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Last updated : Nov 2009
Friuli - Venezia Giulia
Friuli - Venezia Giulia - TravelPuppy.com
This region located in the northeastern corner of Italy bordering Austria and Slovenia has changed hands many times over the centuries and Friulian society is a complex mix of cultures. Half of the population speak Friulian, a language closely allied to Latin.


During the 18th century, Austro-Hungary commissioned the construction of a deep-water port at Trieste and so ended Venice’s long domination of the Adriatic Sea. After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire following World War I, Trieste was ceded to Italy. The city’s most prominent buildings date from the Hapsburg era, the most beautiful is the Miramare Castle which is set amid beautifully landscaped gardens overloooking the sea, and is open to the public.


On the coast west of Trieste there are several popular beach resorts, such as Grado. The area inland from Trieste is known for its Karst landscape and caves. The Grotta Gigante (Giant Grotto) is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest accessible cave in the world.

Situated inland are Pordenone and Udine, agricultural centres on the fertile Friuli plain. Further north are the foothills of the eastern Dolomites and the Julian Alps (part of Slovenia), where ski resorts are now being developed. The road from Udine to Villach in Austria is an important overland freight route, it winds up the dramatic valley of the Isonzo, a river rendered an astonishing shade of blue by minerals leached from the Julian Alps.