In the north eastern of Italy lies a small region called Friuli that is bordered by Austria, Slovenia, the Adriatic Sea and Veneto. This region is of an exceptional intense beauty. You will also fall under its spell because of the many museums. A number of architectural styles descend from the Venetian Gothic up to art deco.
Whilst regional identity is strong, Friuli can appear vastly different from town to town, and in different areas of the countryside. This is the region where Central and Mediterranean Europe meet, and, from Adriatic lagoons to Alpine pasture, Friuli brings together many diverse experiences.
A place where ancient and modern meet is Trieste. This port city's castle and cathedral date back many centuries, whilst its neoclassical center is more recent and many other parts of the city are resolutely 21st century. This appealing mix makes Trieste one of the most popular destinations in the region also offering a choice of quality hotels. Friuli's second city is Udine, which lies to the north west of Trieste. This wealthy city is a magnet for lovers of art and culture, with countless fine buildings, galleries, churches and piazzas. Its market is also very popular. Udine's unique feature is a network of small canals which run alongside its streets. Friuli's pride is the exquisite prosciutto of the town of San Daniele.
Access to this region through the airports Venice or Trieste.
Vespa tour Collio & Strada dei Sapori, a highlight of 2015 !
Suggestion 1: Vespa tour in Collio
Who thought that Piedmont and Tuscany are only suitable for vespa tours, has it all wrong. The whole Friuli Venezia Giulia area - also direction Cividale, Castelmonte and Natisone Valley - is perfect for a combination of vespa tours & enogastronomic joy. This region is a white wine producer : summer temperatures and a crispy white wine go nice together ! Starting from Gorizia you have a few options : the Carso plateau, valleys along the Isonzo river to Aquileia, or Palmanova : one by one places to inhale culture and taste wines. Experience the "Via dei Sapori" route, unique for gastronomic food & wine lovers.
Suggestion 2: Cividale, Gorizia, Udine
The trip starts in Cividale : Archaeological Museum, the cathedral, "Tempietto Longobardo" and the breathtaking Devil’s Bridge over the Natisone river.
Next on our programme is Gorizia : enjoy a wine tasting in an old wine cellar, discover the inner city, the castle and the cathedral (built in 1300).
Guided tour through Udine and its main monuments : the famous castle, the cathedral and Oratorio della Purità. Share the "tajut" ritual.
Suggestion 3: San Daniele del Friuli and Spilembergo
San Daniele - an important cultural town - is especially known as the production center of Prosciutto di San Daniele, one of the most prestigious cured meats. Our guide will lead you through to the Guarneriana Library in the city hall : a collection of ancient manuscripts dated from 1300.
Spilimbergo is notably known as “the Town of Mosaic”. Founded officially in 1922, the school has inherited the great mosaic tradition, a worldwide exported art for generations.
Suggestion 4: Three day cooking class in Friuli Venezia Giulia
Day 1/morning : Discover San Daniele’s prosciutto during a cooking class and enjoy your own prepared 3-course lunch. Afternoon : Visit the small town San Daniele del Friuli, the cathedral and the church of Sant’Antonio Abate, housing frescos dated from the 15th century. And of course you will learn all about the production process of San Daniele’s prosciutto at a production site.
Day 2/morning : We start with a Montasio Asino cheese-tasting. Learn how to prepare local dishes based on this ‘frico’ cheese during the cooking class, combined with regional wines. Afternoon : Visit cheese production site, followed by Venzone, a beautiful medieval town, where we visit a local craftsman who creates lavender products (perfume, tea, etc…).
Day 3 : A tour through 2 of 8 DOC regions. Enjoy a short wine course and tasting of regional wines, with a sommelier as instructor.
Suggestion 5: History and Gastronomy in Friuli Venezia Giulia
Day 1/morning : Aquileia is one of the most famous cities of the Early Roman Empire. Admire the noteworthy large mosaic pavement from the 4th century (700 m2) in the Cathedral. Visit the Archaeological Museum and the Roman Port, followed by a typical Roman lunch. An afternoon well spent in Grado : the picturesque historical town centre, the Roman Basilica of Sant’Eufemia (6th century) and the church of S. Maria delle Grazie. Enjoy a wine tasting on the way back to the hotel.
Day 2 : A tour which starts in Cividale del Friuli : Lombard Temple, the Cathedral and the Archaeological Museum. Taste the local Gubana cake in a traditional biscuit factory. Visit the church of San Giovanni d’Antro (Pulfero) which is especially interesting as it is built partly inside a cave. Time for a typical Valli del Natisone lunch. And last but not least : Gorizia with its Medieval Castle and the Museum of Palazzo Formentini. We end the tour with a visit at a local wine cellar.
