Not just a city of transit, but a center rich in history, art and tradition. Come with us to discover Udine: here’s what you absolutely must see.
Located just a handful of kilometers from the Slovenian border and a short distance from the Austrian border, Udine is often considered little more than a gateway city. Wrongly so, because this city harbors several treasures to be discovered with a simple walk through its historic center. So, why not consider a trip or stop in Udine, even if only for a day? Here is what to see on a day-trip to Udine!
Let’s begin with Udine’s Duomo
We begin our short but intense tour from the Duomo of Udine, the Church of Santa Maria Annunziata, located in the heart of the city and dating back to the 13th century. Founded as a simple Franciscan church, over the centuries the structure has undergone numerous alterations that have bestowed its current appearance. Today, the exterior stands out above all and Romanesque-Gothic facade with the remarkable Portal of the Redemption, while inside you can admire works by Tiepolo and Pordenone.
The adjacent 15th-century bell tower also houses the Duomo Museum, with free admission.
Udine, what to see in a day: Piazza San Giacomo
Piazza Matteotti, also called Piazza San Giacomo due to the presence of the church of the same name, is of fundamental importance in the history of Udine. Established in the 13th century as a space for the new market, it was later the scene of many executions. In addition to the church, worth seeing are the fountain sculpted by Mastro Cipriano, the column of the Madonna and Child, and the eclectic well called the Lantern of Diogenes.
Things to see in Udine: the Castle
The third stop on our day trip to Udine is the imposing castle, which dominates the city center from a hilltop. Built in the Middle Ages, throughout the centuries it was always an indispensable landmark of the territory, especially during the Patriarchate of Aquileia. Today, it houses several museums (not to be missed the Archaeological one) and art galleries, where you can admire the frescoes of Tiepolo and the Bollani del Palladio arch. But that’s not all: the esplanade at the top of the castle is also the vantage point that gives you the best view of the city.
What to see in Udine: Piazza della Libertà
It is considered the most beautiful Venetian square after St. Mark’s. Located just at the foot of the castle, Piazza della Libertà is framed by a series of beautiful Renaissance-style buildings. Stop here to admire the Carrara fountain, the Lionello loggia, and the twin statues of Hercules and Cacus.
A weekend in Udine: visit to Casa Cavazzini
Let’s remain on the art theme, but this time we focus on the 20th century. Casa Cavazzini is the home of Udine’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art: the structure, renovated according to a design by Gae Aulenti, is poised to become a driver of culture and an engine of revitalization for the entire city. It houses works by important Italian artists, including the Basaldella brothers from Udine, but space is also given to international trends, particularly the American strand, with the FRIAM collection displaying 113 works by big names such as Willem De Kooning, Carl Andre, and Frank Stella.
What is there to do in Udine? Sample the local specialties!
Udine has always been a crossroads of many peoples, cultures and traditions-a variety that is reflected in the many nuances of traditional cuisine, which you cannot fail to try on your trip to the city. Typical cold cuts and cheeses are the stars of the table, along with the delicious cjarsons (to call them gnocchi would be reductive!), frico and polenta, and game.
And in the glass? Of course, you know that Italy is a wine tourism paradise: we have already guided you, for example, to a tasting of Tuscan and Veronese red wines, to the discovery of the best wine shops in Venice as well as the wine road in South Tyrol. In Udine, among the many fine wines, you cannot miss a glass of Picolit and Ramandolo or a taste of typical grappa.
To Udine with Italo
Udine always seems so far away, doesn’t it? Yet, Italo‘s High Speed rail allows you to get there comfortably and quickly, with trains to Udine from all over Italy – for example, did you know it takes just over three hours from Bologna?