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Home arrow Venue and Travels arrow About Udine
About Udine

The conference will be held in the city of Udine, the capital of the historical region of Friuli, Italy. Located between the Adriatic sea and the Alps, close to Venice, Austria and Slovenia, Udine is a city of Roman origins, funded by Emperor Otto in 983. Rich of historical sites, Udine is also famous for its commercial and shopping opportunities and its outstanding wine and culinary traditions.


Brief history of Udine

  • Since the Iron Age it is sure that there was a fortified settlement in the Udine Castle area. Its inhabitants traded with people of the north of Europe and borderlands, probably having contacts with Celtic, Greek, and Hellenic  populations.

  • It is certain that during the Roman period Udine was a town and that it continued to be inhabited until the fall of the Empire and even later.

  • In the  10th  century the castle of Udine was donated by Emperor Otto II the to the Patriarch of Aquilea, who exploited the spot for its  strategic position.

  • Two centuries later there was a regular market in the town, and in the 14th  century the town was adorned with monasteries and splendid churches.

  • In 1420 the area was annexed to the Dominion of Venice.

  • In 1511 an earthquake destroyed many buildings: the reconstruction had a mannerist  or a classicist style.

  • During the 17th  and 18th centuries Udine had  its best period of splendour thanks to the influence of the blooming artistic activity of  the Republic of Venice.

  • After a short time of Napoleon’s occupation , the town was joined to Austria (treaty of Campoformido, 1798). In that period the  Hapsburgs ruled the town regulating its urban set-up and beginning a long series of public works.

  • In 1866 Udine was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy.

  • Thanks to a technique for generating vaccum inside incandescent light bulb invented by Arturo Malignani, in 1894 Udine became the third European city equipped with electric lighting.


  • In 1896 the football team “Udinese Calcio”, better known as Udinese, was founded.

  • Before the first world war, the old buildings were pulled down and superb and splendid houses that you can still admire arose in the town.

  • In 1978 “Università degli Studi di Udine” was founded. The master degree in Computer Science, activated since the beginning, was one of the first ones to be born in Italy. Udine has also the PhD in Computer Science, since 1983 (for some years joint with Pisa and Genova): it was the first Computer Science PhD course in Italy.


Suggested itinerary along Udine

Our tour begins nearby the railway station with Porta Aquilea, which is part of the fifth circle of town-walls. Proceeding on the route we can admire the Church of the Blessed Virgin of the Carmine, which was built during the early 16th  century by the Carmelite monks. Going along the  interesting via Aquileia and via VittorioVeneto, we encounter many beautiful buildings such us the Orlandi House, the Morelli de' Rossi House, the Lavaria-Asquini House, and Palazzo Strassoldo-Manin. Continuing the historical itinerary we arrive at  Piazza della Libertà, which was built during the Middle Ages and is one of the most beautiful mainland Veneto squares. Here there is the Loggia del Lionello (1448), a splendid example of Gothic-Venetian art. In front of the Loggia, it stands the Tower of the Clock by Giovanni da Udine, a famous Italian artist. At the base of the tower there are the renaissance Loggia of San Giovanni and the homonymous church. On the right we can see  a fountain  and  a pillar with the  the Lion of San Marco.

Near the Loggia del Lionello,  on the top of the hill, we can see the Castle, from which we have an outstanding view of Udine. It was built at the end of 16th  century, after the 1511 earthquake destroyed the previous construction.  In the early years of the 20th  century, the castle was turned into a museum and now it is the seat of  “Civic Museums and History and Art Galleries of Udine”. Inside the castle there is also the Parliament Hall, with frescos by Grassi and Tiepolo.

Next to the castle we can see the Church of Saint Mary. It was originally built in the 4th century but  its façade was reconstructed after the 1511 earthquake. Inside the parish church there are beautiful frescos from the 13th  century.

If we come back at the Loggia del Lionello and we turn left, we arrive at via Mercatovecchio, where we can notice the track of the old defence moat: old houses stand against the other in the way of medieval house-towers. In this street  the scenic  building of the Monte di Pietà arises. On the first floor of this edifice it is situated the little Chapel of Santa Maria del Monte. All around via Mercatovecchio there are several narrow streets with ancient and historical houses such us Palazzo Bartolini, now seat of the Civic Library, and Casa Sabbatini, whose  façade frescos were done in 1554 by Grassi.

On the left of via Mercatovecchio, we encounter piazza Giacomo Matteotti, formerly known as “Mercato nuovo”, or "Piazza San Giacomo", or "Piazza delle Erbe". In the center of the square there are a fountain by Giovanni da Udine and a pillar with the statue of Madonna with Child.

By way of via delle Erbe  we arrive to the gothic style Town Hall, located  in piazzetta Lionello. From this square we can go to Piazza del Duomo, to admire the majestic sacred  building, named after Saint Mary. The construction began in 1335 and its façade underwent numerous transformations in the course of the centuries. Inside the church there are many chapels adorned with famous stuccos and frescos created by Tiepolo, Torretti and Massari.

Our itinerary stops here but many other sites deserve to be visited: we leave you the pleasure to discover them...


Source: AG – La mia guida turistica. Prop. Areagoup Editore S.r.l.

Summary by E. De Maria


See also the following pages:

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 October 2008 )
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