Udine

Udine is located in the north-eastern corner of Italy and, with a population of just over 100,000 is the capital of the Friuli region. The city is renowned for its friendly squares, Tiepolo masterpieces and traditional osterias.

According to legend, the Udine hill, upon which sits Udine Castle, was built with the ground transported by Attila's soldiers in their helmets, in order to create a rise, from which their chief could see the city of Aquileia burning after his devastating crossing.

Looking at Udine, Friuli's capital city, from the hills where the historic castle stands, to the north you see the red roofs of the city and beyond to the crests of the hills and mountains that protect it, whereas to the south, less than an hour's drive away, there is the Adriatic Sea.

Relive the 17th century through the artwork of Giambattista Tiepolo who reached the height of his artistic maturity in Udine. His works can now be viewed in the Tiepolo Galleries (Palazzo Patriarcale), the cathedral and the church of the Purità.

In the late afternoon, after work, the people of Udine often call in to one of the traditional osterias for un taj di chel bon, a good glass of wine in good company.

The series of old, brightly coloured, portico-lined piazzas between Piazza Libertà, "the most beautiful Venetian piazza on the mainland" and Piazza Matteotti (or Piazza delle Erbe) have all the atmosphere of an open-air sitting room, and are the very essence of the city.

The fascinating city centre streets are full of fine shops and craft workshops (many of them specialising in Lombard-style gold items), historic cafes and osterias, all in a very human, cordial and hard-working atmosphere.

Udine prides itself on its Friulian cooking, cultural events and traditional festivals (such as Friuli Doc), friendly bed and breakfasts and historic hotels.

There are lots of museums you can visit in Udine such as the Gallery of Modern Art, the Project Galleries (in Palazzo Morpurgo), the Civic Museums and Galleries of History and Art with the Ciceri collection, the Archeological Museum, the Gallery of Ancient Art, the Drawings and Stamps Gallery and the Friulian Photography Museum.