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Itineraries of artistic, scenic and enogastronomic interest with departure and arrival from a number of regional cities.

  • Gorizia - Collio - Cividale

  • Gorizia - Trieste - Carso

  • Udine - Aquileia - Grado

  • Udine - San Daniele - Gemona

Gorizia - Collio - Cividale


This itinerary begins in central European Gorizia, rich in greenery and palaces like those in Vienna and Zagreb. Mutilated of its natural Slovenian-speaking hinterland by the events of war, now a peaceful border rather than separating it unites it with Nova Gorica. In the Middle Ages, the fiefdom of the Counts of Gorizia was the subject of alternating disputes between Austria and Venice. Plan a visit to the Castle (dating back to the 11th century, enlarged by Venice), from which there is a splendid view of the city and the Isonzo Valley, and to its picturesque Mediaeval Village, where the Provincial Museums, with various exhibition halls, and the Great War Museum are located. In the city, a visit to the Picture Gallery in the 18th-century Palazzo Attems is a must.


From Gorizia we head towards the Collio, a strip of pleasant, green hills full of vineyards. Here, a convenient network of scenic roads leads us to discover cosy places where we can enjoy the dishes of a rich typical cuisine, accompanied by the superb range of wines for which the "Collio" (D.O.C. area) is justly famous, amidst the joy of a myriad of village festivals, from April until the end of October.


A brief stop at Oslavia: a large shrine holds the remains of 60,000 fallen soldiers, in front of Padgora and Sabotino, fiercely contested during the Great War. A few kilometres and we are in San Floriano del Collio, to visit the Formentini Castle, which has belonged to the Formentini Counts since 1520 and, cleverly preserving its original structures, has been transformed into a pleasant typical restaurant.


The main centre of Collio is Cormons: a pretty town with many Austrian memories, a beautiful cathedral, the 17th-century Church of Soccorso and valuable Gothic churches, such as that of Subida.

Some fifteen kilometres away we are in Cividale del Friuli. We are now in the province of Udine and the gentle hills covered in vineyards are called 'Colli Orientali del Friuli': another famous D.O.C. area (in Friuli Venezia Giulia there are no less than 8 D.O.C. areas!). Cividale was born Roman (its name, Forum Julii, later became that of the entire region: 'Friuli') and took off in 568, when it became the seat of the first Longobard Duchy in Italy and the capital of the region: it was a period of splendour that enriched it with beautiful buildings. It later came under the rule of the Franks (Charlemagne was also a guest there), the Patriarchs of Aquileia, Venice and the Habsburgs. Absolutely not to be missed are the imposing Cathedral, the Christian and Archaeological Museums, the Lombard Temple, and we suggest a walk over the imposing Devil's Bridge, which has become the symbol of the city.


Just a few kilometres away, right on the border with Slovenia, are the unspoilt and picturesque Natisone Valleys (from the river that runs through them to Cividale), characterised by thick forests and typical villages that are particularly interesting for excursions. Here it is worth visiting the cave of San Giovanni d'Antro and the sanctuary of Castelmonte, and we recommend tasting the 'gubana', a delicious dessert typical of these valleys.


We return to Gorizia with a short detour that takes us to Gradisca d'Isonzo, a delightful town, full of parks and tree-lined avenues, built by Venice as a bulwark against Ottoman raids. Remarkable are the remains of the fortifications (towers, bastions, etc.). Here, a pleasant stop at the Enoteca Regionale 'La Serenissima' is a must, to admire and taste the rich assortment of the best local wines and to visit the adjoining Art Gallery.

Gorizia - Trieste - Carso


The itinerary begins in Gorizia and heading towards the sea we arrive at Redipuglia, a town known for its solemn Sacrarium: a grandiose, very long staircase that covers the entire side of Mount Sei Busi and houses one hundred thousand fallen of the Great War. We pass through Monfalcone, a lively town on the Adriatic and Italy's largest shipbuilding centre, to reach the mouth of the Timavo River, which, after disappearing underground and having travelled many kilometres, due to a curious phenomenon of karstification reappears on the surface just before flowing into the sea.


A few kilometres and we are in Duino, dominated by the mighty Castle, overlooking the splendid bay.


