|It is surrounded by the river Livenza, the Alps and the Adriatic sea and halved by the river Tagliamento. It is on the extreme north-east of Italy, bordering on Slovenia and Austria with which it consolidated excellent co-operation relationships for a long time.||
|In the course of its history, this region passed several events: archaeology tells us that since the most remote ages there were settlements and between the fourth and the third centuries b.C. it was invaded by Celtic populations settling in the plain, while the Carnic took possession of its mountain part.
Invasions have always been a constant feature of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Rome fought them, making Aquileia - on the river Natissa, a few kilometres far from the sea - the capital of the "Regio X Venetia et Histria", but the West Roman Empire progressive broke up made invasions start again. Among them we remember those of the Longobards (568), who raised Cividale to capital of their first duchy in Italy, and of the Franks led by Charlemagne (774). At the end of the ninth century the region went through the destructive invasions of the Hungarians.
The dawn of the Millenium (April 3, 1077) saw the rise of Aquileia Patriarchate that joined religious and temporal powers and that until 1420 - when the territory was subordinated to the Venetian dominion - guaranteed unity and a certain autonomy to Friuli.
On the contrary, Gorizia, Trieste and Pordenone "Corpus Separatum" were far from the Patriarchate happenings. For many centuries these three territories were linked to Austria, even if in different ways and times.
After Venetia rule, Friuli underwent the Napoleonic and Austrian domination: the latter lasted in Pordenone and Udine territories until 1866, while in those of Gorizia and Trieste until the First World War.
The innumerable marks of art present everywhere testify the several dominations and the different historical periods: archaeologic excavations at Aquileia romana, refined Lombardic traces at Cividale and Sesto al Reghena, the numerous castels and historical centres telling the medieval and Renaissance life, Tiepolo's paintings in Udine representing the Settecento splendour.
In the past, Friuli appeared poor agricultural on one side, while on the other it showed Trieste trade centre. But from both the regional components a migrant flow rose towards all continents, so that today it is probable that the emigrants from Friuli and those from Venezia Giulia abroad are more numerous than those living in their native region (one million two hundred thousand inhabitants).
The migrant folw stopped in the seventies and it did not start again not even after the disastrous eartquake that hit Friuli in 1976. That was due to the changed economic and social conditions which in Friuli-Venezia Giulia were favoured also by the costitution of the Autonomous Region in 1964, laying the foundations both of supporting investments in production, realization and modernization of infrastructures (big road network, harbours and aiport, railways and intermodal centres) and of carrying out the function of link between the East and West, peculiar of this land.
Today, regional economy is changed radically. Its mainly agricultural structure has become industrial, with a substantial presence also in the tertiary industries. Agriculture is specialized, and the tertiary industries can count not only on a widespread commercial network, but also on high-level fairs taking place in the four capitals of province.
Industry is based on a network of small and medium firms constituting the background of the production system, while some big firms are "leaders" in their own sectors. Also craftsmanship is laid on the "new", although it keeps some traditional workmanships, especially in the artistic sector.
Besides, some important highly-scientific-level research centres are present above all in Trieste area.
Even being projected towards the future, Friuli Venezia Giulia is a region rich in traditions often related to the peasant history and world. It guards them jealously in order to preserve its own identity. Among the most hearty ones there are those of Epiphany: thousands of bonfires lit the Twelfth Night, while Gemona renews the celebration of the "Messa del Tallero" and Cividale the "Messa delle Spadone".
Traditions are joined by local dishes tasting: Saint Daniel ham, Montasio cheese, the brown trouts, the sweet "gubana" (Natisone Valley) and "putizza" (Venezia Giulia). All that is accompanied with the excellent wines - both the white, among which there is the valuable "Picolit" for dessert, and the red one - produced in this region.
Friuli Venezia Giulia environment has different features depending on the several areas (some of them are under protection).
The Alpine arch goes from the Carnic Prealps in Pordenone province to the Giulie Prealps in Trieste province. In the high flat there is the phenomenon of the "magredi" (poor untilled land), some of which are preserved. Today these gravelly soils are made fertile thanks to irrigations, where rivers "disappear" to "reappear" toward the south in the area of the "karst spring". From this point up to the sea the environment is rich in water and vegetation, in which often it is possible to find old beautiful and suggestive villas - it is enough to remember the big Villa Manin at Passariano.
Also the coast is varied: from Lignano beach to Grado one - between them there is Marano lagoon - up to the cliffs of Trieste area in a "continuum" rich in fascination.
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