Secret Italy: Trieste and Udine

Secret Italy: Trieste and Udine

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Secret Italy: Trieste and Udine

6 Days Starting in 33100 Udine, Province of Udine, Italy and ending in 33051 Aquileia, Province of Udine, Italy

Visiting: Udine, Province of Trieste, Spilimbergo, San Daniele del Friuli, Cividale del Friuli, Gorizia, Aquileia

Tour operator:

Riviera Travel

Tour code:

UT

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 50

Physical rating:

Please contact Riviera Travel if you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility.

Age range:

9-99

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Please contact Riviera Travel with specific dietary requests.

Tour operated in:
English

This tour is no longer available

Tour Overview

Few places in Italy remain undiscovered, but the tiny region of Friuli Venezia Giulia – known simply as Friuli – is a treasure trove of historic and artistic gems. You may find your first visit surprising, as there’s so much to explore and it’s so easy to fall under the spell of this unspoilt landscape. Tucked away in the northeast at Italy’s borders with Austria and Slovenia, Friuli boasts enchanting scenery of staggering contrasts. The snow-capped Dolomites and Julian Alps dominate the north, while fertile plains and manicured vineyards sweep across the centre and south in emerald waves to meet the rugged Adriatic coast.

Highlights

  • Enjoy a guided tour of Trieste, Europe’s largest seafront square

  • See the remains of Aquileia, an ancient Roman megacity

  • Take a guided tour of the Aquileia's UNESCO-listed basilica

  • Discover Udine, a hidden Venetian gem with grand architecture

  • Visit Miramare, Archduke Maximillian’s castle and botanical park

  • Sample the Collio region’s white wines on a visit to a renowned producer

  • Tour the prestigious Mosaic School of Friuli to admire this intricate art

  • Visit the Lombard Temple of Cividale, an 8th-century church with art from the Middle Ages

  • Explore fascinating Gorizia, a city once divided between Italy and Yugoslavia

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1 : Udine

Location: Udine

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Astoria - Udine

Meals Included: No Meals

Fly to Italy and transfer by coach to the four-star Astoria Hotel in Udine, the historic capital of Friuli. 



Some departures will stay at the four-star Ambassador Palace Hotel, located in a peaceful yet convenient area, less than a 10 minute walk from Udine’s main square and the town’s main attractions, with a wide selection local restaurants and cafes nearby. The hotel features a restaurant serving local dishes, as well as a bar and lounge area. The rooms are traditionally decorated in neutral colours and feature air conditioning, tv and minibar. 

Day 2 : Trieste

Location: Province of Trieste

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Astoria - Udine

Meals Included: Breakfast

Morning



After breakfast we drive through rolling countryside with the snowy peaks of the Julian Alps never too far off in the distance. We arrive in Trieste, the region’s cosmopolitan capital, beautifully situated on the gulf of Trieste overlooking the Adriatic Sea. We will partake in a walking tour of the area, which has a reputation as ‘the city of cafés’. Notably the seafront Piazza Unità d’Italia – Europe’s largest sea-facing square, features the smart cafés, with their inspiring sea views were once frequented by literary figures, such as James Joyce and Sigmund Freud.



During our tour, your local guide will introduce you to Trieste’s highlights and splendid mix of architectural styles in its largely pedestrianised old town. Up above the hill overlooking the harbour stands a medieval fortified castle, which remains remarkably preserved as it has been miraculously spared any significant military activity. At the foot of the hill lie the ruins of a striking Roman theatre, astonishingly unearthed only in 1938! It once had a magnificent proscenium decorated with ornate statues and archways looking out to the sea – in Roman times, the sea reached inland as far as the theatre! Another must-see is the San Giusto cathedral, known for its dazzling Byzantine mosaics, reminiscent of those in Ravenna. 



Afternoon



After our tour, you have free time to wander at your own pace and soak up the café culture for yourself – try a strucolo de pomi, the Triestine take on apple strudel, with a cup of Illy coffee, the famous brand that was founded here.



