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  • 7,858 sq. km
  • 1 m a.s.l.
  • 1,235,270
Town Hall:
  • Piazza Unita d Italia, 1
  • 34100 - Trieste (TS)

CHRONOLOGY Friuli-Venezia Giulia is a small region with a long and important history. It was crossed, conquered, disputed and divided by different empires for centuries, every time taking the best of all the cultural influences and eventually managing to create its own peculiar, many- folded identity. A brief chronology points out the crucial moments, in the passing of centuries, that are the framework of the painting of its history, rich in details and hues, painted by Celtic at first, then Lombard and Franc hands, and so on until the present day. 450 million years ago, the whole territory of the region is a shallow sea 40 000-10 000 BC: the Friuli region is inhabited by groups of nomad populations who can splinter flint 5000-2000 BC: the region is considerably inhabited, especially in the plains. Populations live in huts or caves, supporting themselves through hunting, agriculture and barter 2000-1000 BC, the Age of Bronze: it is the age of castle- like fortified settlements (“castellieri”) of maybe (according to Livius) Euganean tribes belonging to the Ligurean stock that show a developing civilization First millennium BC, the Age of Iron. At the beginning of the millennium an Early-Venetian Indo-European population chases the Euganeans. There is the presence of Venetian, Istrian and Celtic (or Carnic Gaul) tribes. 5th-2nd centuries BC: permanent Celtic (or Carnic) settlements on the whole territory will become the ethnic and cultural substratum of the future civilization of Friuli. 182 BC: the Romans, called by the Venetian tribes, defeat the Celts who retreat high into the mountains. The following year the colony of Aquileia is founded as bastion, camp for legions and attack point towards east. 177 BC: the Romans defeat the Istrian tribes conquering the Istrian peninsula. 1st century BC: the whole region (X Regio Venetia ed Histria with Aquileia as capital) is Romanised; Forum Iulii (today’s Cividale), Iulium Carnicum (today’s Zuglio), Concordia, Tergeste (today’s Trieste) are founded. 52 BC: tribes of Gepids and Taurisci plunder Trieste. 1st – 4th centuries AD: during these three centuries the Region prospers under Roman rule, marking a rapid increase in social, economic and cultural development 3rd century AD: Christianity becomes widespread 4th century:Aquileia ranks fourth among the greatest Italian cities after Rome, Milan and Capua. City life is more and more centred around the Church, whose purpose is to evangelise the population. The Episcopal Sees of Concordia and Zuglio are founded. 452: the Huns conquer and plunder Aquileia. 5th – 6th centuries: barbarian invasions, together with the decay of political practices, administrative disorder and financial difficulties, lead the Empire to a period of crisis 6th century: Friuli is annexed to the Goths’ kingdom as a suburban and depressed district 539: Trieste becomes part of the Eastern Empire. 568: Alboin, king of Lombards, occupies the region and designates Cividale as the see of the duchy, entrusting its rule to his grandson Gisulfo. The Lombard duchy, which will last until 776, is a permanent settlement where a new ethnic group of Germanic origin, the Lombards, settle side-by-side with the Latinized Celtic populations. 7th century: a period of wars and political instability 610 and 664: Avarincursions 670: the Lombard king Grimoaldo converts to Catholicism, thus increasing the Patriarchate’s power 8th century: the period of highest political, economical and cultural splendour for the duchy. 739-744: rule by Ratchis contributes to expansion wars in Italy, enhancing the arts and literature and establishing a good rapport with the Patriarch. 774: Charles the Great defeates the Lombards at Pavia and Verona. 776: Charles the Great defeates the Lombards in Friuli, his dynasty is going to reign until 899. Legions of Franks are deployed, a Franc duke is appointed and the seeds of feudalism are sown in Friuli, as castles and lands are entrusted to loyal subjects. 791:annexationof Istriatothe duchy of Friuli 792: Charles the Great grants autonomy to the clergy of Aquileia, acknowledging its possessions and restoring it with the right to appoint the Patriarch 9th century: the name of Cividale (the Roman Forum Iulii) is extended to include the whole area, which becomes a feudal state where towns and villages are the fiefs of imperial families under the Patriarch’s centralizing power. 899-952: rapid bloody incursions and forays by the Hungarians in Friuli result in the interruption of commerce, the desertion of fields and general depopulation. First half of the 10th century: theinstitutionsareinchaos owing to the invasions, the fights among feudal lords and the disputes with Venice over Grado. The Patriarchs of Aquileia begin the reconstruction of society: castles are rebuilt, agriculture enhanced, Slav families especially from Carinthia convinced to immigrate. 11th century: towards the year 1000, the possessions of the Patriarchate (churches, castles, villas, woods, roads, etc.) are so extended that the fiefs belonging to the Empire or to the Duke of Carinthia, such as Pordenone, Gorizia, Tarcento, Venzone, Cordenons, are just “small islands” in the Patriarchate. 