with onion, garlic, salt pork.
Paparot: corn meal with chopped spinach and garlic in a tasty gruel. 
Risotto di Marano:
 rice boiled in fish stock served with sauteed shrimp, squid and mussels.

  Friuli – Venezia Giulia Recipes:
Gnocchi di pane – Bread Gnocchi
Gubana – Pastry and Candy Roll
Gulash triestino – Gulash Trieste style
Polenta e osei – Polenta with skewered meats

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. Get the ebook for the complete content.

The Cafès of Trieste

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.

The first Coffee shops were opened in Trieste during the second half of the eighteenth century, probably following the example of many fashionable places in Venice, but they immediately took on an unmistakable Viennese connotation in their interior decorations and in the services they offered. In 1768 in contrada Bottari, now via San Nicolo’, Benedetto Capano was granted the exclusive sale of “hot and cold waters, tea, coffee, chocolate, lemonades, sherbets and syrup water”. From then on the Coffee Shops multiplied in number in Trieste which had in the meantime become a Middle European emporium. As time went by, the cosmopolitan spirit of the city proposed very differing characteristics, with distinctly political cafe’, cafe’s for Austrian officers and top executives, the bourgeoisie cafe’, the businessmen’s cafe’, and increasingly numerous were the literary cafe’, where James Joyce, Italo Svevo, Umberto Saba used to go.

Nowadays, around the coffee tables of the most historical Trieste cafe’, we find students studying, elderly ladies sipping their coffee, university students writing their lecture notes and obviously tourists who are immediately bewitched by the slow and relaxed rhythm surrounding them.

In an ideal itinerary we will walk past the cafe’ called TommaseoCaffè degli SpecchiTergesteoStella PolareTorinese, ’UrbanisPirona and the Ancient Caffè San Marco. These cafe’ are all able to evoke more than one century of the city’s history through events that tell us about culture, invasions, literature and freedom , but that at the same time are perfectly set within the framework of the XXI century and just like one hundred years ago they are well tuned in to their clients’ needs and wishes.

Located in what was once called Trieste’s piazza dei Negozianti (the Shopkeepers’ Square), the Caffè Tommaseo was founded in 1830 by Tommaso Marcato coming from Padua. The cafe’ immediately became a privileged meeting place for artists, businessmen and politicians; in 1848 it was renamed in honor of the writer and patriot from Dalmatia, Tommaseo.

Famous for having introduced in Trieste at the beginning of the century, the novelty of ice-cream, the cafe’ Tommaseo is a bright, sophisticated and elegant place: the mirrors, which were brought directly from Belgium about one hundred years ago, the chairs made in bent wood and the decorations, which are the work of the painter from Trieste Giuseppe Gatteri, all stand out distinctively.

The Caffè degli Specchi, was opened in 1839, founded and managed by the Grecian Nicolo’ Priovolo. The cafe’ was first on the ground floor of Palazzo Stratti, in that same Piazza Grande (which became Piazza dell’Unita’ d’Italia in 1918) that continues to represent the heart of the city. Thanks to this special position, the Caffe’ degli Specchi immediately became a privileged place where to follow all the historical, political, economic and cultural happenings of the city of Trieste.

Over the years the Caffè degli Specchi was managed by many different owners and it underwent great changes: in the period following the Second World War, for instance, the cafe’ was requisitioned by the Anglo-American allied forces, and it was then that the Royal Navy emblems were placed inside.

Founded in 1863, the Caffè Tergesteo was for many years located in front of Trieste’s historical theatre Teatro Verdi, with its characteristic outdoor coffee tables.

Today it is situated inside the gallery bearing the same name, which leads from Piazza Verdi to Piazza della Borsa, and it has preserved its characteristic of being a place for meetings and encounters, and it is here that businessmen from the nearby Stock Exchange meet during the daytime and the cultural elite in Trieste in the evening . The history of the city is represented on the coloured window panes and Umberto Saba dedicated a lyric in his Canzoniere to this cafe’.

The Caffè Stella Polare is situated in the heart of Trieste’s Teresiano borough, next to the Serbian Orthodox Church of San Spiridione and very close to Piazza della Repubblica and Piazza Sant’Antonio.

It started as a typical Austrian-Hungarian cafe’, with the classical decorations of stuccoes and mirrors which are still partly present and for years the place was a refuge for shopkeepers and intellectuals coming from Trieste and abroad; with the end of the Second World War and the arrival in the city of the Anglo-Americans, this cafe’ became a famous ballroom: from here many young women from Trieste sailed for the United States, happy wives of young American soldiers.

The Bar Torinese is situated in Corso Italia and dates back to 1919; the furniture is the work of the ebony craftsman from Trieste Debelli, and it reminds you of the interiors of a transatlantic ship.

The small and cosy Bar ex Urbanis came to life from the ashes of a pastry shop in the first half of the nineteenth century and it is made precious by a mosaic floor which bears the date of its foundation:1832.

Opened in 1914, the Caffè San Marco immediately became a meeting place for newspaper readers and a laboratory for the production of fake passports, which were allegedly needed by anti-Austrian patriots to flee from Italy.

It was completely destroyed by the Austrians during the war, but rebuilt to become, in the twenties, a meeting place for many intellectuals from Trieste, among whom Saba and Svevo. The interior proposes the typical atmosphere of the Viennese cafe’: the engraved wooden counter, the nudes painted on the medallions on the walls, the obsessive repetition of coffee leaves on the decorations, the marble tables with their cast iron legs, the mirrors and the original frescoes.

The most regular patron of the Caffè Pasticceria Pirona was James Joyce, who actually devised his “Ulysses” masterpiece here, while tasting an Austrian pastry and sipping a glass of high quality vintage wine; in this famous pastry shop the visitor can taste sophisticated cakes and specialties from Trieste, and the original furnishing of the time has been preserved.

Where to stay in Trieste

There are high quality hotels, apartments, condo hotels and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Dolomiti Friulane Park

It is the biggest Park of the Region, as it covers an overall surface of around 37,000 hectares. The Park lies in a vast area of the Carnic Prealps among the Tagliamento, the Piave and the Cellina rivers, including eight Municipalities between the province of Pordenone and Udine: AndreisCimolaisClautErto e CassoForni di SopraForni di SottoFrisanco and Tramonti di Sopra.

The landscape is characterized by rough and uneven ranges, with gravel sediments at the foot of the rock face, and narrow valley where mountain streams have great erosive effect. As the area is quite varied, you can come across almost every habitat of the Alps and Prealps as well as typical and interesting geological formations. The vegetation presents several rare species as the rocky massifs acted as a shelter during the glaciations; The vastness of the area has allowed several rare species of birds to survive.

The isolated geographical position and the difficulty in exploring and in making excursions in this valleys have probably contributed to preserve up to the present day a pure naturalistic environment, and this represents the region’s real treasure.

The Park’s offices are located in Cimolais (PN), where it is possible to benefit from a range of equipments of the Park, Visitor’s centers, organized guides, paths and path system that best fits tourists in order to pursue the knowledge of this protected area.

There are several recommended routes with different levels of difficulty depending on whether you prefer short educational tours or more demanding nature paths.

For further information:
Ente Parco Naturale Dolomiti Friulane
Via Vittorio Emanuele, 2 – 33080 – Cimolais – (PN)
Tel. :0427-87333  Fax. :0427-877900
E-mail | Web site

Courtesy of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Official Tourist Board

Carnia Food


Carnia, not only a wonderful environmental treasure, is also a true gastronomic jewel. Amongst Carnia’s mountains and valleys, as well as in the woods and fields, small forest fruits grow, innumerable types of mushrooms and hundreds of aromatic herbs either naturally or cultivated can be found, these herbs represent the main ingredient characterising Carnia’s cuisine and have been part of the gastronomic heritage of this area for centuries, together with beans and runner beans, used in all traditional dishes.

Thumbing through a menu in a restaurant in Carnia, gnocchi, frittata and hams are a must together with the emblematic cjarsons which are a type of ravioli stuffed with herbs and different fruits as well as ricotta and potatoes; then there are the choices of cold meats and cheeses as well as garden vegetables: the cuisine in Carnia is characterized by its simplicity and its completely genuine ingredients, mostly coming from the eighty or so small local producers who work the fruits of the land, getting milk from the alpine stables and meat from the grazing herds.

Courtesy of Turismo Friuli Venezia Giulia

Popular widespread Hotels

Sauris – Photo ©

If what you are looking for is a real holiday in an environment that feels real, nothing is better than the popular/widespread hotel. This is an innovation in the way of hosting and accommodating visitors; guests will be able to stay in independent flats spread around the borough without having to forgo all the services and all the most typical comforts offered by hotel accommodation.

The popular/widespread hotel allows guests and visitors to live a unique experience: the added value is represented by the possibility of plunging into the life of a typical rural borough and to live a relaxing and regenerating holiday, by taking part in the life of the village and all the initiatives of popular tradition.

The idea of the popular/widespread hotel stems from the need to safeguard and recover the existing building heritage; houses, stables and old farmsteads have been restored and today they stand as structures which are in harmony with the environment and the urban lay out of these centers.

“Stepping into our houses means stepping into our history, our culture and our art. Not only into the peace of the surrounding nature; enjoy both and be our welcomed guests”

Leonardo Zanier

Where to stay in Sauris

There are high quality hotels, apartments, chalets and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.


This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.


The common of Sequals comprises the localities Lestans and Solimbergo.

The territory of Sequals, is the most important for the prehistory in Friuli: have been found four necropolis, a “peasant villa” and six more modest settlements of roman imperial age, but came to the light also finds of the medium Palaeolithic age (80.000 – 30.000 years ago). There are also finds of the Neolithic age and the age of Bronze (some finds are exhibited at the “Villa Savorgnan” of Lestans and the “Canonica” of Solimbergo).

Many are also the finds of the medieval age (Castle of Solimbergo, chapel of Santa Fosca and S. Zeno).

Today this villages have revived, after the emigration and the earthquake of the 1976, thanks to the reconstructions that has recovered the original architectonic patrimony. It’s native land of many artists as mosaic workers, which have embellished great buildings in Paris, Vienna, Moscow, Lourdes, Istanbul, San Petersburg, Barcelona, Tokyo, Buenos Aires (the most known families are: Avon, Facchina, Mora, Odorico, Pellain ext…). Was born and is buried here Primo Carnera, called “good giant”, that in the 1933 was the world champion of maximum weights.
Built in the second part of the XVIII century, and damaged by the earthquake in the 1812, hit by a lightning in 1828 and than gravely damaged by the earthquake in the 1976, the parochial church of S. Andrea Apostolo is located in the high zone and dominates Sequals and the plan below.

The majestic flight of steps in stone, has been created in the 1880 by Giobatta Facchina, who was also the author, in 1901, of the wonderful church’s floor. The faced is divided in three parts by pilasters and with a tympanum.

Inside the church has one central nave. The chorus is characterized by a big altar of the XVIII century in white marble with the statues of the Saints Pietro and Andrea; there are also many works by different local artists: busts of Saints by Pietro Pellarin and Giobatta Tassut, a beautiful “Via Crucis” by Gino Avon from Spilimbergo, with light effect, made in the 1931; in the same year Mario Sgobaro from Udine decorated the church’s painting on the nave’s ceiling, three scenes of the S. Andrea Apostolo’s life: “S. Andrea, who from the boat indicates Jesus to S. Pietro”, “S. Andrea’s Sermon”, and “S.Andrea in adoration”.

