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Friuli–Venezia Giulia
—  Autonomous region of Italy  —


Coat of arms
Country Italy
Capital Trieste
 • President Renzo Tondo (PdL)
 • Total 7,858 km2 (3,034 sq mi)
Population (2010-11-30)
 • Total 1,235,761
 • Density 160/km2 (410/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
GDP/ Nominal € 36.2[1] billion (2008)

Friuli–Venezia Giulia (Friulian: Friûl–Vignesie Julie, Slovene: Furlanija–Julijska krajina, German: Friaul–Julisch Venetien, Venetian: Friul–Venèxia Jułia) is one of the twenty 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 the geographical 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.

A view of the Carnia highlands.

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 Giulia 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 Carso (Carso ita., Kras slo.) 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.

Carso landscape at Doberdò.

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.


Roman ruins in Aquileia.

In Roman times, modern Friuli-Venezia Giulia was located within Regio X Venetia et Histria of Roman Italy. The traces its [ancient Rome|Roman origin]] are visible over all the territory. In fact, city of Aquileia, founded in 181 B.C., served as capital of the region and rose to prominence in the Augustan period.

Starting from the Lombard settlements (6th century), the historical paths of Friuli and Venezia Giulia begin to diverge. In 568, Cividale del Friuli (the Roman Forum Iulii (from which the name Friuli comes)) became the capital of the first Lombard Dukedom in Italy. In 774, the Franks, favoured the growth of the church of Aquileia and established Cividale as a March. In 1077, [Patriarchal State of Friuli|Patriarchate of Aquileia]] was given temporal power by the Holy Roman Emperors and this power was extended temporarily even to the east. But already in the 12th century Gorizia had actually become independent and Trieste, along with other coastal towns, organized itself as a free city-state.

In the 6th century A.D., the Alpine Slavs, ancestors of present-day Slovenes, settled the eastern areas of the region. They settled in the easternmost mountainous areas of Friuli, known as the Friulian Slavia, as well as the Kras Plateau and the area north and south from Gorizia. In the 12th and 13th century, they also moved closer to Trieste.

Miramare Castle, built by Archduke Maximilian of Austria in Trieste.

Friuli became Venetian territory in 1420, while Trieste and Gorizia remained under the Austrian Empire. Pordenone was a "corpus separatum", under Austrian influence until 1515, when it also fell under the Venetian rule. With the peace treaty of Campoformido in 1797, Venetian domination came to an end and Friuli was ceded to Austria. After the period of domination by Napoleon, which affected also Trieste and Gorizia, it again became part of the Austrian Empire and was included in the Lombard-Veneto Kingdom, while Gorizia was merged with the Illyrian Kingdom and Trieste, together with Istria, became part of the Austrian Coastal Region. The enlightened policy of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries encouraged an extraordinary economic flourishing, making Trieste the empire’s port. The fortunate outcome of the war of independence brought Friuli alone into the unified Kingdom of Italy.

After the First World War, in which this region was a main theatre of operations and suffered serious damage and loss of lives, the fates of these border lands were again united, although Venezia Giulia, in particular, was the subject of the explosion of contradictions regarding the borders.

The Second World War led to the Anglo-American Administration in Trieste until the border was fixed with the Memorandum of London in 1954 . When Trieste was reunited with Italy, the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia could finally be established .[2] The Italian Constitution assigns it the status of Region with a Special Statute, together with four other Italian regions. However, Friuli - Venezia Giulia obtained administrative autonomy and the special statute only in 1963. The reasons for this "constitutional delay" are interwoven with the international problems of the second postwar period and with those deriving from the region’s "diversity" – the different historical, ethnic, and linguistic components that go to make up this area. In 1975 the Treaty of Osimo was signed in Osimo, definitively dividing the former Free Territory of Trieste between Italy and Yugoslavia.


Friuli-Venezia Giulia is famous for its mixtures of dishes stemming from both Friulani and Giuliani traditions. With influences from key cities such as Udine, Trieste and Venice. Friuli-Venezia Giulia is also known for its fine wine.

Famous dishes include:

  • Frico(cheese crisp)
  • Brovada
  • Jota (istrian stew)
  • Crostoli Angel Wings
  • Frittole (Pastry)
  • Polenta
  • Brodo
  • Radicchio
  • Gnocchi alla spinache
  • Goulash
  • Peperonata

Wine include:

  • Moscato
  • Verdehlo


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.[3]

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.[3]

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.[3]

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-[3]

The port of Trieste.

