Udine and surrounding
The capital of the medieval Patria del Friuli, Udine, remains inextricably linked to the surrounding countryside, which supplies the local osterie with fine wines and the restaurants with local specialties. If you begin from here you will discover the true soul of the Friuli, a huge area ranging the Alps to the Adriatic Sea which reveals – without contradiction – castles and rural villages, wine cellars and museums.
You will also discover the strange sounds of a thousand-year old language that hasn’t changed for centuries: the Friulian dialect is still used today in families, but it is also a literary language (among the moderns, the most famous writer in this dialect was Pier Paolo Pasolini) and it is recognised and protected as minority language by the European Union. In Friuli Venezia Giulia it is in good company. Here, in fact, three minority languages are used: in addition to Friulian, people also speak Slovenian and German, sometimes in peculiar variants, like the German variant of Sauris or the Slovenian variant of Resia. The presence of languages coming from the three main European linguistic stocks (Latin, Germanic and Slav) represents a unique case in Europe, which makes this territory special from the linguistic and cultural point of view too.
A town of bookshops and osterias, with a mysterious name and many different sides to it, Udine is at once proletarian and refined, convivial and cultured. Capital of the mediaeval Patria del Friuli, its ancient history is lost in legend, according to which Attila the Hun built the castle hill which still dominates the old centre.
Indeed, a culture-driven visit of Udine can start at the Castle Museums then continue in the town centre to admire Tiepolo’s masterpieces and Casa Cavazzini, elegant modern and contemporary art museum.
From the spectacular Piazza Libertà, through narrow mediaeval streets and past picturesque channels visitors arrive in Piazza Matteotti, the town’s “drawing room” where the locals like to stop for an espresso or for the ritual evening aperitif.
The geographic centre of a region which boasts as many as 10 DOC and 4 DOCG zones, producing a total of 80 million bottles a year, Udine could not fail to pay tribute to this winemaking tradition and it does so splendidly in its numerous time-honoured osterias, which also serve the local food specialities.
Discover the region’s services and experiences to make the most of your stay!
Don’t miss the chance to visit the historic center of the city on Saturday 6 January and the majestic Villa Manin on Sunday 7 January: