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Decanter travel guide: Friuli, Italy

With sea and mountain vistas and diverse local foods, this north- eastern corner of Italy makes an ideal spot for relaxed, uncrowded wine touring, says Carla Capalbo. Read her Friuli travel guide here, first published in the Decanter April 2012 issue.

Friuli: Where to stay, shop, eat and relax

Winery hotels, local and traditional foods – and a fairytale castle, see Decanter’s recommendations for the best places to sleep, dine, drink and shop in Friuli.


Borgo San Daniele
Centrally located in Cormòns, this lovely winery has beautifully appointed rooms. Its attractive indoor and outdoor spaces will make you want to stay home as much as go travelling. borgosandaniele.it

Grand Hotel Entourage
In central Gorizia, this elegant hotel is in a noble 16th-century palazzo whose former guests included the Bourbon royal family. The wine bar, Il Vinattiere, is excellent. entouragegorizia.com

Urban Hotel Design
To explore Trieste on foot, spend a few nights at this central hotel. The modern décor is cleverly fitted into a handsome 18th century palazzo. urbanhotel.it

Russiz Superiore
Roberto Felluga has recently opened a luxurious six-room relais at his classic winery in the heart of the Collio. It’s surrounded by vineyards with views of the Julian Alps. marcofelluga.it

Bars and Restaurants

Devetak Trattoria
Sample authentic Slovenian and Carso dishes at this characterful, family-run restaurant in the woods of the Carso hills. There are also eight rooms for those wanting to stay over. devetak.com

Enoteca la Serenissima
In Gradisca d’Isonzo’s elegant central piazza, this wine bar and shop features the region’s top wines in a palazzo built in 1485. Go for a drink or to buy wine and artisan foods from the area. enotecalaserenissima.it

Gorizia’s favourite restaurant. Have a drink before or after dinner at the lounge-style wine bar, then cross the courtyard to the cosy trattoria where Majda Cicigoj and daughter Katiusa excel at mittel-European, Italian and Slovenian food. Via Duca d’Aosta, 71; Tel: +39 0481 30871

Perched high on a Trieste hill in a quiet street, Scabar is the place for pairing the freshest local seafood with the area’s most distinctive wines. Just a short cab ride from the town centre. scabar.it

Trattoria al Cacciatore de la Subida
Josko Sirk’s great restaurant near Cormòns is a must for top-quality traditional and local food. The homey atmosphere, family service, excellent ingredients and attention to detail will make this a highpoint. A fabulous wine list complete this very pretty picture. You can also stay here, in the well-appointed agriturismo. lasubida.it


Dario Zidarich cheese
The Carso’s limestone mountains are riddled with grottos that make perfect ageing cellars for cheese. Zidarich uses mountain-climbing gear to get to his, made from the milk of cows fed on local grasses. Prepotto 36; Tel: +39 0402 01178

Gelateria Udevalla
This Trieste ice cream shop is a must for gelatophiles. It’s a little hard to find (take a map with you and check the opening hours before going), but it’s well worth the trip for up to 60 flavours of handmade, seasonal, artisanal gelati. udevalla.com


Duino castle
This magnificent castle, on the sea near Trieste, was the private abode of Princess Marie von Thurn und Taxis. The poet Rainer Maria Rilke began his famous elegies there in 1912. The castle interior and park can be visited, and there is even an apartment for rent on the property. www.castellodiduino.it

Gorizia’s elegant covered market in the centre of town is worth a visit to either wander or pick up supplies. Open Monday to Friday mornings and Saturday all day. Corso Verdi

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