Blog Information and Disclaimer

Some posts are written in exchange for monetary compensation

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fruili Venezia Giulia

Fruili Venezia Giulia, a region at the most northwestern tip of Italy, borders Austria and Slovenia. The complete region seen today was not officially created until 1963 with some of the province of Trieste added in 1977. Before then, areas of the region belonged to Yugoslavia, and long ago, much of what is now Friuli (the shortened title that the region often goes by) was considered part of Austria. Though it has been solely Italy for over 40 years, strong Slavic and Austrian influences are apparent to this day.

In the southern lagoon of Fruili sits Grado, an island of luxury since Roman times. With its beautiful beaches and famous thermal spas, it would be easy to turn this island into a modernized sea resort, more like a party town. Still, Grado has managed to retain its old town charm with cobblestone streets lined with flowerboxes that are only accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists. Naturally, between May and September would be the best time to visit the island but it might be a good idea to wait to experience the first Sunday in July here. On this day each year, the town holds the Festa del Perdon (also called Perdòn di Barbana) where a series of elegantly decorated boats ride in procession to the island of Barbana until they reach the Marian sanctuary, a tradition they have acknowledged for hundreds of years.

A few miles north, inland of Grado is Aquileia, a small town famous in Roman times for its wealth and military expertise. Remains of the Roman Empire, including a Roman Forum, can be seen all over town and in the National Archeological Museum. Aside from all the Roman ruins, a true gem of Aquileia is the church, the Basilica of S. Maria Assunta. Construction of the building began in the 4th century. Though extreme makeovers have been done to the Basilica since then, some of the original is still apparent, like the intricate mosaics from the time that are still intact. In the 11th and 12th centuries, the crypt and the apse were frescoed, adding to the incredible beauty within the church.

For more information on the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, a great site to visit is the

No comments: