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!
I 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.
Udine 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.
Udine’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.
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.