Named after Julius Caesar, the Giulie Alps' dramatic limestone monoliths bear more than a passing resemblance to their more famous Dolomite cousins. These rugged, frigid peaks are shared with Slovenia, with the Triglavski Narodni Park just across the border. Though there's been some recent development of the region, including a cross-border ski lift, the area is still relatively pristine and retains a wildness often lacking in the west.
It has excellent hiking terrain with some of the loneliest, most scenic trails in Italy. As the area stands at the meeting point of three different cultures, multilingual skills can come in handy. Hikers should get ready to swap their congenial salve (Italian) for a grüss gott (German) or dober dan (Slovenian).