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Friuli Venezia Giulia

With its triple-barrelled moniker, Friuli Venezia Giulia's multifaceted nature should come as no surprise. Cultural complexity is cherished in this small, little-visited region, tucked away on Italy's far northeastern borders with Austria and Slovenia. Its landscapes offer profound contrasts too, with the perpetually snowy Giulie and Carnic Alps in the north, idyllic grapevine-filled plains in the centre, sandy beaches along the southern shore, and limpid lagoons and craggy karst cliffs encircling the regional capital, Trieste.

While there's an amazing reserve of historical sights, from Roman ruins to Austro-Hungarian palaces to World War museums, this is also a destination for simply kicking back with the locals, tasting the region's renowned wines and discovering a culinary heritage that will broaden notions of the Italian table. Serene, intriguing Trieste and friendly, feisty Udine make for great city time – they're so easy and welcoming you'll soon feel as if you're Friulian, Venezian or Giulian too.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Friuli Venezia Giulia.