Saturday, 11 February 2012



Located about 40 km from the Slovenian border, Udine is the historic capital of the region of Friuli in North East Italy. Ever since the Neolithic age, this region has been inhabited by different peoples. After the decline of the Western Roman Empire, Aquileia and Cividale, the area gradually increased in importance. Udine is first mentioned in history in 983 AD when the Utinum Castle was donated to the Patriarchs of Aquileia by Emperor Otto II. The city finally gained prominence in 1223 with the establishment of the market for trade and economy. The Republic of Venice conquered the city in 1420, and until 1797 it remained under Venetian control. After defeat in the battle of Caporetto in World War I, Udine became the Italian High Command's seat and since then has been an important part of Italy.

Udine is a beautiful city full of picturesque architecture and wonderful works of art. Near the Adriatic Sea, Udine is a great place to relax with a glass of wine, enjoy wonderful Italian cooking, and see some of the history of this very important part of the world. Udine is a very active town, with many attractions occurring each year. Jazz and film festivals, carnivals, food and wine festivals, can all be found in this Italian city, making it a trip well worth taking almost any time of the year.

Occurring every summer, the Udine Jazz Festival is a great time for the jazz lover to soak up great music in the idyllic setting of northern Italy. Originally a small affair, the jazz festival has blossomed into a world-class gathering, showcasing jazz legends such as Ornette Coleman, the innovative American saxophonist, trumpeter and composer. Other performers in the 2009 festival included Ravi Coltrane, Mistico Mediterraneo, and the FVG Gospel Choir. Performances take place around Udine and in neighboring towns.

Udine is an active tourist town, and you can find street fairs and activities going on regularly throughout the year. The town throws a traditional European Carnevale every February and is active on most of the major holidays, particularly Easter and Christmas. Wine is also a great attraction, with tours and festivals held in Udine and neighboring towns. The Friuli Venezia Giulia region, which Udine is a part of, is well known as a producer of high quality wine. For the gastronomically inclined, visit Udine in September to catch the Mushroom Festival, a sure-fire culinary sensation.

Udine nightlife is vast and varied with its many pubs, clubs and other forms of entertainment. Udine provides several venues that suit the many age groups that come for a holiday away from home. Despite your individual tastes, the nightlife in Udine will likely have something that pleases you. Not young and not old, the 30-something crowd can definitely find a night time venue to cater to their needs. For those that wish to have a nice meal and a quiet drink, but still can on occasion dance the night away, the Niu Pub and Restaurantis the perfect spot. The Niu Pub and Restaurant offers a semi relaxed environment, but those that frequent the establishment are far from old and boring. The crowd is friendly, offering a great venue for meeting new friends both visiting and local. They offer light aperitifs for food and visitors can drink until late. The pub offers the perfect balance between deserted and crowded, never venturing too close to either one. The Niu Pub and Restaurant is located on Viale Tricesime in the northern part of Udine.
For those who want to dance the night away, Udine has the Insonia Disco. Guests can literally dance until daybreak. The music is varied from disco, dance, techno and hip hop. Doors open at 8, but the club doesn't really get going until about 10. The Insonia Disco is open to all age groups, but mostly young people in their early to mid 20's make up the crowd. The Insonia Disco is located on Via Tavagnaco, just north of the city centre.
For a spectacular entertainment treat, Udine offers 2 options for the best in Italian Opera. The first is the Al Ferroviaro Theater on Via Della Cernaia 2 in Central Udine. The second is The Ariston Theater on Via Aquileia 11. Both have regularly changing programs, but put on high quality performances
The lovely city of Udine provides several places to sample fine Italian cuisine. Udine restaurants have a reputation for flavorful food and good value for money. Travelers' budgets tend to go much further in Udine than in the bigger cities such as Milan or Venice, without sacrificing quality.

Loggia del Lionello

Udine’s Top 5:
Udine Cathedral
  1. The Cathedral of Udine.  Santa Maria della Purità was entirely rebuilt following its destruction by an earthquake in 1511, but the church has been influenced by several eras. It lost its parish status in the late thirteenth century when it became the annex of what later became the cathedral, but Santa Maria is still noted for its eighteenth century frescoes by Giambattista Tiepolo. The Cathedral of Udine began to be built as long ago as 1236, and it was finally consecrated in 1335. As is ordinary of Italian cities, one family greatly influenced the cathedral. The Manin family began a major renovation of it in the eighteenth century, and the Baroque interior is adorned with many works of art.
  2. Loggia del Lionello. In the principal square (Piazza della Libertà) stands the town hall (Loggia del Lionello) built in 1448–1457 in the Venetian-Gothic style  It was begun in 1448 on a project by Nicolò Lionello, a local goldsmith, and was rebuilt following a fire in 1876. The new design was projected by the architect Andrea Scala. 
  3. The Castle of Udine and Palazzo Patriarcale. Built upon a hill in the historical center of the city (138 meters above the sea level). The first official statement of the existence of a building on the hill dates back to 983: the Holy Roman Emperor Otto II donated to Rodoaldo, Patriarch of Aquileia a "castrum", a military building. The present building has the form of a palace and it was built on the ruins of a fortress destroyed in the year 1511 by an earthquake. The construction had started in 1517 and the works had lasted for 50 years. The external decoration of the palace and the paintings in the Parliament Hall are due to Giovanni da Udine, one of the pupils of Raphael. Today the castle hosts the History and Art Museum of the City of Udine.
  4. The Orto Botanico Friulano. botanical garden at a location variously described as near the Istituto Tecnico per Geometri on Viale Leonardo da Vinci, or Via Urbanis, 
  5. The garden was established in 1951 and contains collections of irises, local flora, Ericaceae, succulents, ferns, arid and desert plants, tropical trees, and Platanus orientalis. The garden's herbarium, housed within the Museo Friulano di Storia Natural, contains about 100,000 specimens.
  6. Loggia di San Giovanni, a Renaissance structure designed by Bernardino da Morcote.  Loggia San Giovanni, situated on Piazza della Liberta, is emblem of the town of Udine. The splendid complex contains of porticoed arcades and the Torre dell'Orologio, magnificent town clock. In front of the Loggia there are monument of Justice, and high pillar with Venetian lion on the top of it.
Loggia di San Giovannii


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