Udine, despite the official status of the capital of the province of the same name, remains a quiet city not favored by tourists. And most of those who know about its existence are most likely interested in football – one of the oldest clubs in Italy, Udinese, is based here.
For almost the entire history of its existence, Udine competed with Trieste, a neighbor in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. And if the latter is “responsible” for the convenient coast of the region, then Udine is for the rather remote plains and foothills of its inner part. It is clear that when looking at the map, cities to the west of Venice are more attracted: Padua, Vicenza, Verona. But if you have a couple of free days, it’s worth heading north to feast on “prosciutto di San Daniele” and “montasio” cheese in the beautiful Piazza della Liberta.
How to get to Udine
According to Allcitycodes, the most convenient way to get to Udine is through relatively close (120 km) Venice, fortunately, Aeroflot flies to the Italian pearl twice a day.
At the airport. Marco Polo needs to take a shuttle to the main railway station Santa Lucia – buses to the city leave every half an hour, and the trip lasts 15 minutes. Trains on the route Venice – Udine depart almost every 10 minutes and spend about 2 hours on the road. You can check the schedule and buy tickets at the office. website of the railway carrier Trenitalia (in English). Buses also run between Venice and Udine, but very rarely. You can also use a taxi, the trip will cost 220 EUR.
Due to the relatively small size of Udine, public transport may not be necessary for a tourist. But it’s worth keeping in mind – there are 12 bus routes connecting the center with the outskirts. Unlike many Italian cities, there is a high level of motorization here, it is not a problem to park a car even in the center (parking is paid).
A trip around the city by taxi will cost 10-12 EUR, a little cheaper to take “from the side”. Also in Udine there are enough companies that rent bicycles. In addition, you can rent a bike in some hotels.
Udine is a small city that is rarely visited by tourists, which affects the quality of hotels and their prices. There are no fashionable “fives” here, there are very few 4 * hotels, a standard double room costs moderate for the north of Italy 70-80 EUR (with breakfast).
“Treshki” are literally 10-15 EUR cheaper, and many hotels are in no way inferior to their more “star” counterparts. In general, there are no hotels with an inadequate price-quality ratio in Udine – in contrast to tourist centers such as Lucca or Cremona, similar in size and population. An apartment for a day can be found for 40-50 EUR, there are no hostels.
Cuisine and restaurants
Udine stands on fertile northern Italian soils, in an area with a pronounced change of seasons. Therefore, in the culinary of the region, emphasis is placed on the freshness and brightness of the taste of local products. The main dishes are “polenta” (corn porridge), “friko” – a kind of pancake made of cheese and potatoes with butter, “kyarsons” – an analogue of dumplings with salty or sweet filling, “brovade” – stewed turnip slices. It is better to try all this in small osteria, where dinner will cost no more than 20-30 EUR for two with wine.
For lovers of something unusual – 8 restaurants listed in the Michelin Red Guide. All of them also specialize in local products, only in a more creative way. Average cost of a tasting set: 60-80 EUR without alcohol.
The fast food culture in Udine is not very developed. You can have a quick bite with a hamburger or “panini” with “mortadella” for 4-5 EUR.
The historic center of Udine is a small square of about 1 sq. km, which was once limited by the fortress walls. The dominant of the area is the Duomo Square with the Cathedral of Santa Maria Annunziata, the main and most beautiful church of the city (Piazza del Duomo, 1). The temple was founded at the beginning of the 13th century in the Romanesque style, but over time it changed its appearance from Gothic to Baroque. The legacy of the latter is a lavish interior with a majestic presbytery and masterpieces by Renaissance artists. The church received its modern exterior (and in fact, the restored original one) in the 20th century.
Literally next door is another church, a little smaller, Oratorio della Purita (Piazza del Duomo, 2). The building is interesting with beautiful frescoes: “The Immaculate Virgin Mary” by Giambattista Tiepolo on the altar and “Angels in Glory” by Giandomenico Tiepolo.
The oratory was built in the 17th century on the site of the theatre. Such proximity to the Duomo irritated the Aquileian patriarch Daniele Delfino. The clergyman bought with his own money this building, which, in his opinion, was vile, expelled the actors from there and organized a prayer house instead of a theater.
The main square of Udine – Freedom (Piazza della Liberta). Its architectural ensemble is made up of harmoniously combined buildings of the Renaissance. Many even consider Libert to be the most beautiful monument of the Venetian style outside of Venice itself. Among the buildings that form its perimeter is the Loggia of Lionello, an elegant Gothic palazzo of white and pink marble (Piazza della Liberta, 10). Opposite is the 16th-century chapel of San Giovanni, with a beautiful portico of Lippomano and a clock tower (Piazza della Liberta, 3). To the left of the chapel is the Bollani arch with the Venetian lion of St. Mark, leading to the castle hill, and a monument to peace, erected by Napoleon in 1819. On the opposite side of the square is a monumental Renaissance fountain, and between – two columns: St. Mark (1539) and Justice (1614), as well as two statues, Hercules and Cacus.
Freedom Square is located at the foot of the hill, on top of which there is a small fortress (Piazzale del Castello, 2). Today, within its walls, the Pinacoteca, the Archaeological and Numismatic Museums, the Photo Archive and the Risorgimento Museum are open. In the mezzanine of the Parliament Hall, the Gallery of Ancient Art is open, the exposition of which is based on the paintings of Friuli from the 14th to the 19th centuries.