Day 3 : Excursion direction Zuglio, visit the Roman Forum, the Archaeological Museum and the Pieve (one of the oldest churches in Friuli). Raveo is famous for its biscuits called “Esse di Raveo”, so the production site is on our programme. Worth to visit are also 2 typical churches in Ovaro.
Suggestion 6: WWine Tour Friuli Venezia Giulia
Dag 1/morning : Arrival in Aquileia : visit of a wine cellar and tasting of regional wines. Lunch at a "taberna romana”. Admire the noteworthy large mosaic pavement from the 4th century (700 m2) in the Cathedral. Visit the Archaeological Museum and the Roman Port. An afternoon well spent in Grado : the picturesque historical town centre, the Roman Basilica of Sant’Eufemia (6th century) and the church of S. Maria delle Grazie.
Day 2/morning : A tour through the famous DOC region Collio, which starts with a visit at the Slovenian Brda-area, the Dobrovo Castle and a short walk in the center of San Martino. You enjoy a wine tasting and then we go back to the Italian side of the Collio region. A lunch in the castle of San Floriano del Collio. Afternoon : visit wine museum, a short stay in Gorizia, and the war museum.
Day 3 : Follow the signs Trieste along the Terrano Wine Road and the Carso plateau. Next stop at a typical ‘osmizza’ to taste local products & wines. City tour in Trieste : seaport & Channel, the famous Piazza Unità, the Roman Theatre, the hills of San Giusto with the ruins and the Basilica).
Suggestion 7: Wine Tour Friuli Venezia Giulia
Day 1 : Arrival in Friuli Venezia Giulia. Check-in accommodation : 4-star hotels, agriturismo, or a wine estate with bed and breakfast. After lunch you will learn about the Friuli wines during a tasting in a local wine estate : white wines (Picolit, Ribolla Gialla and Malvasia Istriana) and red (Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso, Schioppettino and Pignolo). We offer you a culinary workshop with a reputated Chef de Cuisine. Learn how to transform regional products into a gastronomic top dish. Enjoy your meal prepared in class !
Day 2 : We propose you a vespa tour in Collio and Colli Orientali. Aperitif time in a new wine bar at Cormons. Discover the characteristic Tocai Friulano with appetizers. Diner is served in a typical local establishment.
Day 3 : Dedicated to dessert wines (Picolit, Verduzzo Friulano and Ramandolo) in combination with regional specialties like Gubana : a dessert of pastry with dried fruit, generously doused with grappa.
Suggestion 8: The Pride of Friuli Venezia Giulia
Guided tour through the most renowned vineyards of Friuli Venezia Giulia and tastings of regional wines with traditional products. A sommelier or wine expert will introduce you to the unique and delicious local wines during a wine tasting course : Tocai Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana and typical red regional wines such as Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso, Schioppettino and Pignolo. This tour includes also a visit to the San Daniele del Friuli Prosciutto factory, followed by a tasting and a complete dinner dominated by this well known DOP ham. During the last day of your stay you will discover the famous regional grappa with a visit at the production site with tasting.
Suggestion 9: Weekend in the country of Schioppettino
A mountainbike tour is a very interesting way to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Schioppettino region, along vineyards, woodlands, and old hamlets, overlooking the Judrio and Natisone Valley. The whole weekend is devoted to indigenous wines and in particular the Schioppettino : visit vineyards, guided tour in a wine cellar, tastings, diners in regional atmospheric wine bars and restaurants by candlelight.
Suggestion 10: Friuli and respect for nature
During this Friuli Venezia Giulia tour you will be immersed in nature, an intense experience of the four natural elements.
Day 1 Air
Discover the beautiful Colli Orientali and Collio area by bike, vespa, or Nordic walk. Indulge yourself with a candlelight dinner in the evening in a local taverna.
Day 2 Water
Visit Isonzo Delta Natural Reserve and Cona Island. Half day trekking with a qualified nature guide along the Isonzo river banks. Feel the magic where the estuary flows into the sea, admire the vegetation and birds. Lunch in a traditional “Casone”, a typical lagoon hut.
Day 3 Earth
Guided visit to the Regional Natural Park of Friulian Dolomites.
Day 4 Fire
Visit vineyards and taste the various local wines. Cosy lunch by a fireplace.