Friuli-Venezia region is lesser known area in respect to the more popular destinations in Italy, but it has plenty to discover. The region is an ideal destination for those wishing to avoid the tourist hordes and explore somewhere new. Among the highlights in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, is the town of Udine, and the nearby towns of Spilimbergo and San Daniele. As well, the colourful town at Gorizia and the Lombardy style town at Cividale del Friuli are great places to visit. Other suggested destinations include the towns of Grado and Pordenone, while the Carso valley and plateau contains several attractive hill towns and villages that are quite isolated.
There is little known of the Friuli prior to Roman times. The region's Latin name, when it was the home of the Tenth Roman Legion, was Patria Fori Julii, from which the name "Friuli" derives. Its early history was extremely turbulent, as it was conquered by the Huns, by Charlemagne, by the Lombards, and by the Magyars. In the mid-900s it had become a sovereign state under the aegis of King Henry IV of Germany. In the mid-1700s this sovereign status was dissolved because of internal dissension, and in 1797 Napoleon occupied the region. The Friuli parliament, established in 942, met for the last rime in 1805. From 1814 to 1866, Friuli became a part of Austria. When the kingdom of Italy was proclaimed in 1866, however, Friuli voted to join it. In the early 1900s, Friuli once again but only briefly became a part of Austria, to be returned to Italy in 1919 with the collapse of the Hapsburg Empire and the Treaty of Saint Germain. After World War II, portions of traditional Friuli territory were lost to Yugoslavia, while the major part of the region remained in Italy's hands.