Ultimate Summer Guide to Friuli Venezia Giulia

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Trieste. Photo credits Victor Caneva
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by InTrieste

Friuli-Venezia Giulia embraces a variety of environments and landscapes, art, medieval villages, imposing castles, precious museums and archeological sites. With this in mind, we came up with the ultimate Friuli Venezia Giulia summer guide – 35 places for you to discover this summer 2024 in our region.

1. Enjoy a pre-dinner Aperitivo on the Livenza River in Sacile

Sacile, also referred to as the Garden of the Serenissima, is a perfect place to enjoy a relaxing aperitivo. The town’s lush greenery, along with the flowing Livenza River creates a picture-perfect fairytale atmosphere.

2. Climb up the hill to see the Medieval Fortress in Polcenigo

Polcenigo is one of the most beautiful villages in FVG. This is a great village to get lost in while wandering its cobble-stoned streets. While you are there, take the short hike up to see the castle ruins and enjoy the fantastic view!

3. Buy a new set of knives in Maniago

Maniago is a small town that has been known for its blacksmiths and knife making since the Middle Ages. Stop by and visit one of the many shops that produce and sell high quality knives.

4. Go walk and shop the local stores in the historic center of Pordenone

Visit the charming old center of Pordenone and see its well-preserved historical buildings, frescoes, and monuments. While wandering the streets, make sure to stop into a few of the many of specialty shops.

5. Eat Prosciutto in San Daniele del Friuli

Taste the experience of goodness and delicacy in San Daniele. San Daniele Prosciutto has been recognized by the European Union as a Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) product. This means that San Daniele Prosciutto can only be produced in this area and the entire production must comply with specific rules and production regulations.

6. Go see the Roman Ruins in Aquileia

Can’t go to Rome? No problem! Take a quick drive to Aquileia to visit its own ancient Roman Ruins. This city has been around for over 2000 years! It was once a large and bustling town and today is much quieter, but still just as interesting with its many ruins and monuments.

7. Walk across Devil’s Bridge in Cividale del Friuli

While visiting the charming town of Cividale, make sure to take a stroll across Devil’s Bridge. Local legend says that the Devil built this bridge himself at the request of the townspeople. This bridge offers lovely views of the town and the water below.

8. Take a bike ride through the vineyards and hills of Gorizia

Gorizia is full of gentle rolling hills that are perfect for an enchanting and relaxing bike ride. The local towns are full of sleeping accommodations, wineries, restaurants, shops, etc. This area is a perfect place for a weekend getaway!

9.  Go watch an Italian football game at Stadio Friuli in Udine

This stadium has been around since 1976 and has the capacity to hold 25,144 people. The stadium is used for soccer and rugby games, concerts, and even holy mass.

10. Visit Spilimbergo to see all the mosaics and stop by the famous Mosaic School

The internationally known Mosaic School was founded in 1922 and has students from all over the world! Here the students learn different types of mosaic techniques. Check out their work along with the mosaics and frescoes throughout the beautiful city.

11. Soak in some sun on the beaches in Lignano Sabbiadoro

Lignano Sabbiadoro is one of the main summer resorts in FVG. It is situated on the Adriatic Sea and is known for its miles of soft golden sand.

12. Stop by Sauris and eat the famous Prosciutto di Sauris

Prosciutto di Sauris I.G.P. is produced according to the original tradition of the ancient people and the recipe has been passed down generation to generation. What makes this prosciutto unique is the method of smoking the meat with beech wood, straight from the local forests in Sauris.

13. Go shopping at Trieste’s St Antonio daily market

Trieste’s St Antonio market is where you can purchase fresh local produce, meats, cheeses, and flowers.

14. Sunbathe next to the turquoise waters of Lake Barcis 

Relax next to the emerald green waters of Lake Barcis. Jump in if you dare, but the water here remains cold all year round! Brrr!

15. Drink a Saffron Spritz in Polcenigo

Saffron cultivation in Polcenigo dates to the 1980s. Today, numerous farms in the area still produce saffron. It has a sweet, floral, earthy taste to it and remains one of the culinary world’s most precious spices.

16. Take a ride on the Alpine Coaster in Piancavallo

In the summer, head to Piancavallo to ride the Alpine Coaster. This bobsled rides on a rail track and is an absolute thrill for all ages!