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 [Cervignano] 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.[3]


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1871 508,000
1881 530,000 +4.3%
1901 615,000 +16.0%
1911 728,000 +18.4%
1921 1,178,000 +61.8%
1931 1,176,000 −0.2%
1936 1,108,000 −5.8%
1951 1,226,000 +10.6%
1961 1,204,000 −1.8%
1971 1,214,000 +0.8%
1981 1,234,000 +1.6%
1991 1,198,000 −2.9%
2001 1,184,000 −1.2%
2010 (Est.) 1,235,000 +4.3%
Source: ISTAT 2001

Population density is lower than the national average: In 1978 there were in total only 1'2245'611 inhabitants;[4] in 2008 it was in fact equal to 157.5 inhabitants per km2 (compared to 198.8 for Italy as a whole). However, density varies from a minimum of 106 inhabitants per km2 in the province of Udine to a maximum of 1,144 inhabitants per km2 in the province of Trieste. The negative natural balance in the region is partly made up by the positive net migration. To some extent the migratory surplus has in fact offset the downward trend in the population since 1975. In 2008, the resident population with foreign nationality registered in the region accounted to 83,306 persons (6.7% of the total population).


Apart from Italian, the Friulian language is spoken in most of the region — with a few exceptions, most notably Trieste . In the Province of Udine, Slovene dialects are spoken in the area known as Venetian Slovenia, which comprises the Resia Valley and in the upper valleys of the rivers Torre and Natisone, with many villages having both Italian and Slovene names. A small Carinthian Slovene community also exists in the Val Canale on the border with Austria, especially in the municipalities of Malborghetto Valbruna and Tarvisio. In the Province of Udine, Slovene has only been officially recognized as a minority language since 2001, and there are few bilingual public schools, mostly located in the southern area, close to the Province of Gorizia. Estimates on the Slovenes in the region vary greatly, from 52,000 up to 183,000.[5][6] Most probably, the actual number of Slovene speakers is somewhere between 70,000 and 85,000, that is between 5,5% and 7% of the region's population.[7][8]

The number of native German speakers in Friuli–Venezia Giulia is estimated to be around 2,000. They live in the Val Canale (municipalities of Tarvisio, Malborghetto Valbruna and Pontebba), which is adjacent to Austria, and in the municipality of Sauris and the frazione of Timau (Tischlbong in the local Germanic language) (municipality of Paluzza), which each form a language exclave.

Government and politics[]

PdL gained 53.8% of Friuli–Venezia Giulia's votes at the Italian general election in 2008. The region's local government, led by President Renzo Tondo, is center-right.

Administrative divisions[]

Friuli–Venezia Giulia is divided into four provinces:

Provinces of Friuli–Venezia Giulia

Province Area (km²) Population Density (inh./km²)
Province of Gorizia 466 142,392 305.5
Province of Pordenone 2,273 311,931 137.2
Province of Trieste 212 236,445 1,115.3
Province of Udine 4,905 539,224 109.9

Notable residents or natives[]

