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Friuli Venezia Giulia

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With an area of 7844 square km and 1.18 million inhabitants, Friuli-Venezia Giulia is an autonomous region of north-eastern Italy. Bordering Austria and Slovenia, Friuli Venezia Giulia is at the crossing center of the Latin, German and Slavic cultures. In the North there are the Alps, while the territory along the coasts is mostly plain. Between Trieste and the Alps there is a wide, Karst plateau, the Carso, an important battlefield in WWI, where innumerable Italian and Austrian soldiers lost their lives. The economy is largely based on agriculture, the main crops being maize, sugar-beet, wheat, soy beans, and on the production of renowned wines. There are also many medium- and small-sized industries in the chemical, textile silk, paper and furniture sectors.

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Primax TravelItaly's northeastern corner is barely mentioned in most guidebooks and rarely visited even by Italians, which makes it a great place for travelers seeking to leave the beaten path. Whether you like snow-capped mountains, warm sandy beaches, lagoons teeming with water birds, remote alpine hamlets, Roman ruins, palatial country villas, rocky coastal cliffs, bustling international seaports or picturesque fishing villages, your tastes will be thoroughly satisfied in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, one of Italy's most versatile regions.

History has marched back and forth across this relatively narrow strip of land. In Roman times it was a vital outpost, with Aquileia serving as a bastion against marauding Gauls. Later, the infamous Huns forced that fortified town's inhabitants to seek refuge by founding the town of Grado on an island in the lagoon, much as the less civilized tribes to the west had built the settlement we now know as Venice. For most of the ensuing centuries, shrewd local leaders managed to keep the region essentially independent.
However, a quick glance at the map shows why the Austrian Hapsburgs fought hard to change that status quo. Once under their dominion, Trieste was declared a free port and quickly became Mitteleuropa's gateway to the East. Immigrants flocked here from all over the Mediterranean, giving Italy's easternmost city a cosmopolitan air matched only by Naples at the time. Today, its spacious boulevards, handsome buildings and vaguely dowdy magnificence make it something of a Vienna-By-The-Sea.

 

The Hapsburgs ruled here through the 19th century, and all the while the friulani longed to see their region returned to Italy. But that was not to be until after the First World War, and even then it was short-lived, because a significant chunk of the territory to the east and south of Trieste was awarded to the state of Yugoslavia in recognition of its valiant fight against the Nazis in World War II. The region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia was not created until 1963, and many of its towns still bear vivid signs of Austrian and Slavic influence in their lifestyle, folklore and cuisine.

 

THE FOODS: In this attractively secluded region where the Alps almost touch the Adriatic, the homespun cooking of the Friulian hill country presented historical contrasts with the more refined Venetian-style fare eaten along the coast. Over time, though, the two cuisines have reached a happy union in dishes accented, often rather sharply, by the tastes of Austrian and Slavic neighbors, who remember Trieste as their gateway to the Mediterranean.

 

In Alpine Carnia and the vine-draped hills of Udine and Gorizia, the open hearth fogolar with conical chimney is used for grilling beef, lamb, kid, poultry, sausages and mushrooms. The indispensable polenta goes with cheese, meat stews, blood puddings and game: hare and venison often cooked in salmì (highly seasoned wine sauce) and a mixed flock of fowl, including woodcock, duck and little birds called uite.

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Italian Regions

offerta primax travelAbruzzo
offerta primax travelBasilicata
offerta primax travelCalabria
offerta primax travelCampania
offerta primax travelEmilia Romagna
offerta primax travelFriuli Venezia Giulia
offerta primax travelLazio(Latium)
offerta primax travelLiguria
offerta primax travelLombardia (Lombardy)
offerta primax travelMarche (Marches)
offerta primax travelMolise
offerta primax travelPiemonte (Piedmont)
offerta primax travelPuglia (Apulia)
offerta primax travelSardegna (Sardinia)
offerta primax travelSicilia (Sicily)
offerta primax travelToscana (Tuscany)
offerta primax travelTrentino Alto Adige
offerta primax travelUmbria
offerta primax travelValle d'Aosta(Aosta Valley)
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