The stoup was made by Giovanni Antonio Pilacorte (1497) with some putti and heads in bas-relief; over the baluster(1503, coming from the S. Nicolo’ church) there are small figures of the announcing angel and the Virgin; the painting “Madonna with Child, S. Urbano and S. Bartolomeo,” was made by the Venetian Carlo Gaspari (1748 – 1800), while the Venetian Giuseppe de Gobbis has painted the shovel with S. Sebastiano, S. Apollonia, and S. Rocco (1787).

The painting “Madonna with Child, S. Antonio Abate, S. Vescovo” (beginning of XIX century) is by an anonymous artist; while the “Madonna with Child and Saints Sebastiano and Rocco” (XIX century) was made by Giulio Antonio Sussi (born in Venice in the 1858).

The small Church of S. Nicolo, that has been restored after the earthquake, has a baroque faced and a small porch;

Many frescoes by Marco Tiussi from Spilimbergo have been brought back to the light, and plastered b the parish priest in the second part of XIX century.

The Venetian altar of XVIII century has two paintings by Gasparo Narvesa: “S. Valentino and S. Floriano” (1601).

Very interesting is “Villa Carnera” constructed by the champion Primo Carnera, with cycle of frescoes by Giuseppe Barazzutti (1933).

In the locality Lestans, the great “Villa Savorgnan” ( built in the XVI century and then rebuilt between the XVII and XVIII centuries) is an important cultural center and venue of the CRAF (Center of Search and Recording of Photography); it has a big fronton; inside there is a small archaeological Collection.

The parochial church has a great stoup (XVI century) with linear cover in wood (1703), with painting by Valentino Belgrado; a greater marmoreal altar (1758 – 1759) by Silvestro and Giuseppe Comiz, from Pinzano; and it conserves a beautiful cycle of frescoes in the chorus, by Pomponio Amalteo, gravely damaged during the earthquake, but fortunately restored. Painted between the 1535 and the 1551, the painting representing some moments from the old and new Testament: from the Creation to the Virgin’s Crowning.

In Solimbergo, the parochial church (XVIII century) has a faced with mosaics representing Madonna with Child and the Saints Pietro and Paolo (1911) by Andrea Avon.

Inside there are others mosaics by Gino Avon (beginning of the XX century), a painting in the nave’s ceiling and a shovel in the left lateral altar by the Venetian Giulio Carlini (1873) representing the Madonna with Child and the Saints Giovanni Evangelista and Fosca, very fine for the colors and the particulars.

We remind to you also the archaeological excavation in the locality Santa Fosca.

From: “Guida Artistica del Friuli Venezia Giulia”
(Artistic guide of Friuli Venezia Giulia) by Giuseppe Bergamini

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. Get the ebook for the complete content.


This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Tarvisio belongs to “Comunita’ Montana della Valle Canale e Canal del Ferro”. Its origin is Roman but previously it had been inhabited by the Taurisci – a Celtic population. From 1000 it had been the possession of “Capitolo di Bamberga” and from the 12th century it reached a significant commercial importance.

In 1456 it obtained the privilege to organize the annual fair. In the 15th century it suffered for Turkish invasions despite of the construction of a fortification system around the Parish Church.

From 1759 it became an Austrian possession and during Napoleon domination was the scene of bloody battles.

After World War I it was annexed to Italy becoming a border town. Then it had a very strong commercial impulse which still characterizes it.

Art and culture Tarvisio

We suggest to visit:
The ancient fortress;
The Sanctuary of “Madonna di Monte Lussari”;
The Museum of Mineral Tradition in the village Valle del Predil.

Among its environmental properties, there are:
The Park “Parco delle Alpi Giulie”;
The Park of Fusine (with the trail “Anello dei Laghi di Fusine”);
The trail to the Sanctuary of Mont Lussari.

Information on art and culture from: “Guida Artistica del Friuli Venezia Giulia” by Giuseppe Bergamini

For information:

A.I.A.T. del Tarvisiano e di Sella Neve

Where to stay in Tarvisio

There are high quality hotels and apartments available, check them out and make a reservation here.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Art Cities: Cividale del Friuli

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Cividale del Friuli – Photo ©

Set along the river Natisone, Cividale del Friuli has kept, throughout the centuries, its noble and severe features of strategical town forged and enriched by the passage of foreign populations. The choice of building here a fortified village (“Castrum”), was due to strategical reasons: in fact it was at crossroads between the Alps and the plain regions. The Roman town “Forum Iulii” was founded around 50 b.C. to guarantee the defence of the roads leading to Aquileia.

Remains of the ancient curtain wall of Cividale can still be seen today: a building set in “Borgo S. Pietro” on the river Natisone dating to the Patriarchal age of which remains a round tower and pieces of a corner; some tracts of Venetian walls on the northern side of the town and the defensive walls on the eastern side. The town’s defenses dating to Roman times and late antiquity age are buried or had disappeared.

Cividale also features a number of monuments bearing witness to its three most important periods: the Roman times, the Langobard era and the Patriarchs’ age. In 568 a.C. it was conquered by King Alboino who founded here the first of the 35 Langobard kingdoms of Italy leaded by his Nephew Gisulfo.

Cividale history, its documents and its position and landscape and why not, even its unmatchable gastronomic specialties, make Cividale unique in the area. That’s why culture lovers find themselves at ease with the great wines here whilst following this itinerary crossing roads in the town center or along the Natisone valley.

Castled on the banks of the Natisone river, Cividale del Friuli has developed and maintained its noble austerity, worthy of any capital of great strategic importance, marked and enriched by the passing of foreigners such as the the Longobards and the Francs. One discovers the town, beginning in the heart of its historical center, piazza del Duomo or the Cathedral square. Here we can find the Nordis building and the stately Provveditori Veneti building, which currently houses the National Archeological Museum that offers a real opportunity for an in-depth understanding of the complex period in history during the numerous invasions by the population commonly known as the “barbarians”.

