Have you ever heard about Friuli Venezia Giulia?
This long name belongs to an Italian region, the one situated in the North-Eastern point of Italy.
Friuli Venezia Giulia (that for ease from now on I will call only Friuli most of the time – also if this will make some inhabitants of the region turn up their nose) borders on Austria and Slovenia and this vicinity has always made it an important meeting point with Eastern and Continental Europe.
Do you know what that means? It means that in Friuli you can find a mixture of traditions, languages and habits with foreign influences that make it a unique place to visit and discover.
What about the landscapes? Well, whether you love the sea or you prefer the mountains, Friuli is the perfect setting for your holidays or trips. Indeed in the South there is the coast with sandy golden beaches (or rocky ones towards Trieste), while in the North there are mountains covered with green woods, turquoise lakes and transparent creeks. Between sea and mountain there are hills and valleys with small and big villages rich in history and traditions.
I start mentioning you some places that you probably already know (and if you don’t, please hurry up and catch up on lost time): Trieste, house of important writers like James Joyce and Italo Svevo, the big square watching the gulf and Miramare castle, Collio, the wide hilly area where fine and delicious wines are produced, Aquileia, old roman city that still conserves a magnificent cathedral with stunning mosaics… I could keep going on listing and describing the beautiful cities and extraordinary landscapes, but I will do that in future in more specific posts.
However Friuli Venezia Giulia is not only nature and culture, it is also gastronomy and wines: the local cuisine is rich in traditional dishes that will make your mouth watering.
The most famous is frico, a local cheese cooked in a pan with butter and potatoes, but there are many other tasty dishes like cjarsons or brovada, or the products presided over by Slow Food like pitina, pan de sorc, Cavasso onion and much more. And if you like eating but also tasting wine in Friuli you are in the right place: here drinking wine is a good habit because “good wine makes the blood good” (“Buon vino fa buon sangue” as a local idiom says). No phrase could be more true since here grapes are an important part of local economy and of everyday life: Friulano (ex Tocai), Chardonnay, Pinot, Verduzzo are some of the most common white wines; Merlot, Cabernet and Refosco some of the most commons red ones. But then there are Picolit, Ribolla Gialla, Schioppettino di Prepotto, Vitovska and many others that maybe you have never heard of before and that will tickle your curiosity.
What I can tell you is that this small region with a long name will intrigue and surprise you. I will do my best to describe it to you from my heart.