From here, we recommend walking to nearby Sistiana, along the magnificent cliff-top path named after the famous German poet Rilke, who loved these places so much. Along the path we can make some interesting discoveries about the local fauna and flora. The Bay of Sistiana is home to a charming marina set in a landscape where the Adriatic Sea and Karst meet.


From Sistiana to Trieste, we travel some twenty kilometres along a very picturesque, highly scenic road, overlooking the sea, which takes us to Miramare, the romantic, white castle that saw the love of Maximilian of Habsburg and his Charlotte. In addition to the castle, the splendid park that surrounds it is noteworthy.


We continue along the sea, pass Barcola (which from April to October becomes an uninterrupted beach) and enter Trieste: a fascinating city, a pleasant discovery for those visiting it for the first time and to which one always returns with great pleasure. A civilised crossroads and meeting point of different peoples and customs for centuries, splendid for its monuments and incredible position in the luminous arc of its azure gulf, Trieste is a generous host with much to show, such as the Cathedral and the San Giusto Castle, the Roman Theatre, Corso Italia and Piazza della Borsa, Via Carducci, Piazza Unità (an authentic open-air salon on the azure Adriatic), and the luminous Rive. From the Victory Lighthouse, in Barcola, there is a wonderful panorama. Trieste offers several interesting museums: the Civic Museum, the Morpurgo Museum, the Maritime Museum, the Railway Museum at Campo Marzio Station, the Revoltella Museum with its important modern art collections, and the Marine Aquarium.


A few kilometres and we reach the border with Slovenia. First there is Muggia, all Venetian, very pretty, with beautiful monuments such as the 15th-century cathedral and the medieval castle overlooking the port.


We return to Monfalcone along the Karst Plateau, unique in its kind, with its rugged rocks and vast forests that enclose neat Slovenian-speaking villages, rich in folkloristic aspects and events (the famous "Karst weddings", for example). On the Karst, caves and dolines abound; of particular note is the fascinating Grotta Gigante, which is definitely worth a visit; rich in splendid stalactites and stalagmites that create a thousand fantastic compositions, it is so vast that its interior could comfortably contain St Peter's Basilica.


Golf lovers can stop in Padriciano, home of the Golf Club Trieste. The last stop is reserved for the Sanctuary of Monte Grisa, erected in the 1950s, for a vow, overlooking the Gulf of Trieste: we leave with our eyes full of a splendid all-blue vision.

Udine - Aquileia - Grado



This itinerary begins in Udine, an elegant city rich in Roman-Gothic and Venetian monuments, bustling with squares and streets where time seems to stand still.

We start in Piazza Libertà with the Loggia del Lionello, the Porticato, the Church of S. Giovanni and the Clock Tower, similar to the Moors' Tower in Venice.

From here we ascend to the 16th-century Castle that dominates the city from above, mighty and elegant: it houses the rich collections of the Civic Museum and the Art Gallery, and has been reopened to the public after delicate restoration work following the serious damage caused by the 1976 earthquake. Of undoubted beauty is the small church of S. Maria del Castello, dating back to the 12th century, with a 16th-century façade and bell tower and an austere 13th-century romantic frescoed interior. We return to the centre to visit the imposing Duomo, begun in the 14th century, and its precious works by Tiepolo, Vitale da Bologna and other famous artists; the bell tower, erected on the octagonal remains of the 14th-century baptistery, is interesting. Nearby is the Oratorio della Purità, with rich Tiepolo frescoes that also embellish the nearby Palazzo Arcivescovile, home to the Diocesan Museum. Finally, we stop in the harmonious Piazza S. Giacomo, with its 15th-century buildings and beautiful church.


Leaving Udine, in Passariano di Codroipo we admire Villa Manin, a fascinating, scenic residence of the last Doge, rich in history (it also hosted Napoleon) and beautiful things to see (the park, the armoury, the collection of carriages, the Regional Crafts Exhibition). After a brief stop in Bertiolo, at the Cantina Sociale known for its excellent wines, we reach Palmanova, the splendid fortress-city, a harmonious 9-sided star-shaped polygon that Venice built in 1593 to defend its eastern borders, undoubtedly one of the best successful (and best preserved) examples of military architecture.


