The Geography of Friuli Venezia Giulia

By Meredith Pollock, MA 2015-16

The next region in our tour of the geography of Italy is Friuli Venezia Giulia. It is the easternmost region of northern Italy and borders Slovenia to the east and Austria to the north. It is composed of a small part of the historical region of Venezia Giulia and the historical-geographical region of Friuli. Famous for its winter sports and white wine, Friuli Venezia Giulia is a popular and beautiful tourist destination.

Vineyards of Friuli Venezia Giulia


The entirety of Friuli Venezia Giulia was part of the Roman Empire, but after its fall it was split into a number of different city-states. Much of the region was under Austrian rule during the 18th and 19th centuries, and only Friuli became part of Italy after the Italian unification in 1861. However, after World War I Venezia and Giulia joined the rest of Italy. Over 1.2 million people live in the region, and its capital is Trieste, a city of approximately 200,000 inhabitants. Trieste is an important Italian port and is also known as the “coffee capital of Italy” due to its history as part of the coffee-crazed Austro-Hungarian Empire.

trieste 2

Almost half of Friuli Venezia Giulia is mountainous, while the rest of the region is comprised of hills and coastal plains. The easternmost portion of the Alps is located in Friuli, and the highest peak is Monte Coglians at 9120 feet above sea level. The region next to the Slovenian border is covered with hills and is known around the world for the quality of its white wine. The region has a temperate climate, but due to its geographic variation the weather can be very different from region to region.

The Alps


Trieste is only about five hours on the train from Florence, making the region a great destination for a weekend away. Whether you’re missing the mountains or want to indulge in some skiing or white wine, be sure to remember Friuli Venezia Giulia for a quick vacation.

Friuli Venezia Giulia’s famous white wine
Sheep and mountains
Monte Lussari
Austrian-influenced architecture


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