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.