  • St. Chromatius of Aquileia, (d. 407) bishop of Aquileia, theologian
  • Rufinus of Aquileia, (340/5-410) priest, translator
  • Saint Paulinus II, (c. 750-802), Patriarch of Aquileia, theologian
  • Bertrand of Aquileia, (1258-1350) Patriarch of Aquileia
  • St. Odoric of Pordenone, (1286-1331) Franciscan priest, traveler to China and East Asia
  • Poppo of Treffen, (d. 1045) Patriarch of Aquileia
  • Ermes di Colorêt (16th century)
  • Ludovico Manin, last Doge of Venice
  • Ermenegildo Florit, (1901-1985) archbishop of Florence, cardinal
  • Ernesto Illy, Cavaliere del Lavoro (Knight of Industry 1994), Chairman illycaffè S.p.A.
  • Dino Zoff, football goalkeeper Italy, Juventus.
  • Cesare Maldini, former AC Milan captain, Italian football team manager.
  • Vladimir Bartol, writer.
  • Leo Castelli, art dealer.
  • Avgust Černigoj, painter.
  • Tiberio Mitri, boxer, born in Trieste
  • Max Fabiani, architect.
  • Tarcisio Burgnich, footballer.
  • Arturo Malignani, inventor of the incandescent light bulb.
  • Luca Turilli, Musician, Rhapsody of Fire neoclassical guitarist and composer.
  • Claudio Magris, writer.
  • Primo Carnera, boxer.
  • Pietro Zorutti (19th century)
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini (20th century)
  • Boris Pahor, writer.
  • Umberto Saba, poet.
  • Italo Svevo, writer.
  • Carlo Michelstaedter, philosopher.
  • Fabio Capello, football manager.
  • Mario Agante, poet
  • Dante Spinotti, cinematographer, LA Confidential and Last of the Mohicans
  • James Joyce, 20th century Irish novelist, began work on Ulysses while living in Trieste
  • Emilio Ambrosini, architect
  • Franca Batich, Italian painter
  • Leo Castelli, art dealer
  • Tullio Crali, Futurist painter
  • Avgust Černigoj, Slovene painter
  • Franko Luin, Swedish-Slovene graphic designer
  • Michael Manfredi, architect partner of Marion Weiss in New York–based Weiss/Manfredi
  • Marcello Mascherini, sculptor and painter
  • Nino Perizzi, painter
  • Boris Podrecca, architect
  • Miela Reina, painter
  • Ernesto Nathan Rogers, architect
  • Ivan Rendić, Croatian sculptor
  • Viktor Sulčič, Argentine Slovene architect (born in the suburb of Santa Croce/Križ)
  • Lojze Spacal (Luigi Spazzal), modernist painter
  • Jožef Tominc, Biedermeier painter
  • Miranda Caharija, Slovenian stage and film actress
  • Piero Cappuccilli, Italian operatic baritone
  • Antonio Bibalo, Italian pianist and composer
  • George Dolenz, actor and father of Micky Dolenz of the Monkees
  • Alfred Jaëll, Austrian pianist
  • Tullio Kezich, actor, playwright, and screenplayer
  • Minu Kjuder, Slovenian stage actress
  • Elvira Kralj, Slovenian stage actress
  • Boris Kobal, Slovenian stage director, satirist and comedian
  • Lidija Kozlovič, Slovenian stage and film actress
  • Paolo Longo, composer and conductor
  • Alessandro Lotta, former bassist of the bands Rhapsody of Fire and Wingdom
  • Lelio Luttazzi, musician and showman
  • Mauro Maur, Italian trumpet player and composer
  • Alexander Moissi, Austrian stage actor of Albanian descent
  • Denis Novato, Slovene musician
  • Lorenzo Pilat, singer-songwriter
  • Alberto Randegger, composer
  • Enrico Rava, jazz trumpeter
  • Teddy Reno, singer
  • Victor de Sabata, conductor
  • Mila Sardoč, Slovenian film actress
  • Laura Solari, film actress
  • Alex Staropoli, keyboardist of the band Rhapsody of Fire
  • Elisa Toffoli, Nationally renowned singer/songwriter, pianist, and guitarist
  • Luca Turilli, guitarist of the band Rhapsody of Fire
  • Ivan Rassimov, Italian actor of Serbian descent
  • Rada Rassimov, Italian actor of Serbian descent
  • Biaggio Chianese, Italian boxer
  • Emilio Comici , climber , an early pioneer of the sport.
  • Claudia Coslovich, athlete
  • Fabio Cudicini, football player (goalkeeper)
  • Giorgio Ferrini, football player
  • Livio Franceschini, basketball player
  • Sandro Gamba, basketball coach and player
  • Matteo Gladig, Italian chess master
  • Margherita Granbassi, Italian foil fencer
  • Duilio Loi, boxer
  • Giovanni Martinolich, Italian chess master
  • Giorgio Oberweger, athlete
  • Nicola Princivalli, football player
  • Carlo Rigotti, football player
  • Nereo Rocco, football legend
  • Tanja Romano, world champion artistic roller skater
  • Cesare Rubini, water polo player
  • Giovanni Steffè, rower
  • Max Tonetto, football player
  • Ferruccio Valcareggi, football player and coach
  • Renzo Vecchiato, basketball player
  • Elio De Anna, international and ITA national rugby player
  • Alessandro Zanni, international and ITA national rugby player
  • Angelo Cecchelin, (1894-1964) comedic actor


Twenty most common surnames in the Friuli–Venezia Giulia region.

  • 1. Rossi
  • 2. Furlan
  • 3. Moro
  • 4. Fabbro
  • 5. Visintin
  • 6. Trevisan
  • 7. Mauro
  • 8. Zuliani
  • 9. Fabris
  • 10. Basso

  • 11. Santarossa
  • 12. Beltrame
  • 13. Degano
  • 14. Venier
  • 15. Martin
  • 16. Romano
  • 17. Corazza
  • 18. Colussi
  • 19. Benedetti
  • 20. Ponce


External links[]

Template:Friuli-Venezia Giulia

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.