The territory

Udine©fabrice_gallina_Piazza San Giacomo.jpgP.zza Libertà scorcio_M. Zambelli.jpg


A town of bookshops and osterias, with a mysterious name and many different sides to it, Udine is, as it were, a country town - at once proletarian and refined, convivial and cultured. Capital of the mediaeval Patria del Friuli, its ancient history is lost in legend, according to which Attila the Hun built the castle hill which still dominates the old centre.

Indeed, a culture-driven visit of Udine can start at the Castle Museums then continue in the town centre to admire Tiepolo’s masterpieces and Casa Cavazzini, elegant modern and contemporary art museum.
From the spectacular Piazza Libertà, through narrow mediaeval streets and past picturesque channels visitors arrive in Piazza Matteotti, the town’s “drawing room” where the locals like to stop for an espresso or for the ritual evening aperitif.

The geographic centre of a region which boasts as many as 10 DOC and 4 DOCG zones, producing a total of 80 million bottles a year, Udine could not fail to pay tribute to this winemaking tradition and it does so splendidly in its numerous time-honoured osterias, which also serve the local food specialities.

Cividale del Friuli and Natisone and Torre Valleys

History and art, naturalistic integrity and a multitude of languages, different cultures and mysterious traditions: this is the Cividale del Friuli area, a city registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its important past and the remarkable Natisone Valleys.

Cividale del Friuli, with artistic gems whose significance have been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and Tarcento are the most important towns in Friuli’s Colli Orientali, known the world over for their wonderful wines. Faedis, Attimis and Nimis are villages surrounded by the remains of medieval castles.

The Natisone/Nediške Doline valleys are full of ash, chestnut, hazelnut, lime and hornbeam forests and flowers in a great profusion of colours and fragrances in all seasons. On all these valley footpaths you can, if you’re lucky, meet many animal species ranging from roe deer to wild boar, hare to wolves, squirrels to bear prints. The Natisone/Nediške Doline keep their Slovenian culture and traditions alive together with rituals and customs such as those linked to Christmas and the Carnival//Pust and Kries/Falò di San Giovanni. The natural attractions of this area bring in mountain bikers, cavers, sports climbers and horse riders and to the many themed footpaths: the Gadda path, the artists’ path, the Guziranje path, the Votive churches path and the Great War sites.

Valli del Torre is a pristine mountain paradise near to Friuli Venezia Giulia’s historic towns. It is a destination for all those who love to get out into wild nature full of rivers and streams which generate spectacular Karstic torrents and splendid waterfalls including those of Rio Boncic on the Campo di Bonis plain. The Gran Monte chain affords breathtaking views ranging from the Alpi Carniche and Giulie to the Adriatic Sea. Along the various footpaths leading to the mountains you can see exquisite flora (asphodels, irises and various types of lily) and interesting fauna (griffon vultures, deer, bears, lynxes and wild cats). The natural attractions of this part of Friuli attract hang gliding and paragliding fans as well as those who love mountain biking, caving, sport climbing and horse riding. The variety of footpaths suitable for everyone is much appreciated as are the winter Nordic skiing circuits and snowshoe walks.


Friulian hills area and San Daniele del Friuli

Rolling hills crossed by the great Tagliamento river and dotted with small hamlets and impressive castles are all on the ‘Strada dei castelli e del prosciutto’ (the road of castles and prosciutto). At the centre lies a true jewel of art and gastronomic excellence: San Daniele del Friuli

Friuli Collinare is the perfect slow tourism destination: some of the most beautiful castles and hamlets in Italy, beautiful landscapes among the moraine hills as well as history, culture and events. Trips by bicycle or horse, gold, fishing and bird watching can easily be alternated with cultural visits to museums devoted to history and the area, to frescoed churches and to historic villas.

Situated on one of these hills, San Daniele del Friuli is a centre of impressive beauty, globally known for the production of unparalleled prosciutto, the product of a thousand-year-old tradition and a unique microclimate. But San Daniele is not only destination not to be missed for those who want to give in to the sin of greed. The town, a Medieval municipality and open public market since 1139, also houses one of the most famous historic libraries in Italy, as well as the oldest in Friuli Venezia Giulia: the Biblioteca Guarneriana that has precious illuminated manuscripts.

Not far away across the hills is the hamlet of Fagagna, one of the most beautiful in Italy, as well as Tarcento, with its Liberty style villas. To the west is the great Tagliamento river, a spectacle in itself, especially in Ragogna, where there are also several paths that take visitors through the story of the Great War.


Grado and Aquileia

Grado, the "Golden Island", stands in a picturesque lagoon amidst a maize of small islands. It is worth to visit mostly during food and wine events. Discover then, the natural beauty spot with two nature reserves.

An extraordinary concentration of art, history and natural beauty, an exceptional urban heritage, two UNESCO sites, a cuisine based on ingredients from both the sea and the land, accompanied by excellent DOC wines, all in just a few kilometres: this area in the low Friulian plain has it all!

Aquileia was an important city during the Roman Empire and then the main centre for the spread of Christianity through northern and eastern Europe. It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the sheer size of its archeological sites as well as the artistic value of its early Christian mosaics. The two national museums and the extraordinary patriarchal basilica are visited by hundreds of visitors every day.

Originally twinned with Aquileia and then Venice, Grado also has important archaeological and early Christian evidence. However, its current fame is mainly due to its constantly sunny beaches, the sea that has boasted a Blue Flag for years, the beneficial properties of its thermal waters and its delicious traditional dishes. Grado also has a historic centre with a certain Venetian charm, where you can loose yourself among squares and narrow streets that are overlooked by beautiful fishermen’s houses.

Palmanova, the famous Renaissance fortress town in the shape of a perfect nine-pointed star, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2017. Together with the Roman Aquileia and Torviscosa, an industrial twentieth century town, it is at the centre of an itinerary in the history of European urban planning.

Last but not least, the picturesque lagoon that lies between Aquileia and Grado is made up of a maze of tiny islands, home to many different species of birds. The entire lagoon is an environment of great natural value and is protected by two natural reserves that can partly be visited on foot or by bike, partly by boat.