Moving on into Corso Mazzini, the town’s main street, one becomes ever more emerged in Cividale’s ancient spirit, until we come to piazza Paolo Diacono, animated daily by a picturesque vegetable market.

Leaving the square behind and losing oneself amongst the streets, whilst passing the mighty city walls which hold the majestic gates to the city, one then comes to the San Francesco church, which is in the square of the same name, whose gardens do not overshadow the beauty of its interior.

Retracing one’s steps, whilst leaving the Cathedral behind, the air we breathe has a hint of the ancient Longobards here more than ever. A little bit further away, between the enchantment of the green above the city walls we come to the famous little Longobard temple, the highest expression of western Medieval times.

In front of the 8th century building, is a wonderful panorama of the Ponte del Diavolo and the Natisone river, which flows between the deep and steep walls. Via Monastero Maggiore, with its characteristic uneven cobble stones, takes us straight to the Ipogeo Celtico, a curious and interesting complex of artificial caves, dug at various levels and accessible from steep but evocative steps.

Cividale: Art and culture

Among the most interesting places to visit there are: the the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta with its beautiful Gothic-Renaissance facade; the “Palazzo Comunale”; the beautiful square “Piazza Paolo Diacono” surrounded by ancient and interesting buildings; the church dedicated to S.Silvestro and S.Valentino; the church of S.Francesco; the famous Langobard temple “Tempietto Longobardo” built around the 8th century; the bridge “Ponte del Diavolo” from which it’s possible to enjoy a beautiful sight over the river Natisone, the old town and the National Archaeological Museum housed in the palace “Palazzo dei Provveditori Veneti”.

Where to stay in Cividale del Friuli

There are high quality hotels, apartments, villas and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Cities of Art: Gorizia

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Gorizia Panorama at sunset – Photo © T137

Originally a watchtower or a prehistoric castle, Gorizia soon became a little village near the fords of the river Isonzo not far from one of the most important ways that during the Roman period linked Aquileia to Emona (Lubiana). The name of Gorizia was for the first time recorded in a document dated April 28th 1001 “quae sclavonica lingua vocatur Goritia” stating the donation of the Castle and the village of Gorizia made by Imperator Ottone III to Patriarch Giovanni II and to Count Verihen.

Since the 11th century the town had two different development plans: the castellan hamlet or superior land and the village or inferior land. The first played a political-administrative role and the second a rural-commercial role. In the 16th century the county passed into Austria and the city spread out at the foot of the castle becoming, in the middle of the 18th century, an archiepiscopal see with jurisdiction over the diocesis of Trieste, Trento, Como and Pedena.

Around the baroque cathedral where many treasures of the Basilica of Aquileia had been transferred, a new quarter developed; it had a typically 18th century appearance and inside there was also a synagogue, one of the many examples of the town’s multi-ethnic nature. Gorizia was seriously damaged by both World Wars but after the second it suffered for the reduction of its territory and for the division of the city by the Italo – Slovenian border.

Set in a green area at the foot of the Julian Prealps and the Carso, for its particular geographical position, Gorizia has always been culturally influenced by Latin, Slav, Germanic civilization.

At the end of the Second World War, as a consequence of the disastrous conflict, the town suffered the dismemberment of the ancient provincial tissue and it was compulsory divided by a national border.

Darwin Study – Photo ©


This medieval building of the 13th century underwent many changes through the centuries.

Palazzo Attems Petzenstein
The building of the first half of the 18th century, designed by the local arch. Nicolo Pacassi, has a baroque and rococo style and houses important exhibitions.

A proof of the historical presence of the Jewish community of Gorizia; it dates back to the 1756 and it has been lately restored.

Palazzo Coronini-Cronberg
Viale XX Settembre, 14; tel. 0481 533485
(1597) A 16th century Villa surrounded by a wide, lovely garden. It is rich of original furnishings and it has an impressive book and archive heritage.

Sacrario militare di Oslavia
Loc. Oslavia; tel. 0481 531788
The remains of 57,200 soldiers of the Great War are buried there.

Gorizia – Piazza Vittoria – Photo © Wolfgang Sauber


With a nave and two aisles in Baroque style; it preserves the gravestone of Leonardo, the last Earl of Gorizia.
Parco di Piuma Isonzo
It offers the possibility to have a pleasant walk along the Isonzo river, which has a striking emerald colour.

For information:

Centro di Informazione e Accoglienza Turistica
Corso Italia 9
34170 Gorizia
Tel: 0481 535764
Fax: 0481 535764

Where to stay in Gorizia

There are high quality hotels, apartments, agriturismi (farm stays) and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Cities of Art: Pordenone

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Pordenone – Photo © insea

Pordenone was already settled before 1000 a.C., as it is witnessed by a necropolis founded beneath the palace “Palazzo Ricchieri”.

Since the 12th century commercial and trade activities rapidly grown thanks to the fluvial port on the river Noncello; as a matter of fact the name of Pordenone as “Portus Naonis” came from it.

Only Pordenone, an Austrian dominion, and Castelnovo, which belonged to the Count of Gorizia, were not conquered by Venice in 1420. Later the city became a fee of commander Bartolomeo d’Alviano and only in 1539, after the family extinction, was controlled by Venice.

In 1797, together with the whole territory of the Republic of Venice, Pordenone was given by Napoleon to the Austrian Empire and, except for the years between 1806 and 1813, it remained under Austria until 1866 when it was annexed to the Reign of Italy.

Since early 19th century, with the run down of its harbour traffic, the town became competitive in the textile sector and, after World War II, in the household appliances industry. In 1968 Pordenone became administrative seat of the homonymous province with 51 local authorities and a population of 270.000.