Next, we follow the coastal road to Miramare Castle, built in 1860 for the Archduke Maximilian of Habsburg and his wife, Charlotte of Belgium. Set dramatically on a rocky promontory above the sea, this fairy-tale castle is a fine example of an aristocratic residence with remarkably preserved furnishings. Entrance is included to the castle, so take a closer look at Habsburg life in the eclectic interiors or stroll through its immaculately landscaped park to admire the impressive variety of plants. If the beauty and serenity of the location haven’t taken your breath away, the stunning views over the gulf will surely do the trick.

Day 3 : Mosaic School Of Friuli & San Daniele

Location: Spilimbergo, San Daniele del Friuli

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Astoria - Udine

Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning we drive through lush countryside to visit the Mosaic School of Friuli in Spilimbergo. Founded in 1922, this renowned training centre attracts students from all over the world. During our guided tour, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of this intricate artform and the various techniques used. We’ll walk the halls of the school’s gallery to admire the talented students’ finished works, creatively expressed in a kaleidoscope of colours, motifs and styles.



There’s free time after to discover the pretty little town of Spilimbergo. As you walk along cobbled streets between elegant buildings, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time. The town’s medieval castle comprises magnificent buildings in a fascinating combination of architectural styles – some buildings were set ablaze during upheavals in 1511, but fortunately much of its wonderfully painted façades were saved. There is also a 13th-century cathedral with frescoes, paintings and sculptures adorning its interior.



Later we continue to San Daniele, a hilltop town renowned for its delicious prosciutto. We visit a local producer to learn about the ancient artisanal process involved in curing this very special ham and enjoy a tasting afterwards. Its sweet and delicate flavour is said to be a result of the area’s microclimate, owing to a mingling of the winds from the Carnic Alps and the Adriatic Sea.

Day 4 : Cividale, Gorizia & Wine-Tasting

Location: Cividale del Friuli, Gorizia

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Astoria - Udine

Meals Included: Breakfast

Morning



After breakfast we drive to Cividale, nestled in the green hills bordering Slovenia and split by the picturesque Natisone river, over which spans the town’s bridge – so-called ‘Devil’s Bridge’ after locals allegedly asked the devil for help to build it! Cividale was founded by Julius Caesar as ‘Forum Iuli’ – from where Friuli gets its name – and grew in significance as the capital of the first Lombard duchy in Italy.



To discover its fascinating history, we visit the Santa Maria in Valle monastery to see the unique Lombard Temple, an outstanding example of art and architecture from the High Middle Ages. The well-preserved walls and ceilings of this hidden gem are intricately adorned with Byzantine frescoes and stucco decorations, and its 8th-century sculptures are some of the finest to survive in Europe.



Then we drive to Gorizia, a unique town at the border with Slovenia once well-loved by the Habsburg bourgeoisie. Its red-roofed buildings are crowned by a medieval castle, and there are sweeping views over the beautiful countryside. Hemingway’s Frederic Henry begins his narrative near Gorizia in his beloved novel, A Farewell to Arms, set during the Great War. Today Gorizia is a lovely place to wander, with elegant arcades and Baroque buildings.  



Afternoon



After time for lunch at your leisure, we continue to the critically acclaimed wine region of Collio Goriziano. This enchanting landscape of gentle hills is marked by hypnotic rows of verdant vines and dotted with grand villas and wine estates. The unique microclimate, created by the area’s equidistance from the Adriatic Sea and the Austrian Alps, works perfectly with the marlstone soil to yield exceptionally fragrant grapes. Unsurprisingly, some of the world’s best white wines are produced here, so our tour would not be complete without a visit and tasting at one of Collio’s celebrated vineyards.

Day 5 : Aquileia & Rustic Lunch

Location: Aquileia, Udine

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Astoria - Udine

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Morning



This morning we discover Aquileia, one of the largest and wealthiest cities of the Roman Empire. At its peak the population exceeded 100,000, but today it’s a sleepy rural town peppered with ancient ruins – the most complete example of an early Roman city in the Mediterranean world. During the Middle Ages, a smaller town took its place and a magnificent basilica was built. As we near the historic site, keep an eye out for the ancient remains flanking the road. 



