Looking for a vacation off the beaten track but still highlighting everything tourists love? Visit Latisana, Italy and immerse yourself in the culture of the everyday Italian!
Stay at the picturesque Agriturismo Albafiorita, a 19th century farmhouse with traditionally furnished rooms and private baths abutting a thriving vineyard. Enjoy breakfast in the shade of rustling leaves and enjoy riotous blooming flowers, verdant climbing vines, lush grass, and a vineyard view. The staff speak English and can point you in the direction of your next unforgettable experience.
What better way to spend the day than with some fun in the sun! The beautiful beaches of Marano Lagoon are just a 13 mile drive from Latisana in the town of Lignana. Take a walk down a long, wide beach with the warm waves lapping at your feet. Wander out into the shallow clear water and look for shells and small sealife. Look for geese, swans, herons, terns and more in the nearby reeds. The area has two nature reserves teaming with local wildlife, birds, and sea creatures. Visit the traditional “casoni”, cabins made of reed bundles with fire pits in the center that fisherman would build as shelter between outings or as permanent homes. Several of these have been made into public cabins used to teach visitors the traditional ways of life. Spend an unforgettable day enjoying typical seafood meals like ‘sarde al saor’ and sipping local wines.
For those interested in literature and history, be sure to check out Parco Hemingway, a small park with a theater in the middle named in honor of (any guesses?) famous American novelist Ernest Hemingway. He was passionate about this area and while living there was inspired to write “Across the River and Into the Trees”, referring to the Tagliamento River and the bordering pine tree forest. At the park can be found display boards, photos, and written descriptions about Hemingway, his life, his work, and his love of the area.
If you’re looking for history just a bit older, drive east from Latisana about 45 minutes to Aquileia, home to one of the most complete unexcavated Roman sites in Europe. Colonized in 181 BC, it was second only to Rome in size and wealth. Later it would become one of the largest and most significant Christian dioceses in Europe. It is home to a basilica built in 1031 by Patriarch Poppo, and rebuilt in 1379 by Patriarch Marquard. You can buy guided tours of the ruin or just wander on your own and enjoy the feeling of standing where so many ancient Romans stood.
Check out various restaurants just down the road from the hotel serving the local Friuli flavor on your way to the local winery Lorenzonetto cav. Guido. Home of one of 2013’s top 100 wines, this family-owned and operated winery has both observed old traditions and kept on top of modern sanitation measures. The vineyard lies in an area that has cultivated vines since the 15th century. Come enjoy daily wine tastings and peruse the wine cellar, buy a bottle of your favorite, or a whole case!
This is just a taste of the many different exciting activities you can enjoy in this small area of northern Italy. Lose yourself in the beauty of the Italian countryside and immerse yourself in the culture of the ancients. You will never be the same!
It is a fantastic destination when backpacking Italy.