April 14, 2024

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is pleased to announce Friuli Venezia Giulia as its designated Region of Honor for 2024. This picturesque area in northeastern Italy borders Austria, Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea and is renowned for its stunning Alpine landscape, seaports, medieval villages, prosciutto di San Daniele, Montasio cheese, winemaking and major industries.

The elegant, capital city of Trieste in Friuli Venezia Giulia. 

“NIAF is excited to celebrate the vibrant Friuli Venezia Giulia region this year through our programming,” said NIAF President Robert Allegrini. “From its proud history and cuisine to natural beauty and booming economic sectors like shipbuilding and steel, there are so many things that make this region exemplify Italian excellence.”

The NIAF Board of Directors looks forward to its annual Mission to Italy trip to the region in June.  During the trip the Board will meet with the President of the region, Massimiliano Fedriga and other regional government representatives as well as touring numerous cities.  In addition, the region will play backdrop for NIAF’s Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery Program for 48 exceptional Italian American collegiate students this summer. Participants will immerse themselves in their roots and heritage in this dynamic border region shaped by Latin, Slavic, and Germanic influences over centuries.

A delegation of the region will participate in the NIAF New York Gala on April 18th.  The cultural treasures of Friuli Venezia Giulia will also take center stage at the NIAF Gala in Washington D.C., on October 26th when NIAF will commemorate its 49th Anniversary.  The region will also be showcased throughout the year on NIAF’s social media and in its tri-annual Ambassador magazine publication.

Friuli Venezia Giulia, an autonomous region, boasts the beautiful Carnic and Julian Alps and Adriatic beaches. Major economic sectors include shipbuilding and steel production. The regional capital Trieste is a cosmopolitan port city. With its special Free Port customs regulations, is a vital hub for global trade and commerce. It provides exclusive financial incentives to businesses operating within the Free Port zone. In particular, Trieste is the most important port worldwide for coffee trading and plays a pivotal role in facilitating trade with Northern and Eastern Europe. The strategic location and business-friendly policies of its Free Port have made Trieste an essential commercial center and economic engine for the region. Other main cities of the region include Udine, Pordenone and Gorizia.

The area is home to prestigious universities like the University of Trieste and major global companies such as Fincantieri for the construction of the world’s largest cruise ships, Zanussi-Electrolux in the production of electrical appliances, Danieli, Eurotech, Illy coffee, Rizzani de Eccher, Solari di Udine, TBS Group, Banca Generali, Genertellife, Italia Marittima, Telit, Wärtsilä, Allianz Italia and Assicurazioni Generali in Trieste, a leading insurance company in the world.  The official languages of the region are Italian, Friulian, Slovene and German.

With its Alpine beauty, medieval architecture, and unique blend of cultures, Friuli Venezia Giulia exemplifies the best of Italian lifestyle and traditions.  NIAF looks forward to celebrating this diverse northern Italian region all year long.  Stay connected with NIAF to learn more about Friuli Venezia Giulia.

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