We have a guided tour of Aquileia’s early medieval Patriarchal Basilica, a World Heritage site recognised for its significance as a Christian hub in central Europe. Interestingly, this Romanesque-Gothic building was built on the ruins of a 4th-century church, and the original floor, paved with stunning mosaics, is a sight to behold. The excitement builds as we descend to the subterranean depths of the basilica to unearth its treasures. Its Crypt of Frescoes boasts a 9th-century vault beautifully painted with 19 biblical scenes, while the Crypt of Excavations houses an astonishing collection of excavated gems from three different periods, including the remains of intricate mosaics, columns and a baptismal font.



Afternoon



After a fascinating morning, we drive to a rustic restaurant in order to sample authentic Friulan fare made with fresh local ingredients.



Later we return to Udine with the rest of the day at leisure. There’s plenty to explore in this visual feast of a city, such as the hilltop castle, which houses a collection of excellent museums, including an art gallery with works by Caravaggio and Tiepolo. For those who enjoy more recent art, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art features an impressive 20th-century collection. Of course, art in Italy isn’t confined to just museums and galleries – Udine’s beautiful Venetian heritage can be admired in Piazza della Libertà, a Renaissance jewel with handsome sculptures and gleaming palaces.

Day 6 : Return Home

Location: Udine

Meals Included: Breakfast

Transfer to the airport for your return flight.

What's Included

  • Accommodation

    Five nights’ accommodation with breakfast

  • Fully Guided

    The services of a Riviera Travel tour manager

  • All tours as mentioned

  • Transport

    All local transfers

  • Meals

    Daily breakfast & 1 lunch

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

  • International Travel

    Return flights

  • All local taxes and transfers

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • Insurance

Check out our Q&As

  • Will there be an escort accompanying this tour?

    Yes

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    Return flights

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Will I know the names and details of all the accommodation before I depart?

    Yes

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Yes

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    As detailed in the itinerary

  • What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?

    As detailed in the itinerary

  • Are all the relevant entry visa’s included in the price of the tour?

    No

  • Is the tour coach air conditioned?

    Yes

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    For almost 40 years

  • I have reduced mobility; can I still travel?

    We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to contact us to discuss these concerns

  • Do I require travel insurance?

    It is a condition of booking that you carry suitable travel insurance.

  • What is my luggage allowance?

    You will receive details of your luggage allowance with your final travel documents, which are sent approximately 10 days prior to your date of departure.

Reviews of this operator

David Clarke (Google Reviewer)  

This review is for the...

08-Aug-2023

This review is for the italian Lake Como trip Aug 1-8 Wow what a trip. Riviera from start to finish were excellent the booking and help line answering questions were very good and clear. The travel booklet you get is laid out that it is simple to read and follow with step by step info from booking in to flights to meeting the guides. Our guide Matt Purse was just the best guide and real credit to Riviera with his knowledge and straight forward approach to running the trips. Matt kept us informed and told us all the sort of info you want to know without going over the top....This chap should teach other reps ..thank you so much. The coaches they use are all clean and well equipped with usb chargers and have aircon. The places chosen to visit were well researched even down to where coaches park or drop you off. The Bernina Express was the highlight for our family and matts photo tip was welcomed. The only down point was the hotel,a little dated and evening meal in main restuarant was a bit of a let down. I think we were lucky with our room on level 7 and with balcony as the walls are very thin and noise travels. We would book again with riviera

Barbara Shillaker (Google Reviewer)  

I have been on three...

11-Jan-2024

I have been on three trips with Riviera Travel so far, with two more booked during 2024. Highly recommended. Excellent tour guides. Great program of visits. Great hotels used.

Mrs Bodnarec (Google Reviewer)  

Thankyou Riviera and all the...

28-Apr-2024

Thankyou Riviera and all the staff on the William Wordsworth Danube River cruise. My husband and i have just travelled on the Danube to celebrate my husbands 60th and we had such a lovely experience. We were younger than most of the travellers but we met so many lovely people so this wasnt a problem. The staff were so lovely and professional. The service we experienced was so high. The boat was beautiful, the food amazing and the excursions were informative and well managed. I would definately recommend riviera as a company. In fact we are now considering their Japan holiday.