17. Go to a grape stomp during harvest season

Some local wineries will host special events during harvest season where people can come to help harvest the grapes and do a little grape stomping! Yes, just like in I Love Lucy!

18. Visit the animals at Punta Verde Zoo Park

Punta Verde Zoo Park extends over 100,000 square meters and hosts about 1,000 animals belonging to hundreds of species. Great place to spend a sunny afternoon!

19. Go to Miramare Castle and walk the grounds

Just a few minutes from Trieste stands Miramare Castle. The castle overlooks the sea and is surrounded by a huge park. The park is full of rare and exotic tree species. Take time to tour the castle but make sure to walk the grounds as well!

20. Go horseback riding in the Carnic Alps

See the alps from a different perspective and get closer to nature. Instead of hiking, go horseback riding! Ride through the woods and along the trails on the back of a horse.

21. Snorkel at the Miramare Marine Protected Area

Book a guide and head out to sea to discover dozens of animals and plant species. No specific skills required besides knowing how to swim!

22. Gear up and complete Via Ferrata Cascate Fanes

This ferrata is rated ‘Easy’ and is enjoyable for anyone who is not afraid of heights or getting a little wet. The ferrata cable goes directly behind the Fanes Waterfall!

23. Go birdwatching on the coastal Grado Lagoon

The Isonzo Mouth Reserve and Valle Cavanata Reserve (both located in the Grado Lagoon) are two places known to be great for birdwatching. These areas are home to many waterfowl species and are the perfect locations and environment for birds to stop and nest.

24. Take a hike and have a picnic at the Fusine Lakes

The Fusine Lakes are two glacier lakes near the Slovenian border that are connected to each other by walking trails. The lakes are surrounded by tall mountains and a thick spruce forest. Find the perfect spot on the gorgeous lakeshore to enjoy a picnic with the best view!

25. Attend the annual Mushroom Festival in Budoia

The Mushroom Festival in Budoia is held in mid-September. Enjoy all the fun events, music and of course varieties of mushrooms!

26. Buy a deck of Modiano cards in Trieste

Modiano cards are known for their excellent quality and have been in production for over 140 years! There are various regional decks that are produced, including a Northern Italian Regional Style deck!

27. Enjoy seafood in the ancient fishing village of Grado

Grado is located on an island and surrounded by the Adriat- ic Sea. This place is a seafood lover’s dream as fresh seafood is readily available along with their traditional dish of Boreto.

28. Eat Montasio Cheese in Altopiano del Montasio

Montasio Cheese is a semi-hard cooked cheese that has a smooth, delicate, and balanced taste. It is popularly used when making Frico!

29. Go Canyoning in Val d’Arzino

Grab your wetsuit and explore rivers, gorges, canyons, and other parts of nature that are normally inaccessible. Canyon- ing involves a mix of sliding, jumping, swimming, walking, and even rappelling! In short, the goal is to get from the top down to the bottom of a canyon, all while having a blast!

30. Go Kayaking on Lake Predil

In the middle of the green-blue lake, is a tiny island covered with trees. Kayak to the island and enjoy the surrounding landscape!

31. See the homes made of stone and wood in Forni di Sopra

In the historic center, the architecture of the homes in Forni di Sopra is different and unique. The lower parts are made of stone and the upper parts of wood with external stairs connecting the two floors and balconies. You can also see more ancient buildings in the Piazza del Comune along with the beautiful fountain made of stone.

32. Go on a bike ride along the Tagliamento River

The Tagliamento River stretches 178 kilometers and offers many different cycling paths. Whether you are looking for a particularly challenging route, or an easy afternoon ride, there is a trail for everyone. It is one of the last rivers in the Alps untouched by human activity!

33. Visit the well-preserved medieval monastery complex in Manzano

The monastery is over one thousand years old and still in operation today. It is surrounded by vineyards and provides a stunning view that stretches out to the sea. Some people go to meditate and find their inner peace, while others go to marvel at the architecture and incredible view.

34. Go to Archiepiscopal Palace in Udine and see the Tiepolo Galleries

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo was a great Italian painter of the 18th century. At the Archiepiscopal Palace you can see many of Tiepolo’s frescoes which can be dated back to 1726.

35. Get tickets to The Natural History Museum of Trieste

This museum is a must see! It is one of the oldest in Italy and houses many unique exhibits. Look forward to the Human Evolution Room, the Giants of Earth Sea Room, the Theater of Skeletons and the Cycle of Life Room!

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