A Weekend in Udine, the Magnificent Historical Capital of Friuli

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Udine, located in the Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, is a fascinating city with a long and interesting history. If you were thinking of planning a weekend in Udine, here is a guide for you!

Udine’s Castle

Udine Castle is an imposing 16th-century fortress that today houses the city’s fantastic museums, including the Archaeological Museum, Ancient Art Gallery, Friulian Museum of Photography, and the Risorgimento Museum.

Visit the official website for details.

The Venetian Style Piazza della Libertà

From the Castle, the next stop is the wonderful Piazza della Libertà, the oldest in the city and considered the most beautiful on the mainland in Venetian style. Here you can find several monuments such as the Renaissance Carrara fountain, the Colonna di San Marco erected in 1539, and the Column of Justice dating back to 1614.


The exquisite fifteenth-century Loggia del Lionello in Gothic-Venetian style is covered with white and pink bichrome marble with the two statues the locals refer to as Florean and Venturin.
You’ll also find the Clock Tower, the work of Giovanni da Udine dating to 1527, and the Bollani Arch, designed by Palladio, with the Marcian Lion at the top, which leads directly to the city’s Castle.
Finally, the Monument of Peace was commissioned by Napoleon in 1819 to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Campoformido.

Casa Cavazzini

The fantastic sixteenth-century Casa Cavazzini is the home of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Udine. It houses the works of the Udine brothers Dino, Mirko, and Afro Basaldella from the twentieth century. Then the Astaldi and FRIAM collection with 113 works created by contemporary American artists such as De Kooning, Andre, and Stella. The place itself is a work of art with extraordinary 14th-century frescoes.

Visit the official website for details.

Diocesan Museum and the Tiepolo Galleries

The Diocesan Museum and Tiepolo Galleries in the Patriarchal Palace is a must with its collection of 700 works and eighteenth-century frescoes by Giambattista Tiepolo. He decorated the ceiling of the Grand Staircase, the Guest Gallery and the Red Room at the behest of the then patriarch Dionisio Dolfin.

Don’t skip the library of the Patriarch Delfino, the first public library in Udine, where precious volumes are preserved – illuminated manuscripts, incunabula, sixteenth-century books, and rare first editions.

More details on the official website.

The Duomo

The Cathedral of Udine dates back to 1236 and was later expanded in the 14th century with the construction of the Chapel of the Annunziata. The terracotta facade represents the Romanesque-Gothic style. The interior, however, is typical Baroque and the works by Tiepolo preserved in the Chapel of the Santissimo are truly magnificent.


Another must is a stop in Piazza Matteotti where you will find little artisan shops and restaurants and above all, the beating heart of the city. A short distance away is the historic Osteria alla Ghiacciaia which dates back to 1923. Its name comes from the word for “ice box” in Italian (ghiacciaia) because it was a refrigerated warehouse used to serve wine and was also a tavern with rooms. Today it is one of the many places where you can still enjoy traditional Udinese dishes such as frico, a delicious, hearty dish made of potatoes and cheese. The most loved first course is certainly cjarsons (or cjalzons), a type of ravioli. Barley is also widely used together with legumes such as borlotti beans. Another must is Prosciutto di San Daniele DOP, proudly made in Friuli and enjoyed all over the world; and as a second course, you can try Brovada and Muset, fermented turnips and cotechino ham.
Friulian wines are among the best in the peninsula, if not in the world. In Udine, the tajut or aperitif with a glass of wine is truly a ritual. In the province of Udine, the DOCG labels are the Friuli Colli Orientali Picolit, Ramandolo, and Rosazzo, as well as six DOC varieties.


A short distance from the city (about 30 km) is the beautiful Risorgive Park in Codroipo. The area spans approximately forty-five hectares and its numerous streams feed into the Stella River. It is also the perfect habitat for many species of local flora and fauna.

25 km away is Villa Manin and its 18-hectare park, the largest in the region. The manor house dates back to the 17th century while the French garden, inspired by Versailles, dates back to the 18th century. Its labyrinths, artificial hills, fountains, and sculptures will leave you speechless.

udine-villa manin

Find out more on the official website.

In short, Udine is an ideal destination and will be an unforgettable trip for those seeking history, culture, and good food!