Friuli Venezia Giulia

       
Ancient Roman columns in Aquileia - Italy.

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"Friuli Venezia Giulia"



Rating: 5 - Excellent Reviewed 24 September 2012
Casa dolce casa... una regione tutta da scoprire con meraviglie naturali, storia e cultura!
Friuli–Venezia Giulia is one of the 20 regions of Italy, and one of five autonomous regions with special statute. The capital is Trieste. It has an area of 7,858 km² and about 1.2 million inhabitants. A natural opening to the sea for many Central European countries, the region is traversed by the major transport routes between the east and west of southern Europe. It encompasses the historical-geographical region of Friuli and a small portion of the historical region of Venezia Giulia (known in English also as Julian March), each with its own distinct history, traditions and identity.

Friuli–Venezia Giulia is Italy's most North-Eastern region. It covers an area of 7,858 km2 and is the fifth smallest region of the country. It borders Austria to the north and Slovenia to the east. To the south it faces the Adriatic Sea and to the west its internal border is with the Veneto region.

The region spans a wide variety of climates and landscapes from the mild Mediterranean climate in the south to Alpine continental in the north. The total area is subdivided into a 42.5% mountainous-alpine terrain in the north, 19.3% is hilly, mostly to the south-east, while the remaining 38.2% comprises the central and coastal plains.

Morphologically the region can be subdivided into four main areas. The mountainous area in the north: this part of the region includes Carnia and the ending section of the Alps (Carnic Alps and Julian Alps), of which the highest peaks exceed 2,700 m above sea level (Jôf di Montasio 2,754 m.). Its landscapes are characterised by vast pine forests and pastures, mountain lakes (e.g. Sauris and Barcis) and numerous streams and small rivers descending from the mountains. The area is also known for its tourist destinations, especially during the winter season (Monte Zoncolan, Tarvisio). The hilly area, situated to the south of the mountains and along the central section of the border with Slovenia. The main product of agriculture in this area is wine, whose quality, especially the white, is known worldwide. The easternmost part of the hilly area is also known as Slavia Friulana, as it is mostly inhabited by ethnic Slovenes. The central plains are characterised by poor, arid and permeable soil. The soil has been made fertile with an extensive irrigation system and through the adoption of modern intensive farming techniques. In this part of the region most of the agricultural activities are concentrated. The coastal area can be further subdivided in two, western-eastern, subsections separated by the river Isonzo's estuary. To the west, the coast is shallow and sandy, with numerous tourist resorts and the lagoons of Grado and Marano Lagunare. To the east, the coastline rises into cliffs, where the Kras plateau meets the Adriatic, all the way to Trieste and Muggia on the border with Slovenia. The Carso has geological features and phenomena such as hollows, cave networks and underground rivers, which extend inland in the provinces of Trieste and Gorizia, with an altitude ranging between 300m and 600m.

The rivers of the region flow from the North and from Slovenia into the Adriatic. The two main rivers are the Tagliamento, which flows west-east in its upper part in the Carnic Alps and then bends into a north-south flow that separates the Julian Alps from Alpine foothills and the Isonzo (Soča slo.) which flows from Slovenia into Italy. The Timavo is an underground river that flows for 38 km from Slovenia and resurfaces near its mouth north-west of Duino.

The region Friuli–Venezia Giulia has a temperate climate. However, due to the terrain's diversity, it varies considerably from one area to another. Walled by the Alps on its northern flank, the region is exposed to air masses from the East and the West. The region receives also the southerly Scirocco from the Adriatic sea, which brings in heavy rainfall. Along the coast the climate is mild and pleasant. Trieste records the smallest temperature differences between winter and summer and between day and night. The climate is Alpine-continental in the mountainous areas, where, in some locations, the coldest winter temperatures in Italy can often be found. The Kras plateau has its own weather and climate, influenced, mostly during autumn and winter, by masses of cold air coming from the North-East. These generate a very special feature of the local climate: the north-easterly wind Bora, which blows over the Gulf of Trieste with gusts occasionally exceeding speeds of 150 km/h.

The economy of Friuli–Venezia Giulia is one of the most developed in the country. Its core is based on small- and middle-size enterprises (the so-called 'North-East model'), on specialized farming and on high-quality tourism with a significant inclination towards exports.

Agriculture and farming maintain an essential role in the economy of the region and employed in 2001 around 95,000 persons. Its high quality products are exported not only within the country and Europe (fruit and vegetable, cheese) but have become known worldwide for their quality (cured ham and wines, especially white ones). Noteworthy is also the production of soy (third producer in Italy with more than 37,000 hectares cultivated in 2000) and timber production in Carnia.

As mentioned above, the economy of the region is based on a widespread mosaic of small and medium-size enterprises; of particular importance are the four industrial districts where a multitude of such highly specialised enterprises are concentrated. These districts are centred around the towns of Manzano, San Daniele del Friuli (cured ham), Maniago (knives) and Brugnera (furniture). A number of large enterprises are also present in the region in both the industry and services sector. Some of these companies are world-leaders in their relevant sectors; such are Fincantieri (based in Trieste and in Monfalcone) for the construction of the world's largest cruise ships, Zanussi-Electrolux (Pordenone) in the production of electrical appliances and Assicurazioni Generali in Trieste, one of the leading insurance companies in the world.

Again, in the services sector the city of Trieste plays a leading role (with knock-on effects on the other provincial capitals); it is in fact here that activities such as the regional government, large banking and insurance companies are concentrated. With its commercial Free Port, Trieste also plays an essential role in the trade sector: special custom regulations ensure exclusive financial conditions to operators. The Port of Trieste is today the most important centre worldwide for the trade of coffee and plays a strategic key role in trade with northern and eastern Europe.

Although small in size, Friuli–Venezia Giulia has always been 'in the centre of Europe' and has played an important role in connecting Italy (and the Mediterranean) to Central and Eastern Europe. Its role will become even more strategic as a logistical platform with the imminent enlargement of the European Union. Hence the importance of the infrastructure network of the region, which can today be considered first rate in quality and diversity. The motorway network consists of more than 200 km that run from North to South and from West to East, perfectly connecting the region to Austria and Slovenia. The railway network consists of around 500 km of track, with the two twin-line 'backbones' Venice-Trieste and Trieste-Udine-Tarvisio-Austria. The motorway and railway networks are linked to the ports of Trieste, Monfalcone and Porto Nogaro, the three most northerly ports of the Mediterranean. Trieste, in particular, has a free port for goods since 1719. It is the Italian port with the greatest capacity for covered storage, with a surface area of more than 2 million square meters and 70 km of rail tracks. Intermodality is guaranteed by the terminal, in operation since 1988, to serve the increasing commercial traffic between Italy and Eastern European countries. Lastly, the regional airport of Ronchi dei Legionari is situated 30 km from Trieste and 40 km from Udine and is closely connected to the motorway and railway networks. The airport offers regular national and international flights including destinations in Eastern Europe. The region is now placing much of its hopes for future economic development in the construction of a high speed European Transport Corridor n° V connecting Lion, Turin, Venice, Trieste, Ljubljana, Budapest and Kiev, so as to improve the traffic of goods and services with new EU partners.
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