Udine: Tiepolo’s city
Udine is the center of the historical area Friuli. It is located in the province of the same name in the north-east of Italy and nestles between the Adriatic Sea and the neighboring countries Austria and Slovenia.
After Trieste Udine is the second-biggest city in the autonomous region Friuli Venezia Giulia. The first written proof of the settlement dates back to the year 983, but probably Udine’s history is even longer. However, the town wasn’t very important until the late Middle Ages. Then it came in the sphere of influence of Venice and after that under the rule of Hapsburg.
Udine is called “Tiepolo’s city”, because here you can find really a lot of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s works. He probably is the most famous Venetian painter between baroque and rococo and he spent the early stage of his creative activity in Udine. There he decorated for instance the gothic-baroque dome Santa Maria Annunziata and the Oratorio della Purità with wonderful frescos and paintings. Other masterpieces made by Tiepolo can be admired in the Tiepolo Gallery housed in the Palazzo Patriarcale.
Among Udine’s sights we have to mention also the Palazzo Comunale and the white-rose town hall designed in the style of the Venetian Gothic, which is also known as Loggia del Lionello. The Gallery of Modern Arts exhibits works of Italian artists of the 20th century and also the Palazzo Valvason Morpurgo and the municipal museums in the local castle offer interesting collections.
The best time for a stroll through Udine in Friuli Venezia Giulia is the aperitif hour in the evening, when the two squares in the center of town show their selves at their best. The little Piazza della Libertà, which is flanked by beautiful palaces and historical buildings, is very picturesque. Over the promenade Via Mercato Vecchio lined by arcades you can reach the larger Piazza Matteotti bordered with lovely and colorful town houses.
However, not only the city itself, but also the surrounding area of Udine is a good place for voyages of discovery and pleasure. For instance, as desired you can visit the typical osterias, trattorias and farms by bicycle, on foot or on horseback. Last but not least you absolutely should taste the aromatic vines of the region Friuli Venezia Giulia and other local specialties, which are a varied mixture of Central European, Mediterranean and Slavic traditions – first and foremost the renowned, air-dried ham from San Daniele.