Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia
The resort of Piancavallo was built 25 years ago in a sunny valley beside Monte Cavallo in the Eastern Dolomites (Parco Naturale delle Dolomiti Friulane). It has a certain open plan charm but at least the snow and skiing are guaranteed thanks to over 40 snow cannons which work the pistes from mid December.
Our favorite hand-book 'Where to Ski' describes it as a curiously trendy purpose built village with a number of short runs and an easy car outing from Venice.
What it doesn't mention is the Piancavallo Ice Stadium featuring a 60x30m ice rink, 30 km of cross country ski routes and the 'tremol' ski lift which takes visitors to 1800 meters and a fabulous view of the Colli Euganei, the Istrian coast and the rest of the Dolomites.
The Province of Udine comprises 75% of the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. Its northern reaches border the mountainous zones of Tarvisiano and Sella Nevea while in absolute contrast the southern limits offer us the coastal lagoon towns of Grado, province of Gorizia, and Lignano Sabbiadoro. What's in between? Read our succint guide.
Here's an interesting idea proposed by the Antica Trattoria Schönburg at Malborghetto in the province of Udine. Their menu still contains the exact meal served to the captain who defended the town during the French siege in the Napoleonic Wars.
Anyone familiar with Italian cooking will have heard of San Daniele ham from the region, but the cuisine of the zone is varied and rich.
Visitors might like to order a 'cotechino' joint or the local frico cheese with polenta. Snails are a delicacy as is 'cialzons' a local 'puff' pasta and barley with beans.
Cividale del Friuli is a great place for finding a quaint local restaurant. If you are ask, you may also find yourself also tucking into a 'gubana', a dessert speciality of the town.
It is typical for both the Christmas and Easter periods, but is now enjoyed all year round and all around Friuli and beyond. We also also know it was served in the 15th century at a banquet for Pope Gregory XII when he visited Cividale.
Its name probably derives from the Slovenian word 'guba' meaning 'folded' or 'bent' and is so similar to the Italian word 'gobbo' (hunchback), that it surely cannot be a coincidence. If you have been to Venice you may have also seen the Gobbo of Rialto.
Do not confuse gubana with the presnitz from Trieste whose shape is that of a horseshow but is made of a lighter pasta sfoglia. So, here's how to make it your dolce gubana.
70g sultanas, 350g butter, 125g broken nuts, 60g pine nuts, 75g candied fruit, 30g almonds, spoonful of bread crumbs, 3 eggs, caster sugar, lemon, orange, 'Malaga' wine, 350g white flour, 2 spoonfuls of Aquavite.
Without Aquileia there would be no Venice.
The fall of the Roman Empire and the subsequent arrival of the Huns forced the citizens of Rome's second most important city to seek refuge in the lagoons.
They took their Republican spirit with them and having founded Grado and settled on Torcello, they then set up home on the island of Rialto.
But it is still worth a trip to Aquileia today as were lucky enough to do so having been invited by the Consorzio Turistico Gorizia el'Isontino.
A small town of 3,000 inhabitants in the Province of Udine, the Roman ruins of the old capital of the 'X Regio Venetia et Histria', basically today's Veneto, are now UNESCO listed.
Sacile in the province of Pordenone was known at one time as the 'Giardino della Serenissima'. A place to relax, seek calm and simply wander aimlessly amidst the beautifully built palazzi, flowered streets and rich, green environment created by the Livenza river.
This period of splendour and culture flourished when the town was in Venetian hands in the 16th century. It lasted until Garibaldi's men hit the scene in the mid 1800's and was momentarily gone for ever during bitter fighting of the First World War.
The Piancavallo Cellina Livenza tourism authorities describes the town as being a series of small 'borghi'.