Art and culture

As far as its Cultural properties is concerned, among the most interesting buildings to visit there are:

– the historical center, also called “Contrada Maggiore”;

– many stylish palaces along the street “Corso Emanuele” among which: the Reinassance “Palazzo Ricchieri”, housing the art gallery “Pinacoteca Civica”, the 17th “Palazzo Gregoris”, “Palazzo dei Capitani” (13th century), “Palazzo Montereale-Mantica”, “Palazzo Cattaneo” and “Palazzo Popai”;

– the palaces along “Corso Garibaldi” such as: “Palazzo Badini”, “Palazzo de’Spelladi Porcia”, “Palazzo Pera” and “Palazzo Sbrojavacca”;

– the original gothic palace “Palazzo Comunale” (1291-1395);

– the cathedral “Duomo di San Marco” (end 14th-middle 15th century) keeping some interesting pieces of works among which the famous “Madonna della Misericordia” by Giovanni De’ Sacchis, known as “Il Pordenone” (1484-1539).

Art and culture information from: “Guida Artistica del Friuli Venezia Giulia” by Giuseppe Bergamini

Pordenone – Photo ©

Thousand years of history in Pordenone

Beautiful Romanesque churches, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque palaces, streets full of historical and artistic treasures: you will find all this and much more in the old city center of Pordenone, called Contrada Maggiore.

A special feature of the city of Pordenone is the river crossing it, the Noncello (in fact the name Pordenone comes from Portus Naonis, because the city developed as a river port), with its beautiful bridges.

Thanks to the river, the city of Pordenone and its environs have always represented an important center of manufacturing industries: if you are interested in a somewhat different kind of tourism we strongly suggest you visit the old cotton mills dating back to the 19th century, which offer a typical and unique tour of industrial archaeology along the Noncello.

Where to stay in Pordenone

There are high quality hotels and B&B available, check them out and make a reservation here.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Friuli Castles

Often built for defense and administration purposes, the castles of Friuli have lost their original tasks over time, but have maintained their fascination and have become material witnesses of the culture and history of our land.

ADVISED PERIOD: all year round, but the best seasons are spring and autumn, above all if you choose a bicycle as your means of transport.

TIMES: one whole day. For those who wish to ride their bicycles around the place, the route is of average difficulty, on a hilly track, completely on tarred roads. Given the length of the route, it is possible to short-cut the ride by limiting the stopovers to your liking.

WHERE: the itinerary leaves from and arrives at the castle of Fontanabona (hamlet of the Pagnacco Town District), easily accessible from the highway exit gate in Udine nord (km 6).

Fontanabona – Tricesimo – Colloredo di Monte Albano – Rive d’Arcano – Fagagna/Villalta – Brazzacco – Fontanabona (37 km).


Our tour across the hills of Friuli sets off from the small rural borough of Fontanabona, whose name stems from the water which springs out in the small central square.

The village of Fontanabona is towered over by a castle of Medieval origin, which was rearranged in the late XVIII century, and by its wonderful garden, characterized by rare and centuries-old plants; among these it is the giant Tuja with its hut-like branches, which stands out and is visible just in front of the building which hosts the agricultural estate. The earliest mention regarding the inhabited area dates back most likely to the X century. The castle of Fontanabona has been property of the Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia since 1969, thanks to a donation.


Taking the road that leads to Pagnacco again, we will now head for Tricesimo.

The wall structure, placed on top of the hill from which your sight will reach all round to the surrounding plains and hills, presents features which are typical of the sixteenth century, even if the foundation of an early inhabited area dates back to mid-1300.

This castle of Tricesimo has undergone a long series of ownerships, and this is an evident sign of how this location was particularly sought after for its great strategic importance.

Facing the medieval external walls, the main building features late-renaissance characteristics; inside the fortified perimeter there is also the gentiles’ chapel, with a crypt and sixteenth century frescoes.

Where to stay in Triesimo

There are high quality hotels, farm stays and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.


Back on the main road, you will take the junction for the nearby town of Cassacco and ride on to Colloredo, one of the most famous (also because it was for some time the home of Ippolito Nievo) and best preserved castles – until the 1976 earthquake – on the whole territory of Friuli. Before the earthquake, the whole structure of the Colloredo Castle, made up of a series of buildings dating back to the Sixteenth century, rotated around the superb and imposing clock tower, real and proper central axis of the whole fortified “machine”; today the tower is a symbol of a slow, difficult reconstruction but which is stubbornly deemed to be completed.

Besides the reconstruction of the tower, also the reconstruction of the west wing of the Colloredo Castle has been completed, whereas all the east wing structures are still lying in a state of ruin and unfortunately only a very small part of the valuable stuccoes and frescoes by Giovanni da Udine, famous painter and decorator and pupil of Raphael, have been recovered.

Rive d’Arcano

Once again on the main road, you will turn right in the direction of San Daniele, and then you will follow directions for Fagagna. In a continuous flow of woods and fields on the right you will see the castle of Rive d’Arcano, a monumental structure which is one of the most well preserved on the entire regional territory; on the top floors the architectural and decorative stratification, of late –Romanic origins has been kept intact, whereas the sprightly decorations and frescoes in the dining-room are products which date back to the XVIII century.

It is worthwhile to recall that the wine-farm inside the borough usually takes part in the event “Cantine Aperte” (Open Cellars), where it presents its products in the suggestive framework of its landscape.


And now we will head for Fagagna, ancient seat of a castle which is today only just a few ruins, from whose terraced location you will in any case enjoy a spectacular panorama at 360 degrees overlooking the plains ; from this really privileged point of observation you will get a glance of o your next destination: the castle of Villalta. It was declared a national monument in 1976 and this estate is undoubtedly one of the largest in the Region, as it includes not only the main house, with sumptuous frescoed halls dating back to the Sixteenth century, but also double external walls, a suggestive entrance with a draw-bridge, two characteristic yards and a gentilitial chapel named after Saint Michael.

