A Walk Through Udine

Not too many travelers to Italy make it to glorious Udine, in the heart of Friuli in the northeast corner of the country. Even though Venice is just under two hours away by train, the city is fairly untouched by the uber-tourism that Venice and the Veneto experience.

Those who love a charming and picturesque local, excellent wine and food, and the opportunity to relax without any tourist hordes should consider a visit to this striking town (not to mention the glorious region surrounding it.) Lets take a walk, shall we?

Udine has some truly spectacular piazzas and some incredible Venetian architecture – Udine was part of the Venetian republic from 1420 until the republic’s demise in 1797. Walking into Piazza della Libertà one could almost imagine they were actually in Venice – except there aren’t very many people, and even less pigeons!

UdineVenetianPiazza (1024x768)The Lion of St. Mark stands on the pedestal to the left. The renaissance clock tower is very similar to the Torre dell’Orologio in Venice’s Piazza San Marco. Not really sure about this statue though:

UdinestatueHe doesn’t look too happy to be there, does he? If you walk under the arch with the Lion of St. Mark:

fabulousudineYou come to a quiet street, with an arcade on one side, that leads up to the city’s museums which are housed in a Renaissance castle.

walktothecastleudineOne of the most breathtaking qualities of Udine is its quietness. Even during aperitivo hour, Udine seems calm and peaceful. And so much to look at!

VenetianarchitectureUdineMany, many people ride bicycles in Udine – kids, businessmen, students. The bicycles themselves seem to have their own personalities.

bicyclesudineI guess we gotta throw the Duomo of Udine into the mix. It precedes the Venetians, though the church was renovated in the eighteenth century. You can get a grasp on its size when you see the two people in front of it.

UdineDuomoArcade lined streets protect pedestrians from the elements, though on a pretty day, why not walk in the street?

quietUdineUdine has its share of global and Italian chain stores, but thankfully there are still many small specialty shops, many with creative window displays. For instance, this shop sells salt and other spices.

saltshopudineAnd in this shop, a drum set is used to showcase cosmetics! Maybe the owners kid got quickly tired of those drum lessons?

UdineshopwindowUdine’s most active piazza is Piazza San Giacomo. Quiet during the day, as the evening begins you can sit in one of many cafes and restaurants on the perimeter and watch the kids play in the middle of the square.

UdinePiazzaPiazza San Giacomo is magic at night. Have a spritz or glass of wine there, before heading out to one of Udine’s MANY fantastic enotecas for dinner.

UdinenightIf you have not been to Udine, and want to visit a wine and food mecca in a completely relaxing environment – GO!


Shannon Essa leads small-group tours focusing on wine, food, and local culture in Croatia, Slovenia, Northern Italy and Northern Spain & Portugal.

Discover the backstreets of Venice or the wine, craft beer, and slow food of Piedmont, Italy. In Spain, experience the rustic foods and low-key lifestyle in beautiful Galicia, the wineries along the Camino de Santiago in the Bierzo region, or the justifiably famous wine regions and local food traditions of Catalonia. See many of Croatia’s most beautiful sights and learn about the rebirth of one of Europe’s oldest wine areas. And see all this with Shannon, who loves unique and out of the way wine and food experiences.

When not in Europe, Shannon does her eating and drinking in San Diego, California.

Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.



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