Set in the northeast corner of Italia with a crown of Alps, Friuli-Venezia Giulia is bordered on the north with Austria, on the east with Slovenia, to the south lies the Adriatic Sea, and to the west with Veneto (Venice, Padua, Verona, etc.).

Owing to a strong cultural link with Austria, Friuli-Venezia Giulia is one of Italia's 5 autonomous regions: a region enjoying greater independence from Italian national governance than most. Local custom, cuisine, and architecture reflect this historic linkage with Austria.

Trieste, the regional capital of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, is the origin of world famous Illy Caffé, supplier of more than 40% of Italy's coffee and inventor of the modern espresso machine.

The Golfo di Trieste at the north-eastern corner of the Adriatic provides beautiful sailing vistas and the water off the city of Trieste is dotted with sails most of the time. The Castel of Mirmare and the associated gardens, 19th C. residence of the Commander in Chief of the Austrian Imperial Navy, make for a charming visit.

Whether staying in the Grand Hotel Duchi d’ Aosta on the Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia, or just people watching from this piazza’s elegant cafés ,you are at the center of all that is Trieste. The nearby Grand Canal Borgo Teresiano offers an intriguing array of antique shops and bookstores. Top off your day with a sampling of Trieste cuisine and discover the Eastern European influences like sweet and sour ravioli with plums.

The ideal way to appreciate the historic architecture in Palmanova is by air. It is the perspective from above where the scale and symmetry of this star-shaped, fortified city is most striking. Another excellent option is the Civico Museo Storico where the evolution of Palmanova is traced forward from the 1500’s.  This unique example of Renaissance-era city planning was designed by the Venetians as the ideal civic fortification.

An hour north of Trieste is the ancient city of Cividale. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Lombards would make Cividale their regional capital. A taste of the local hospitality is the Gubana, an aromatic, nutty confection, which after baking is doused with Grappa (an Italian liqueur) before serving…ready?