The castle of Fagagna was founded in Roman times and the first document which mentions it dates back to the Twelfth century; just like many other defensive structures in Friuli, it underwent numerous expansions and modifications between the Thirteenth and Sixteenth century, the age in which the Counts della Torre gave it its current structure and characteristic look.

Where to stay in Fagagna

There are high quality hotels and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.


We will now take the uphill road again, leading towards Moruzzo, and then turn right following the indications for Brazzacco, last stop-over of our itinerary.

In ancient times there were two castles in Brazzacco: one called Lower Castle, of which very little remains, and the other called Top Castle, where you can still admire the fortifications with the guard’s building and the ruins of the main tower, which may be dated back to the mid- Thirteenth century.

By following the indications for Pagnacco, on the left you will find, after a few kilometers, the cross-roads for Fontanabona, starting point and arrival of our itinerary.

Trieste Castles

Castello di Duino – Photo ©

Facing the gulf of Trieste, the Duino castles rise up on an extremely fascinating point of the Adriatic coastline

From the ancient castle, dating back to the 11th Century, we can find only a few ruins on the projection of rock overlooking the sea; even in its reduced dimensions, this was used both as living quarters and as a lookout tower, as can be seen from the high thick walls overhanging the sea and the traces of decorative frescos inside the part which we imagine were part of the private chapel. Under the overhanging cliff a large stone emerges, known as the white lady and which, according to legend represents a lady of the castle who committed suicide for love.

Further along, is the new castle, of which the first documentation dates back to the 14th Century; governed over the years by the Austrians and the Venetians, the rooms of this small fort have significant works of art and historic heirlooms.

The defence of this “borgo” were increased on numerous occasions for fear of invasions, but the First World War caused considerable damage to the Castles’ structure, which were completely restored – and in part rebuilt – at the end of the conflict, while trying to maintain the original structure.

Today the Castles appear as a complex of buildings from different ages to the visitor, with the mainstay being an arcaded courtyard, closed by two massive perimeter rampart walls; special mention must also be made of the surrounding gardens, created in the second half of the 19th century but reorganised a number of times after this; the walkway unravels towards a series of avenues and pathways which pass in front of statues, century-old trees, a Mediterranean garden with large flower beds and basins full of flowers, bringing us to panoramic patios overlooking the sea or a private beach.

It is possible to rent the castle’s rooms for congresses, gala dinners, weddings, film locations, art exhibitions and exhibitions in general.

Castello di Miramare

Miramare with its “white towers” of Carducci memory, more than a castle, it is an example of a 19th century residence of princes, fruit of that eclectic style which makes up the history of architecture in the last century.

Built between 1856 and 1860 as desired by the archduke Maximilian of Austria, who later became Emperor of Mexico, the building is strongly influenced by the romantic style, in the same vein as a medieval stronghold of days gone by. The archduke personally followed the work on the castle from the plans to the layout of the enormous gardens (more than 22 hectares), which comprise an English garden, and an Italian one, with a significant number of rare plants, sculptures and ornamental lakes which descend towards the sea by way of large steps.

The Castle is made up of more than 20 rooms: particularly esteemed are the “Maximillian Rooms”, amongst which there is a bedroom which has been furnished as a ship’s cabin, as well as a “Throne Room”. In 1955, the Castle became a state museum.

Services on offer: guided tours, a museum catalogue, a bookshop, wardrobe facility, audio guide, temporary exhibitions, disabled persons access.

Trieste San Giusto – Photo © Renato Esti

Since prehistoric times, there has been a castle on the San Giusto hill, which in Roman times became the headquarters for an important urban settlement. The stronghold, which came about in medieval times and was work of the venetians, was knocked down in the 14th century at the will of the patriarch of Aquileia and it was only in 1470 that Frederick II of Hapsburg rebuilt there, the square tower and the two-floored building which is now the Castle’s Civic museum belong to this period.

Under the Venetian Republic’s government, which at the beginning of the 1500s had re-established its rule over Trieste , the Castle was strengthened in its defence and, with the return of Austrian rule, work continued until the great bastions and connecting walls were built in 1630.

To gain access to the fortified building, you must cross a steep slope by way of a wooden drawbridge, laid over ditch of limited width, once you have crossed the entrance hall, with a cross vault, you gain access to the Milizie square, where steps and communication trenches lead to the bastions.

The pathway along the perimeter walls offers one of the most beautiful views of the city and of the Gulf of Trieste.
Since 1930, the Castle is owned by the Town hall, and has been fitted out for tourist visits or for cultural exhibitions, performances and temporary art exhibitions.

For information:

Castello di Duino, 34013 Duino Aurisina (TS)
tel. 040.208120  fax 040.208022

Castello di Miramare, localita’ Grignano – 34100 Trieste
tel. 040.224143  fax 040.224220

Civico Museo del Castello di San Giusto
Piazza della Cattedrale, 3 – 34121 Trieste
tel. 040.309362

Where to stay in Trieste

There are high quality hotels, apartments, condo hotels and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.


This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Lignano Sabbiadoro – Photo

Lignano offers tourists a concentrated mix of services, attractions and accommodation while keeping in close contact with its surrounding nature thanks to its recent history as seaside resort: a long beach with very fine sand, six amusement parks dedicated to all age groups, sports structures of recent construction, pedestrian areas for shopping, hotels, villages and apartments to cater for all needs and demands. And of course there are plenty of discos, pubs and wine bars looking onto the sea, the aqua-gym courses the spas and the entertainment services for children; and to continue the list, the arena for the summer concerts, a Golf Club with 18 holes, bicycle routes, horse riding schools, tennis courts and over 5,000 berths in 8 modern and fully equipped wharfs. All this in a few kilometers which are traffic free and immersed in the greenery of the surroundings.