We then reach Aquileia, under Augustus capital of the 10th Region 'Venetia et Histria', with monuments of great splendour. It was later the seat of the Patriarchate, and reached its maximum power around the year 1000 under Patriarch Popone, who is also credited with the construction of the splendid Romanesque Basilica, on the remains of pre-existing religious buildings. Its interior, with its marvellous mosaic floor and many works of art, is admirable, as is the mighty bell tower that dominates the Friulian plain in isolation. A walk along the Via Sacra, a cypress-lined avenue that runs alongside the remains of the ancient Roman river port, is suggestive, and a visit to the Archaeological Museum (the amber and glass collections are remarkable) and the numerous excavations is a must.


Just ten kilometres and we are on the Adriatic, in Grado, the well-known seaside resort. Here the delightful old town awaits us, with its calli, campielli and picturesque views, and the Basilica of Sant'Eufemia (6th century), rich in Roman columns, with a magnificent mosaic floor and a St Michael from 1462 on the spire of the beautiful bell tower. Also worth seeing are the Baptistery (5th century) and the nearby Santa Maria delle Grazie, of the Ravenna type.

Udine - San Daniele - Gemona



Leaving Udine we pass the pretty town of Fagagna (where, at Villaverde, we can play golf) and reach San Daniele del Friuli, a lovely town that can be seen from afar, gathered on its hillside. Famous for its prosciutto (it seems it is the air here that gives it its unmistakable fragrance), San Daniele is worth a visit not only for food and wine reasons. Noteworthy are, for example, the Guarneriana Library (rich in precious incunabula and volumes, in the 16th-century former Town Hall); the imposing Cathedral overlooking the main square (circa 1700) with its notable works of art, but above all the small church of S. Antonio Abate, dating back to 1450, a very fine example of late Venetian Gothic, embellished by the works of Martino da Udine, perhaps the most important Renaissance fresco cycle in the whole of Friuli. Finally, we admire the beautiful 18th-century palace of the Monte di Pietà.


From San Daniele we head towards Osoppo, dominated by the hill on which stands the imposing fortified fortress, charged with glory for the heroic resistance of the Osovans against the Austrians in 1848, and a stronghold of resistance during the Second World War. There is a beautiful panorama: in the foreground, the wide bed of the Tagliamento River.


We now head north: past pretty Trasaghis and scenic Lake Cavazzo, we reach the capital of Carnia, Tolmezzo. An important commercial and industrial centre, it is the starting point for excursions into the Carnic valleys. Next to Tolmezzo is Zuglio, the ancient Roman "Julium Carnicum": the beautiful thousand-year-old Gothic church of San Pietro is worth a walk, not least for the panorama.


We travel along the Tagliamento River and visit Venzone and Gemona, practically razed to the ground by the 1976 earthquake and now completely rebuilt. In both of these beautiful towns stands a splendid cathedral, due to Maestro Giovanni from Gemona, dating 14th century. Both the Cathedral of Venzone (Gothic, completely destroyed by the earthquake) and the Cathedral of Gemona (in Roman-Gothic form, damaged to a lesser extent) were meticulously rebuilt. In Venzone, the entire central nucleus is valuable, reconstructed with great fidelity; the mighty 12th-century walls clearly bear the damage caused by the earthquake; the 15th-century Palazzo Comunale was rebuilt twice, first because of the Great War and then because of the earthquake. In Gemona, the Renaissance Palazzo Comunale (rebuilt exactly as it was) and what remains of other notable monuments, such as San Giovanni and Santa Maria delle Grazie, are worth seeing.


We continue southwards, and here we find Tarcento, a pleasant town, with an almost always mild climate, and a starting point for numerous excursions to the pleasant hillside locations that surround it: for example to Attimis (Fossil Exhibition, in Forame), in the Upper Torre Valley, as far as the white peaks of the Musi, or to enjoy excellent cuisine.


We reach the scenic Tricesimo, where the vast Friulian plain begins. Udine is now very close, only about ten kilometres away.


Number of rooms: 40

Senior Suite: 4

Junior Suite: 4

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