This Beautiful Italian Region Will Reimburse Your Train Ticket | Smart News

Miramar Castle in Trieste, Italy

Miramar Castle in Trieste, Italy
Maremagnum via Getty Images

Planning a trip to Italy can be overwhelming at best; How can travelers choose where to go in a country full of stunning natural wonders, historical sites, museums steeped in famous art and culture, and food unique to each region? But popular destinations also come with crowds all lining up to see the same sights; Overtourism is a real problem, sometimes even a destructive force.

But other quiet corners of Italy are dealing with the opposite problem. Brain drain – the flight of young people to the big cities – is leading rural areas to look for ways to avoid becoming ghost towns, whether through village repopulation initiatives or creative strategies to attract tourists. One possible solution: Travelers who want to avoid the crowds can head to underrated areas, fighting overtourism while boosting the local economy.

Enter the Friuli Venezia Giulia area of ​​northern Italy. The region is home to beaches, ski resorts, Roman ruins, art and stunning old town centres. It wants more visitors – and it’s willing to put its money into it. In certain cases, Friuli Venezia Giulia will reimburse travelers for train tickets, according to the region’s tourism website.

Vineyard Northern Italy

Panoramic view in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy

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And this is how it works: Travelers book a package through a travel agency of the local tourism association, including a return trip by train and at least two nights in one of the participating hotels. The cost of the Trenitalia train ticket will be deducted from the total cost of the trip. Participants will also receive an FVG card, a pass that grants free entry to museums, free public transport and other discounts. Trains must arrive in one of the four cities: Trieste, Udine, Grado and Lignano Sabbiadoro. The deal is valid until the end of May 2023.

Nestled alongside Austria and Slovenia, Friuli Venezia Giulia is one of the autonomous regions of Italy granted special privileges to protect the culture of the region. Many languages ​​are spoken in the area: Italian, German, Slovenian, Friulian and even some Croatian. And the unique multicultural experiences are not limited to language.

“When I moved here, I thought I needed a PhD to order coffee!” Maria Kochetkova, editor of In Trieste, an English-language magazine for the city’s expats, jokes with BBC Travel’s Susan Van Allen. Trieste, the region’s capital, is sometimes referred to as Italy’s “coffee capital” and is home to a distinct café culture that is a unique blend of Viennese coffee houses and classic Italian espresso bars. Also in Trieste, from November 2022 to April 2023, a Banksy exhibition will take place at the Salone degli Incanti.

Grado, Italy

View of sailing boats and houses at the old port of Grado, an Italian town of about 8,000 inhabitants in Friuli Venezia Giulia

Gina Pricope via Getty Images

In nearby Udine, with its perfectly restored old town, travelers can see Roman relics, visit a 13th-century cathedral or book a wine tour. The region is known for its white wines. The castle, which has been converted into a museum, houses works by Caravaggio and Tiepolo.

Lignano Sabbiadoro, east of Venice, is home to stunning Italian beaches along the Adriatic Sea. And in Grado, nicknames L’Isola del Sole (“the sunny island”), canals run along the picturesque coastal village and a large lagoon full of unspoiled nature. With far fewer crowds than Venice, Grado is also a historic spa town known for its thermal bath treatments.


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