Udine – great surprise in 4 hours

To see I visited Udine without planning.

We were in Lignano Sabbiadoro, with a few friends, and decided to go elsewhere. Venice was known, Udine was the natural alternative.

​It was a nice day, in a nice city, even with the sad colours of a rainy day.

​Loggia S Giovanni


Facing Loggia del Lionello, across the square, the Loggia of S. Giovanni was built in 1533, including a temple dedicated to the saint, but latter replaced by another one dedicated to the fallen. The most remarkable detail is the clock tower, in Venetian style.


​Loggia di Lionello


The most beautiful monument in Udine is the town hall, in Venetian style, inspired in Venice’s Doge’s Palace.

Also called the Loggia del Lionello, it has an open space, with striped pink and white walls, and a small display on antiquities.

​It was built in to the fifteenth century, and partially rebuilt after a fire in 1876.

​Piazza Libertà


Udine was ruled by Venice for many centuries, and the Venetian influence is particularly evident in the central square – Piazza della Libertà.

Surrounding it there’s Udine’s town hall, also called the Loggia del Lionello, opposite to it the Loggia di San Giovanni is another arcade, with a clock tower resembling the one in Venice’s Piazza San Marco.

​The square is also decorated with a few statues, including the Venetian Lion of St. Mark.

​Clock tower​ and Ercole


Piazza Libertá topped with a tower very similar to the one in S. Marco square, in Venice, displays several statues and a nice fountain.

The column and the lion of S. Marco could be expected, the statues of Justice and peace are understandable, but was is Hercules doing there?

And why do they call him Florean?

​Don’t ask me, I only know that he is really big!


​Porticati Lippomano


One of the mot beautiful constructions in Udine is the complex of paths and staircase that lead to the castle.

​Built in 1487 by order of Tommaso Lippomano, the Governor from Venice, it is a delicate example of venetian style.

​The castle


The so called castle of Udine is a palace built atop the central hill, in the location of an old fortress destroyed by an earthquake in 1511.

Built a few years later it was again damaged by a recent earthquake, in 1976 and rebuilt.

​It is today, the city’s museum, with a yard with the best views of the city.

​Civic Museum


The castle was built at the time of the Aquileia bishops in the center of the town, and was replaced in the 16th century by a more majestic building, damaged in the 1976 earthquake and underwent long restoration works.

It was already, since 1906, a museum, and after reconstruction, it hosts the Civic Museum and Galleries of Ancient and Modern art, with famous friulian and venetian artists such as Tiepolo or Caravaggio.

It was closed when we went there, and we could only see from outside a Pietà.

​Maybe next time!

Grimani arch


At the end of the access to the castle, there’s a second gate, between the castle and Santa Maria di Castelli church, with St. Marco’s lion on the top, and seeming much older than the more famous Bollani arch.

However, for a long time, I couldn’t read anything about it, but, with perseverance I got it:

As a matter of fact, this arch is only a little bit older than the other, 1522 against 1556.

​This arch, named Rimani, was located in via Portanuova and was moved to this location in 1902.

​Santa Maria di Castello


The Santa Maria di Castello, at the castle’s entrance, is the oldest of the city of Udine, seeming to have been built on a site of a previous one.

The actual structure in Romanesque style comes from the 12th century.

​Inside, the most remarkable details are the frescoes from the 13th century.

The Cathedral


Udine’s cathedral, the Duomo, comes from 1335, with a big transformation in the 18th century.

The interior isn’t particularly interesting, but it has some 3D trompe l’oeil angels, and paintings from Tiepolo and other.

There are ancient stone carvings over the doorway.

​It has a museum but we didn’t enter.

​San Giacomo square


Dominated by the church with the saint’s name, this square is now named Matteoti but also known as Piazza delle Erbe or Mercatonuovo, because it is the place for market of vegetables.

​ The square shows also a elegant fountain and a column with a statue of the virgin, both from the 15Th century.

​Church of San Giacomo


Located in the square now named Piazza Matteotti but still called St Giacomo by locals, this is the oldest church in town (forgetting the reconstructed one in the castle).

Built in 1378, it was enlarged in the 16th century, when it received the actual facade, and in the 17th when the adjacent chapel was added.


​Mercato deo Pesce


The old fish market is a very beautiful building, so beautiful that they wisely decided to preserve it.

​Today it is an open space for photo exhibitions, either from the city’s collection either from other origins.

​Via Mercato Vecchio


Outside the oldest walls of the castle and its moat, the first inhabitants built their houses, around this street, where in 1200 was created the first permanent market of the city.

​Today, a few shops give life to the street.

​Monte Pietá palace


The Palazzo del Monte di Pietà, dates from the 17th Century, and was designed by Bartolomeo Rava from Milan.

It is located in Udine’s historic centre, with statues at each of its corners and large stone arches. It is a bank today, but inside, there’s an art gallery of regional artists from the 16th to the 20th Century.The best detail is a chapel that may be seen from outside.

​With a fresco painted by Giulio Quaglio the Younger (1668 – 1751), and the altar sculpted by Giuseppe Torretto it is a very beautiful example of Baroque art.

​Porta Torriani


Built in 1295 as part of the city walls, the tower of Santa Maria, also called Porta Nova was reconstructed, housing today the City Museum.

​Biblioteca Comunale


Vincenzo Jopo library is the most important of Friuli, with more than 500.000 books, and occupying nine buildings, including this beautiful palace Bartolini, built in the 17Th century.

​Sant’Antonio abate


Once a Gothic church, built in the 14th century and transformed in the 18th, this building is nowadays an auditorium, housing temporary exhibitions.

Address: Piazza Patriarcato

​St Francis


The church of San Francesco is one of the oldest in Udine, today and only used for exhibitions and concerts. It seems to be the most beautiful church in Udine, with great frescoes inside.In 1934 some works of restoration demolished some elements from the 15th century, and in WW2 bombing forced a second restoration to the actual look, saving the frescoes.

​Palazzo Antonini


This palace from the 16Th century, was a former residence that suffered several transformations along the centuries, losing much of its authenticity. What remains is occupied by the Bank of Italy.

​Piazetta Antonini


Dominated by a palace built in th 16th century to Floriano Antonini, and several times transformed in the following centuries, this a large, nice, but strange square.Some roman ruins seem to dispute the square with a big and modern block looking like a bunker, that, by the time of our visit, was painted with protesting messages. With different reasons, I do protest also.

​1St of May square


The biggest square in Udine is an ugly place when seen as a whole, interesting when you go around it and look at the details.

Very wide and somewhat impersonal, it is surrounded by palaces and churches really nice.

​Don’t skip it.

Udine - great surprise in 4 hours

​Roggia di Udine


A small ditch crosses Udine, composing a few corners of great beauty. It seems that in medieval times there were six ditches, only remaining three.

​Santa Maria della Grazie


The building of this sanctuary, guarded by the Friars Servants of Mary, began in 1495 and ended in 1520, being renovated with subsequent expansion in 1730. The facade and exterior work were added years later. The church was declared a minor basilica in 1922.The chapel of Our Lady, rebuilt in 1769, has a Byzantine image of Our Lady of Grace of the fourteenth century, crowned in 1870 by decree of the Vatican. The other altars show several paintings of Tintoretto,

​Stellini Liceo


One of the most remarkable buildings surrounding 1St may square, is a complex that, it seems, belongs to an open school – Liceo Stellini.

The controlled river flowing around it compose some of the best romantic spots in Udine.

​St Christophoro church


The oldest detail in this church seems to the door, built in 1518, while the Gothic style of the building comes from a restoration in the 17th century. The original fresco over the door was so damaged that couldn’t be recovered and was replaced about hundred years ago. The interior has a few interesting works from the 16th century to the 19th.

Udine - great surprise in 4 hours

​Capella Manin


Located in Via dei Torriani, this small chapel with the name of the original owners the Manin family, has a wonderful Baroque interior, with sculpted panels and a coloured marble pavement. The domed ceiling is topped by a lantern.

​Porta Manin


The oldest entrance in town, dating from 1299, is called porta Manin or St Bartolomeo tower. The walls are gone, and even the tower has a somewhat modernized look, maybe by influence of the adjacent buildings

20 September square


A beautiful square surrounded by classic buildings where the Venetian style stands out.

Via Molin


Via Molin is a street located in the historic center of Udine, known for its beautiful old buildings and architecture, as well as its many shops, cafes, and restaurants.

It is a pedestrian street, which means that it is closed to cars and is a great place for a leisurely stroll enjoying the many historic buildings, including the Palazzo Antonini, a beautiful 18th-century palace that now houses a museum.

Via Savorgnana


Via Savorgnana is a long and winding street that stretches through several neighborhoods in the city.

The street is known for its beautiful views and historic buildings, including the Villa Manin di Passariano, a magnificent 18th-century villa that was once the summer residence of the last Doge of Venice.

Bollani door


Porta Bollani is a historic gate in Udine, Italy. It is also known as “Arco Bollani” and it was built in the 16th century by the architect Andrea Palladio.

The gate is named after the noble Bollani family, who lived in Udine during the Renaissance period.

The gate is located on the eastern side of the city and it is one of the few remaining gates from the ancient walls that surrounded Udine in the past.

​Zara… of course​

We were almost leaving Udine, and I was seriously worried, because Fernanda couldn’t find one of her “monuments”. How could it be?


How could Udine escape “H&M”, “El Corte Ingles”, or any other giant of that universal shopping culture? And suddenly… I lost Fernanda. A brief tension, browsing around, and, at last, the relief! There it was, just around the corner, “Zara’s palace” with free entrance, and a smell that I couldn’t notice, but strong enough to attract her from distance. Galerias Bardelli, was stated at the door, that I didn’t cross, but she came out in peace.