1077: in the feud between the Germanic princes and Emperor Henry IV, Patriarch Sigeardo sides with the latter, so that the whole county of Friuli becomes a fief of the Patriarchate. Many fiefs are entrusted to German families and Patriarchs often belong to Germanic families. For more than three centuries, Friuli is a close-knit feudal state, both territorially and ethnically. 12th century: the newly established political, economical and social conditions lead to a greater participation of the population in public affairs, with the creation of the municipality and parliament. 13th century: with the strengthening of the Count of Gorizia’s power, the Patriarchate’s sovereignty begins its decline. Towards the end of the century, cities become larger and considerably richer, first among all Cividale, then Udine, Sacile, Portogruaro, Gemona, Tolmezzo, Gorizia and Pordenone. 1277: the fief of Pordenone passes under Hapsburg rule and will remain so until 1508. 14th century: among the greatest Patriarchs of the century are Bertrand of Saint Geniès and Marquardo of Randeck who, though they will only partially achieve their aims, make important steps toward the restoration of the Patriarchate. 1350: assassination of Bertrand of Sain Geniès, Patriarch of Aquileia. 1369: Trieste is subdued by Venice, but only ten years later it becomes a free municipality; in 1382: Trieste places itself freely under the protection of the Hapsburg Empire, remaining bound to it until World War I 1394: Tristano Savorgnan, with Venice on his side, orders the murder of Patriarch Giovanni in Udine. 1420: almost the whole territory of Friuli is annexed to the Republic of Venice, which allows local institutions to be maintained though appointing Venetian noblemen: the Patriarchate is deprived of all political power. Mid-15th century: the population is continuously oppressed by feudal lords, high taxation and Turkish forays (1472-1499). The Hapsburg own the Istrian hinterland, some territories in the Carso and in the Carniola, as well as Pordenone, Venzone, and Vipacco. 15th century: the region has a population of 150,000 inhabitants. 1500: after the death of the last Count, the county of Gorizia passes under Austrian rule, which wages war against Venice (1508), the latter claiming possession of the Patriarchate’s heredity through force. 1511: peasants’ revolt supported by the pro-Venetian nobleman Antonio Savorgnan; many castles are burnt down and noblemen’s houses are pillaged. In the same year, a terrible plague and a violent earthquake hit the region. 1521: the Worms Diet decrees that most of central Friuli, Monfalcone and western Friuli with Pordenone remain under Venice, while eastern Friuli with Gorizia, Gradisca, Cormons, and Aquileia remain under Austrian rule 1533: Venice tries to put an end to the peasants’ revolt by creating a new institution, the so-called “Contadinanza”, a sort of representative board for the peasant class 1593: the fortress of Palma (Palmanova) is founded. 17th century: the century is marked by an upturn in the economy and relative welfare 1615-17: in the war between Venice and Austria at Gradisca, an armistice makes both parties withdraw to pre-war positions 1629: the great famine 18th century: the spirit of the Enlightenment revives cultural life in the region 1719: under Emperor Charles VI Trieste becomes a cosmopolitan city and free port in the Adriatic. Maria Theresa of Austria’s enlightened rule (1740-1780). 1751: suppression of the Patriarchate of Aquileia and creation of the Archbishoprics of Udine and Gorizia 1797: fall of Venice; by the Treaty of Campoformido Napoleon cedes Friuli and most of Veneto to Austria. 1805: Peace of Presburgo: Friuli is annexed to the Italian Reign created by Napoleon. Enlightened rule of the French. 1813: after Napoleon’s defeat, Friuli returns under Austrian rule: in 1814 the former Venetian territory is annexed to the newly created Lombardo Veneto; in 1816 the counties of Gorizia and Gradisca move under the Reign of Illyria (including the provinces of Carinthia, Carniola and Litoral, namely Trieste and Istria); restoration is in the air. 1866: the Italian Army penetrates Friuli and the ensuing armistice between Italy and Austria ratifies the annexation of western Friuli to Italy (eastern Friuli will remain under Austrian rule until 1917) 1915-18: First World War: Friuli is the theatre of important battles 1919: the remaining part of the region is restored to Italy (Gorizia and the eastern territories), apart from Fiume and Pula. 1940-45: Second World War: Yugoslavia occupies the Gorizia area and Trieste. 1947: Trieste is divided into Zone A (Anglo-American) and Zone B (Yugoslav) 1954: Zone A of Trieste is entrusted to Italian administration 1963: the Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia is created. 1975: by the Treaty of Osimo the present-day situation is established: Zone A of Trieste is definitely under Italian rule and Zone B is definitely under Yugoslav (today Slovene) rule 1976: a disastrous earthquake causes a thousand deaths. The tragic event is a catalyst for economic revival thanks to the will of rebirth and national and international solidarity.



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