Located mid-way between Venice and Trieste, Lignano rises on a peninsula overlooking the peaceful Adriatic Sea, at a stone’s throw from the nature reserves in the Valle Canal Novo e the Stella River Estuaries, and it has boasted the “Blue Flag of Europe” for over 20 years , symbol of the cleanliness of its beaches and its sea.

Lignano is actually made up of three wonderful cities thought out for holiday makers: Sabbiadoro: its name (sabbia d’oro = golden sand) comes from the unique color of its very fine sand. Pineta: this village was planned by the architect Marcello D’Olivo and its construction started in the 50s, it has a typical spiral-shape, so that when walking through it you are always plunged into green areas. Riviera: it is set in a large pine-wood between the beach and the mouth of the Tagliamento river.

Where to stay in Lignano Sabbiadoro

There are numerous high quality hotels, villas, apartments and agriturismi (Farm stays) available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Where to stay in Lignano Pineta

There are numerous high quality hotels, villas, apartments and agriturismi (Farm stays) available, check them out and make a reservation here.

Villa Manin

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Villa Manin – Photo ©

[Historical buildings – Villas with garden, historical park]
Codroipo – Passariano – Villa Manin – Passariano – 33033

Telephone: 0432-904721 0432-900908 0432-906657

The villa, due to the patronage of the family Manin, is one of the most famous Venetian villas in the region. It was even the seat of the doge and gave hospitality to Napoleone Bonaparte in 1797. Erected by Ludovico Manin I, halfway trough the 17th century, it was later transformed and enlarged by Ludovico II and Ludovico III in the 18th century.

The buildings are arranged in a C-shaped ring: the family residence is the main body to which two barns are attached through portals and big niches to form a horseshoe around the exedra (carried out after 1718) The rear facade opens onto a wide park styled after the French taste, with vast lawns, statues and fountains recalling an Arcadian scenery. Inside, the villa holds some precious 18th century paintings. Today Villa Manin is home to the regional center for Classification and Restoration where a number of temporary exhibitions are mounted.

Admission fare: Free of charge
FOR OPENINGS, CONTACT: Info: Pro Loco Villa Manin 0432-904721 oppure Infopoint 0432-900908
Web In the Web site you will find the list of exhibitions and events held at the villa.

Source of information: BERGAMINI Giuseppe, FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA – GUIDA ARTISTICA, ed. Istituto Geografico DeAgostini, 1990

Where to stay in Codroipo

There are high quality hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Italian Food- Friuli Venezia Giulia

The preconceived notion that Italian food consists of about fifteen dishes found at the Italian food joints in the U.S is false. In fact, Italian food has a wide variety and varies greatly across across the country. The different regional cuisines found in Italy take cues from surrounding nations and spice it up with a lit of bit of local creativity to provide the inimitable Italian cuisine. A great example of the fore-said is the cuisine from the region of Fruili-Venezia Giulia

The region has a common border with the formerly Soviet nation of Yugoslavia, and has a lot of customs and traditions (including culinary) in common. The Italian food from this region has a strong Austrian, Hungarian, Croatian, and Slovenian influence. The beer halls in this region show the most apparent influence. Dishes such as Goulash and Viennese sausage are available here, goulash which originally was a Hungarian dish, acquired the distinct Italian taste from this area and can be found in restaurants in and outside of Italy. The dish is very popular in this area, and constitutes a thick beef stew and vegetables available locally such as red peppers and onions. It is thick and the seasoning is done with paprika, and is usually served along with pasta. Another popular dish at the local beer halls is the Bohemian hare.

Pork is the commonly used meat here. It is essential for tourists visiting this region to try the San Daniele del Friuli hams. The hams are the staple food of the locals. The entire region is well known for its sausages and bacon. In fact the local dish named jota which is unique to this area is a dish made with bacon and beans. The pork that is available here is spicy and usually comes off as a shock to the foreigners and tourists not accustomed to this fiery brand of Italian cooking. The pork is usually cooked on a open hearth. It is a part of many dishes.

A lot of other foods are specific to this area. Italian food has a sweeter side to it, an example of it being strudel. A lot of desserts here are based on flour and strudel is the most common. Another common dish that is found in this region is polenta. It constitutes boiled cornmeal and forms a part of the staple diet of this region, and can be served along with most types of Italian cuisine, including cheese and meat dishes. It is very similar to the American grit. Another Italian staple food that deserves a mention from this region is cheese. The Montasio cheese which is famous the world over comes from this area. If you like Italian cuisine with lot of cheese in it, instead of mozzarella, then this is definetly the area for you. The last dish that requires mention is the brovada. This dish is very unique to this region, and can simply be put as turnips preserved in marc. It is certainly not a dish that most people associate with Italian cuisine, but it definetly is a dish that is very unique to Italy, due to which it forms an very important part of Italian cuisine. The next time you decide to visit a Italian restaurant, try to experiment with the different regional cuisines on offer. Branching out is the key words here.


Abhishek Agarwal is really passionate about Cooking and he has got some great Cooking Secrets up his sleeves!

Where to stay in Trieste

Hotels, B&Bs, apartments and condo hotels are available for reservation here.

Aquileia in Friuli-Venezia Giulia

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Aquileia, Basilica – Interno – Foto © Giovanni Dall’Orto

One of the biggest and wealthiest urban areas of the Early Roman Empire, Aquileia (in Friuli-Venezia Giulia), was pulverized by Attila in the mid-fifth century. The vast majority of in any case it lies unexcavated underneath the fields, and thusly it constitutes the best archeological store of its caring. The patriarchal basilica, an extraordinary building with a remarkable mosaic asphalt, assumed a key part in the proselytizing of a substantial locale of focal Europe.