Valerie Pascoe  

We would go again in a heartbeat

22-Jan-2022

Oh my goodness, what a relief it was to actually get away! Full marks to all at Riviera for keeping us up to date before our trip and for the help so cheerfully and patiently given with the extra admin that Covid brought our way. We felt totally safe with the measures taken on board, thank you very much for this. Without exception, Staff were fantastic and our every need was attended to. The additional Covid testing ran smoothly, organised by our Riviera Reps. The guided tours were most interesting: the guides very knowledgeable and more importantly, interesting to listen to. We loved this trip and would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you again Riviera, you were FAB!

Chris Wilson (Google Reviewer)  

Second escorted tour with this...

25-Jul-2022

Second escorted tour with this company. Did 5 days in Iceland tour. Everything went smoothly, excellent tour guide, Per. Extremely knowledgeable and interesting guy. Very friendly too. Highly recommend. Just let down by the room given at the hotel, but I guess the travel company doesn't have control over this.

Kathryn Jurin, GB  

Riviera South Africa tour - awesome

21-May-2021

Riviera have amazing holidays and tours to choose from. The one we chose was South Africa and wow! It turned out to be our best trip ever - incredible memories we will never forget. We’ve been all over the world which was because of all our experiences, this one was awesome. The organisation of the holiday, the guide and the travel was e cells that. The choice of hotels, meals, restaurants, trips was absolutely fantastic - very good quality and character - nothing bland or boring! The Riviera guide was permanently with us along with a South Africa guide and they were both extremely friendly, professional, informative and you could ask any questions you want! I would massively recommend this holiday/trip and when you’ve experienced it, you realise how reasonable the price is. We reflect on this trip a lot and thank you Riviera for giving us such a wonderful experience.

Trustpilot
Barry, GB  

Rhine Christmas markets cruise

09-Dec-2019

Just completed a 5 day trip on the Rhine. Our first river cruise and a tester for future cruises. The boat was well appointed and the cabin and public areas were spotlessly clean. The staff were attentive and contributed to the very relaxed atmosphere on the boat. The quality of the food surpassed that which we have experiened on sea cruises in recent years. I have written little because it was a faultless experience. We have booked a further cruise (in France) on the basis of our experience.

Trustpilot
Christine Hardy (Google Reviewer)  

Although most people seem to...

10-Mar-2024

Although most people seem to book and pay for their holidays online, because we live close by we prefer to make a personal visit. In my opinion if they are offering this as an option they should be better equipped to accommodate visits in person. We have not been on our river cruise yet, so can't comment on that yet.

Norma Patrick (Google Reviewer)  

Recently went on a tour...

18-May-2024

Recently went on a tour of the Deep South USA plus Texas. Before we set off on the trip we were informed that our trip On the Amtrak train would not be going ahead and we were given a £50 refund each. We were disappointed especially as there was no consultation beforehand and to only receive £50 each in compensation was poor. This was one of the reasons we had chosen Riviera Travel and may have considered another company had we been given the choice. Despite this we had a fabulous holiday, although we thought the tour guide was poor. There was no music played whilst we were traveling on the coach and when asked if more could be played we received a flat ‘no’. If we had relied on the tour guide all the time we wouldn’t have gone anywhere. However we ignored his comments that Nashville was ‘mad’ and went downtown and had the best night. All in all we had a wonderful holiday but it could have been better from Riviera Travel point of view. This is a very expensive tour and we thought the standard of hotels were very poor in some places. Probably would try a different tour company next time.

Barbara Parkes (Google Reviewer)  

Presently in Croatia staying at...

22-Sep-2023

Presently in Croatia staying at Arauana Hotel, supposedly a 4 star property, but wouldn't give it any star rating. Rooms are small and dirty. Wallpaper blistering. Meals served in a shed like lean-to. Food like warm, greasy and always self service. Second holiday with Riviera this year and neither at standard advertised. Have travelled with them previously and everything was fine, but standards have really dropped. Have booked a holiday with them next year and now dreading it. Certainly don't provide the standard advertised. We have never stayed in such a hovel and have visited youngsters in back packers accommodation which was far better than this supposedly 4 star accommodation. There are no indoor bars or lounges only a shed as a so called restaurant. Absolutely disgusting. Won't be boking with them again

Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Riviera Travel requires a minimum deposit of 250 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 75 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of riviera travel charges.

    Up to 75 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 74 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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