Friuli Venezia Giulia. A Blue Flag holiday paradise of sun, sea and fun 

By Monday, 06 June 2022 08:00
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Friuli Venezia Giulia is a Blue Flag holiday paradise of sun, sea and fun with 130 kilometres of beaches that run along the Adriatic Sea, extending from Lignano Sabbiadoro in the province of Udine to Muggia in the province of Trieste.

mini Famiglia Ombrellone Orizzontale Grado Ph Tommaso BalestraGrado - Photo Credits: Tommaso Balestra

The region's coastline is divided into three areas, each one different from the next but capable of satisfying the expectations of the demanding traveler who looks for quality services and clean seas. In 2022 the beaches in both Grado and Lignano Sabbiadoro were awarded the Blue Flag, an international recognition that certifies the quality and cleanliness of the beaches, bathing waters and services offered. From Lignano a ferry line operates (also in the evenings) to Merano which is ideal spot for enjoying fish specialities in the picturesque town centre.

mini DSCF4063 ed gianluca baronchelli 10Lignano Sabbiadoro - Photo Credits: Gianluca Baronchelli

Lignano Sabbiadoro is Italy’s Little Florida 

Eight kilometres of sandy beaches on a long golden peninsula that Ernest Hemingway called the Little Florida of Italy. Suitable for families, but also for the younger generation looking for fun, sports enthusiasts and those in search of relaxation, Lignano Sabbiadoro is one of Italy's most popular seaside resorts and has three distinct areas: Lignano Sabbiadoro, which has excellent services as well as a wide range of accommodation and beach activities; Lignano Pineta, with alleyways that meander through one million two hundred thousand maritime pines, and is the most fashionable, and Lignano Riviera which is quieter and for those who want to relax on the wildest part of the coastline. With its abundant nature, calm seas and shallow waters Lignano is a green destination, ideal for those seeking a family holiday, but also for water sports enthusiasts and for more active holidaymakers.

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Cycle trails and Europe’s biggest skating park

Discover Lignano by bike. With 75 kilometres of itineraries and 30 kilometres of cycle paths mapped out on Google Maps it also has these parks for children and families like the Aquasplash, Riviera Resort Thermal Park, Punta Verde Zoo in Lignano, I Gommosi, Junior Park and the fun park. There are water sports directly on the beach including kitesurfing, windsurfing, canoeing, SUP, sailing, swimming and diving. And there is the largest skating park in Europe: the HUB Park in Lignano Sabbiadoro. Major events include sports competitions like triathlon, bike marathon, SUP racing and running competitions, but also concerts by great artists and events linked to literary prizes.

mini Gradofabrice gallina2017 1763Grado - Credits: Fabrice Gallina

Grado. Island of the Sun

Known as the Island of the Sun for its many kilometres of south-facing sandy beaches, Grado is a record-breaking Blue Flag beach, but also one of the most romantic locations in Friuli Venezia Giulia. Embraced by the magical setting of the lagoon, it has a fascinating history. Founded in Roman times as a trading port with Aquileia, its centre is a labyrinth of calli and campielli little streets and small squares with picturesque fishermen's houses. The destination is perfect for families and anyone looking for a seaside holiday but also for culture and history lovers. It also has wellness facilities (the thermal baths were built in the Austro-Hungarian era) and there is a wide range of bathing establishments where you can practice water sports. Elegant and refined, it is a traditional seaside resort with the best of local food and wines, and many dishes based on fresh fish.

mini 30 kite surf Grado ph Gianluca BaronchelliKitesurf in Grado - Photo Credits: Gianluca Baronchelli

130 years of wellness holidays 

Cyclists should not miss the Alpe Adria Cycle Route, and the lagoon’s many islands can be reached by boat, like the island of Barbana with its Benedictine sanctuary and the island of Mota Safon with the Pasolini House.  The historic centre has early Christian basilicas, the Roman forum and craft workshops, and Grado is an important kitespot for wind sports enthusiasts who will find the ideal conditions for riding the waves safely in the Grado 130 resort. On 25 June 1892 Emperor Franz Joseph proclaimed Grado a “resort and health resort” thus launching a success story that has endured up to the present day.  To mark the 130th anniversary of that fateful date six months of celebrations are planned with events for all ages: exhibitions, concerts, conferences, guided tours, show cooking and much more both on the beaches and in the heart of the city, running right through to October.  

The Gulf of Trieste

Clinging to the rugged cliffs that descend from the Karst the Trieste coastline and Trieste, a city of sun, wind and sea, offer visitors many opportunities for fun and relaxation. From the beach at Marina Julia (Monfalcone) to Muggia, one of the most picturesque seaside towns in the region, the region's easternmost Riviera is a succession of cliffs, rocky inlets, solitary bays and pebble beaches. The Bay of Sistiana, with its white pebbles, offers relaxation, luxury and nightlife, while along the coastline, between the crystal-clear sea and the unspoilt landscape of the Mediterranean undergrowth there is no shortage of beaches to satisfy even the most demanding nature lover. With breathtaking views, small bathing establishments and a coastline that is perfect for walking and hiking along trails that never lose sight of the sea, this is one of Italy’s most beautiful areas.

A beach were men and women are separated

The Lanterna or Pedocin is the only beach in Europe that still maintains a strict separation between men and women by means of a wall. A wall that, in a city that has always welcomed and respected different languages, cultures and religions, is a symbol of freedom and certainly not bigotry. “On the Pedocìn you are freer to do what you want without bumping into anyone,” they say in Trieste. For water and wind sports Marina Julia is a windspot with sailing traditions, and don’t miss the  seaside castles of Duino and Miramare, or the villages of Duino and Muggia on the Gulf of Trieste. The area is a paradise for outdoor sports enthusiasts with climbing on the cliffs by the sea, snorkelling in the Miramare Marine Protected Area and diving, electric bike trails and trekking on the Karst, and there are two nature reserves: the Duino Cliffs and the Miramare Protected Marine Area, and one of the deepest caves in Europe known as the Grotta Gigante giant grotto.

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The lagoon is a paradise for birdwatchers

The Friuli Venezia Giulia lagoon is an enchanted place between the sea and the mainland. Lose yourself in the silence of islets, sandbanks and fishing valleys and rediscover your osmosis with the natural landscape. To be explored by boat or on board a canoe, Marano and Grado boast a priceless natural heritage with their canals and ancient fishermen's dwellings built with materials from the lagoon and now custodians of this unique fauna. The lagoon’s natural habitat leaves visitors enchanted, and in this verdant setting there are numerous species of birds that make the lagoon an excellent place for birdwatching.


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