By ideals of the way that a large portion of old Aquileia, one of the biggest and most rich urban areas of the early Roman Empire, survives in place and unexcavated, it is the most finish illustration of an early Roman city in the Mediterranean world. The Patriarchal Basilican Complex in Aquileia assumed a definitive part in the spread of Christianity into focal Europe in the early Middle Ages.

Aquileia was established by the Romans as a Latin province in 181 BC in the north-eastern corner of the plain of the Po as a station against Gallic and Istrian savages. It rapidly turned into a significant exchanging focus, interfacing focal Europe with the Mediterranean. By 90 BC it had been hoisted to the status of municipium and its residents were agreed full privileges of Roman citizenship. Its riches brought about the town being invested with numerous heavenly open structures, and the private living arrangements of its rich traders were extravagantly adorned. Throughout the fourth century majestic habitations were implicit Aquileia, and it was the seat of the Imperial Mint between AD 284 and AD 425. Of specific significance was the development in the second decade of the fourth century of a basilica, taking after the endorsing of open love by the Edict of Milan in 313. This was to reach a savage end in 452, when Aquileia was sacked by the Huns headed by Attila. Its commercial part was accepted later by Venice. On the other hand, Aquileia held its profound importance, turning into the seat of a patriarchate which made due until 1751, and assumed a key part in the proselytizing of this locale.

Unearthings have uncovered a piece of the gathering and its Roman basilica, the Republican macellum, one of the sets of showers, and two lavish private edifices. Outside the late city dividers, a cemetery with some great funerary landmarks, the amphitheater and the bazaar have been uncovered. The most striking stays of the Roman city are those of the port establishments, a line of warehouses and quays that extend a long separation along the bank of the waterway.

The predominant characteristic of Aquileia is the basilica. Priest Theodorus built a horseshoe-formed unpredictable of three principle lobbies, yet this demonstrated insufficient to house the admirers and travelers along these lines in 345 a tremendous structure swapped the northern arm. This was devastated by the Huns, alongside the whole intricate, and never reconstructed. At the point when the survivors returned they focused on the remnants of the southern corridor, which was restored. After a time of disregard, work was started in the ninth century by Bishop Maxentius, with money related backing from Charlemagne. Regardless of serious harm throughout the tenth century Magyar intrusions and a tremor in 988, the work was finished in 1031. The basilica is basically Romanesque, despite the fact that there are some Gothic characteristics coming about because of reproduction after a seismic tremor in 1348. The most striking characteristic of the inner part is the tremendous mosaic in the southern corridor of the fourth century structure, not uncovered until the eleventh century mud floor was evacuated in 1909. The subjects portrayed incorporate typical subjects, pictures of contributors, scenes from the Gospels and dedicatory engravings. At the eastern end is an ocean scene with twelve anglers, speaking to the Apostles, alongside the story of the prophet Jonah. At the east end the grave of the frescoes, dating from the sixth or seventh hundreds of years, was developed to house relics of saints.

An entryway at the east end of the basilica offers access to the Crypt of the Excavations, uncovered throughout the early decades of the twentieth century. Here are saved mosaics from the first century suburban manor chose as the site of the basilica in the fourth century, and the establishments of the transverse and north lobbies of the complex not modified after decimation by Attila. The mosaics are perplexing in topic, brimming with references to elusive religions. The west door to the basilica is protected by a patio implicit the early ninth century, which offers access to the contemporary baptistry. This is commonly octagonal in arrangement and encases a hexagonal baptismal pool, imitating the Chi-Rho monogram of Christ. This is encompassed by a colonnade supporting a walking. The last part of the complex is the ringer tower, an enormous structure that has survived unscathed since it was implicit 1031. There is a second basilical intricate at Monastero, now serving as the Palaeo-Christian Museum. This similarly forcing fourth century structure likewise houses a striking carpet mosaic.


David Pra, simple person, very interested in photography. Well traveled.

Where to stay in Aquileia

Hotels, B&Bs, campgrounds and hostels are available for reservation here.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. Get the ebook for the complete content.


This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. by Enrico Massetti. Get the ebook for the complete content.

Grado at night – Photo © Axel Cordes

The beauty of Grado lies in the possibility to spend a relaxing holiday while discovering an ancient world rich of traditions and charming history. Grado, also called Golden Island or Sunny Island, has a very charming historic profile and it fulfils with style and hospitality the desire for relaxation, fun and wellbeing of all grown-ups and children.

Grado – Photo © Marvin (PA)


  •   Santa Maria delle Grazie
    The Basilica is a church of the IV century, with internal apse and sculptures dating back to the VI and the IX century.
  • Parco delle Rose
    The sandy shore gets a breath of freshness by the greenness of cluster pines.
  • Basilica di Sant’Eufemia
    Cp. Patriarca Elia, 1 – Tel. 0431 80146
    V century, with a bell tower of the XV century with an angel called “l’anzolo” on its top, which has become the emblem of the island.
Grado Fisherman – Photo © Roberto Romano
  • The lagoon
    The lagoon around Grado represents the easternmost stretch of the whole lagoon system and it covers a surface area of almost 9,000 hectares from the Aussa estuary to the Isonzo River; it is subdivided into three sub-basins, corresponding to the lagoon harbours of Porto Buso, Grado-Morgo and Primero.This uncontaminated stretch is made up of canals and streams which intertwine between hillocks and small islands, to be explored on a boat or on a gommone on a discovery trip of the characteristic “casoni”, but also on a mountain bike along the paths that skirt the fishing areas.The fishing wealth of the lagoon of Grado is thanks to the shallow waters and to the favorable environmental conditions, which allow various species of vegetation, fish and water birds to find their natural and ideal habitat.

Where to stay in Grado

There are high quality hotels, apartments, condo hotels and villas available, check them out and make a reservation here.

This is an excerpt from the book “Trieste and Friuli”. Get the ebook for the complete content.