Friuli derives its name from the Roman city of Forum Iulii (modern Cividale del Friuli). Occupied by the Romans (2d cent. B.C.), it became a Lombard duchy (6th-8th cent.) and a Frankish march (8th cent.). Before A.D. 1000 it was divided into the counties of Gorizia (east) and Friuli (west). The western county passed (11th cent.) to the patriarchs of Aquileia, who made Udine their capital. In 1420 it went to Venice, and the name Friuli lost its political connotation. After the counts of Gorizia became extinct (1500), Emperor Maximilian I incorporated the eastern county into the Hapsburg possessions; attempts by Venice to acquire it were unsuccessful.
By the treaties of Campo Formio (1797) and Paris (1814, 1815) all Friuli became Austrian. After the Austro-Prussian War, Austria ceded (1866) W Friuli (i.e., Udine prov.) to Italy. During World War I, Friuli was a battlefield. In 1919, E Friuli was also awarded to Italy; with Istria and Trieste it formed the region of Venezia Giulia. The Italian peace treaty of 1947 gave E Friuli (but not Gorizia) to Yugoslavia, and it became part of the Yugoslav republic of Slovenia (now independent). The name Friuli was officially revived when Friuli-Venezia Giulia was formed as a region of Italy.
Autonomous region (pop., 2001 prelim.: 1,180,375), northeastern Italy. It covers 3,029 sq mi (7,845 sq km), and it borders Austria, Slovenia, and the Adriatic Sea. Its capital is Trieste. Known in Roman times as the Julian region, it was divided after the barbarian invasions into a coastal part dominated by the Byzantines and an inland zone ruled by the dukes of Friuli and the counts of Gorizia. From the 15th century it was controlled by Austria and Venice, and after 1815 it came under Habsburg rule. Divided after World War II between Yugoslavia and the free territory of Trieste, the region was restored to Italy in 1954. One of Italy's most seismic areas, it suffered a severe earthquake in 1976. It is known for its ham and dairy products. Its larger cities, including Udine, Pordenone, Gorizia, and Trieste, have all experienced considerable industrial development. Trieste is one of Italy's most important ports.
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Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Friulian: Friûl-Vignesie Julie, Friaul-Julisch Venetien, Furlanija - Julijska krajina, ) is one of the twenty regions of Italy, and one of five autonomous regions with special statute. The capital is Trieste. It has an area of 7,856 km² and about 1.2 million inhabitants. A natural opening to the sea for many Central European countries, the region is traversed by the major transport routes between the east and west of southern Europe.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia is divided into four provinces:
The name comes from the Latin name of the town of Cividale, ancient capital of the Lombard duchy, which used to be "Forum Iulii" ("Julius' forum", named after Julius Caesar). This region was created after World War II to solve the problem of Trieste, which had lost its natural hinterland, that was the major part of Venezia Giulia and has been included in the then-existing country of Yugoslavia. Therefore it was decided to aggregate the historical region of Friuli to Trieste.
The Slovenian language is spoken throughout the province of Trieste, as well as in the eastern parts of the provinces of Gorizia and Udine and in the area called Venetian Slovenia, which comprises the Resia Valley and in the upper valleys of the rivers Torre and Natisone, with many villages having both Italian and Slovenian names. The number of Slovenes in the province is estimated to be somewhere between 50 000 and 150 000 depending on the source.
The number of native German speakers in Friuli-Venezia Giulia is estimated to be around 2,000. They live in the Channel Valley (municipalities of Tarvisio, Malborghetto Valbruna and Pontebba), which is adjacent to Austria, and in the municipality of Sauris and the frazione of Timau (Tischlbong in the local Germanic language)(municipality of Paluzza), which each form a language exclave.
As of 2006, the Italian national institute of statistics ISTAT estimated that 58,915 foreign-born immigrants live in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, or 4.9% of the total regional population.
Towns of Friuli-Venezia Giulia with a population of 50,000 or more: