From Trieste to Venice

Off the Beaten Path in Northeast Italy, Slovenia, and Austria


From the magical, lost-in-time city of Trieste to the mountain paradise above Tarvisio, we’ll explore the hiking trails, culture, and history of the Friuli Dolomites—a delightfully untouristed corner of northern Italy, with a slice of Slovenia and Austria to boot! We follow coastal trails above the enchanting Bay of Trieste to Duino Castle, where poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote the haunting Duino Elegies, and wander the ancient streets of Aquileia, the city that was second only to Rome at the height of the Empire, discovering the exquisite mosaics of the massive 3rd century basilica. In the rolling hills of the Collio, the trail leads right from our 13th century castle-hotel to the high vineyards of this renowned wine region.

A quick hop across the border brings us into Slovenia, yet we’re still in the historic Friuli region. In Kobarid, we’ll hike mountain trails that pass by WWI bunkers that once sheltered Italian troops during the epic siege along the Isonzo Front, immortalized by Hemingway in A Farewell to Arms, one of his most beautiful novels. A side trip brings us into Austria for a hike to a crystalline lake, and back in Italy, top of the world hikes take us to mountain refuges, high alpine pastures beneath rugged peaks, and a 16th century mountaintop pilgrimage site. Our grand finale is in Venice, where we stay right on the Grand Canal, have our own private tour of the canals, and visit one of the city’s most famous palaces. Hiking, culture, history, renowned cuisine—this new adventure in an uncrowded corner of northeastern Italy has it all.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-5
Trieste / Cividale del Friuli / Kobarid, Slovenia

In magnificent Trieste, with its Hapsburg heritage, we walk the panoramic Strada Napoleonica to the town of Prosecco, then see the exquisite mosaics at the ancient Roman city of Aquileia and hike the Rilke Trail to 14th century Castle Duino, where poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote the haunting Duino Elegies. From Cividale del Friuli, a World Heritage village on the River Natisone, we slip across the Slovenian border to Kobarid for a mountain hike with insights into the famous World War I events on the Soça Front (immortalized by Hemingway in A Farewell to Arms).

Grand Hotel Duchi d'Aosta
Trieste, Italy
Days 1 to 2 (2 nights)
Castello di Spessa
Capriva del Friuli, Italy
Days 3 to 4 (2 nights)
Hotel Hvala
Kobarid, Slovenia
Day 5 (1 night)
Days 6-8
The Friuli Dolomites / Jôf di Montasio Plateau / Lake Ossiach, Austria / Tarvisio, Italy

We’ll head back to Italy for a hike amid mountain-ringed glacial lakes on the lofty Jôf di Montasio Plateau and into Austria on a gorgeous balcony trail above Lake Ossiach. Our hotel is in the ancient market town of Tarvisio, cradled in the impressive mountain triangle of Italy, Austria, and Slovenia, a region graced with hilltop castles and the cultures and cuisines of three alpine countries.

Hotel il Cervo
Tarvisio, Italy
Days 6 to 8 (3 nights)
Days 9-10
Venice / Palazzo Giovanelli

From our fabulous hotel, with its own private deck on the Grand Canal, we’ll walk to the exquisite Ca’ Rezzonico, a palazzo that allows us to step into the world of 18th century Venice, with an evening cruise by private boat through charming back canals. Depart on Day 10.



Enjoy top-of-the-world hikes in the World Heritage-listed Friuli Dolomites
Hike through the high vineyards of the Collio, visit Roman Aquileia, with its 4th century mosaics
Experience WWI history on a hike from Kobarid, Slovenia, hike a balcony trail above Lake Ossiach
Explore magical Trieste and Venice, stay in historic castles and palazzos, savor regional cuisine and wines


Length: 10 days
Cost From: $5995  
Arrive: Trieste, Italy
Depart: Venice, Italy
Lodging: 4 nights charming mountain hotels, 5 nights historic properties
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

Moderate hikes, from 1-4 hours daily, on coastal or mountain trails

Other Trips You Might be Interested in: