Even if the national train service connects the major towns of the region, the best way to take advantage of a vacation in Friuli Venezia Giulia is driving your own car, in order to make the most out of your time and reach easily the touristic and naturalistic spots spread over Friuli and the neighbour Venetian territory.
Art and Culture
Venice (115km): the worldwide famous “city on the water” is the major attraction in northeast of Italy. Apart from its stunning architecture and urban design, Venice is a major art and culture centre in Europe. If you are interested in painting, you will enjoy visiting the Municipal Museums, the Gallery of Accademia and the contemporary Peggy Guggenheim collection. The city of Venice also hosts important festivals as the Biannual of Contemporary Art (on odd years), the Biannual of Architecture and performing arts (on even years) and the annual Venice Festival of Cinema (beginning of September). From art events to Carnival, from the Feast of Redentore to the historical Regata boat race, Venice provides cultural entertainment all year long.
Trieste (113km): the most important port of the Adriatic Sea until the early 20th century, the city of Trieste still echoes its Mitteleuropean past, when it was an important commercial centre for the Austro-Hungarian Empire ruled by the Habsburg family. A real crossroad between cultures and home of three religious communities (catholic, jewish and orthodox), the city has fascinated authors and poets like James Joyce and Rainer Maria Rilke.
Aquileia (75km) and Grado (83km): the city of Aquileia was an important roman settlement founded in the second century a.C. The Basilica of Aquileia is a beautiful example of Romanic architecture decorated with precious mosaics from the 4th century a.C. (http://aquileia.net/en). A short car drive away from Aquileia, you can find Grado: a roman settlement founded in the 5th century a.C. The seaside town is the perfect spot for getting a nice fish meal and taking a walk in the historical centre.
Spilimbergo (13km): the close medieval town of Spilimbergo is well known for its school of mosaic art and for the biggest folk music festival in southern Europe, “Folkest” (www.folkest.com).
Cividale del Friuli (63km): the bourg of Cividale is an historical spot, famous for being founded by Julio Cesar with the name Forum Iulii and also for its “Devil Bridge” over the river Natisone. In the summer, it hosts the performing arts festival “Mittelfest” (www.mittelfest.org).
Food and Wine
Rauscedo: the land around the village of Rauscedo is responsible for the yearly production of over 70 million rooted vines (“barbatelle”: very young vine plants) exported all over the world to be grafted and start new cultivation. Visiting the surroundings of Rauscedo you will immediately notice how important vine culture is in the area. Of course, you can also try the finished product in the many reseller shops and wine bars nearby.
San Daniele (27km): the home of the famous “Prosciutto San Daniele”. The particular climate condition in the hilly town of San Daniele make possible to produce this renowned ham appreciated all over the world. You can take the chance to try it fresh directly on location in the many restaurants and reseller stores in town (www.infosandaniele.com).
Nature and the environment
The Magredi: if you enjoy Nordic walking, Villa Cigolotti can be the starting point for excursions in the nature. It is located in the Magredi area, a suggestive natural setting that developed just at the crossing between two rivers, Meduna et Cellina, that created a specific micro-environment populated by unique biodiversity as the Brassica Glabrescens flower and the Occhione bird.
The Friuli Dolomites Mountains: less than an hour drive from Villa Cigolotti you will be surrounded the magical scenario of the Alps. Enchanting little towns like Frisanco, Poffabro, Erto e Casso and rare naturalistic spots as Barcis with its green lake and the Pradis water caves, are the perfect destination for a day out.
Lignano (UD), Bibione (VE), Sistiana (TS) are between the most well-known names of the north Adriatic seaside to spend an enjoyable day at the beach. We also mention the small port of Marano Lagunare, a fishermen town where you can take a boat cruise and get an idea of the most authentic natural environment of the Lagoon, with its autochthon animal species and straw architecture (the “Casoni”).