Udine, Province of Udine, Friuli‑Venezia Giulia
Udine (Friulian Udin, Slovene Videm) is the capital of the region of Friuli, between the Adriatic sea and the Alps (Alpi Carniche), less than 40 km far from the Slovenian border. The city has a lively cultural life, with a university, a theater, and important festivals including the wine-and-food September festival called Friuli D.O.C., and the main European festival of East Asian cinema, the Far East Film Festival, in April.
- Altitude: 113 m a.s.l
- Population: about 99,000 inhabitants
- Zip/postal code: 56100
- Dialing Area Code: +39 0432
- Patron Saint: Saints Ermacoras and Fortunatus, celebrated on July 12.
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The city of Udine is presently divided into 7 Circoscrizioni (municipal entities), which unify the traditional boroughs and hamlets:
- 1. Udine centro, including the historical centre;
- 2. Rizzi-San Domenico-Cormor-San Rocco, the north-west and western areas, including: Viale Venezia - S. Rocco, Cormor, Centro Studi, San Domenico, Villaggio del Sole, Rizzi-Università-Stadio;
- 3. Laipacco-San Gottardo, the eastern areas, including: San Gottardo, Riccardo Di Giusto - Via Cividale, Via del Bon-Laipacco;
- 4. Udine Sud, the southern area, including: Stazione FS, Viale Palmanova-Baldasseria, Gervasutta-Partidor;
- 5. Cussignacco, including: Cussignacco-Paparotti;
- 6. San Paolo-Sant'Osvaldo, the south-west area, including: Sant'Osvaldo- Via Pozzuolo- Via Lumignacco;
- 7. Chiavris-Paderno, the northern area, including: Ospedale, Chiavris, Paderno, Viale Vat, Parco Nord-Molin Nuovo, Godia, Beivars.
Moreover, there are 7 historical boroughs inside the medieval walls, part of the historic center with some districts outside the walls as Cussignacco: Borgo Aquileia, Borgo Gemona, Borgo Grazzano, Borgo Poscolle, Borgo Pracchiuso, Borgo San Lazzaro, Borgo Villalta.
The historical starting point for a route over the Saifnitz or Pontebba Pass to Villach by way of Pontebba and Tarvisio, it lay on the Roman road Via Julia Augusta, but there is no sign of Roman occupation. Founded in 983, after the decadence of Aquileia (one of the most important cities of the Roman Empire) and Forum Julii, Udine became important for commerce, and was for 4 centuries capital of the Patriarcato of Aquileia.
In 1420 Udine became part of Venetian territory until 1797, when Napoleone yielded the republic to Austria with the Treaty of Campoformio. Udine was annexed to the Reign of Italy in 1866 after the Third War of Italian Independence.
What to see
- The Cathedral of Udine built from 1236, on a Latin cross-shaped plan with three naves and chapels along the sides, consecrated in 1335 as Santa Maria Maggiore. At the beginning of th 18th century a radical transformation project was undertaken changing it to the Baroque style; inside there are many works of art by G.B. Tiepolo, P. Amalteo, L. Dorigny, and on the ground floor of the bell tower a chapel completely covered with frescoes by Vitale da Bologna (1349).
- The old residence of the patriarchs of Aquileia erected by Giovanni Fontana in 1517 in place of the older one destroyed by an earthquake in 1511. Under the Austrians it was used as a prison. In the cathedral archives was formerly preserved a recast of the Visigothic code of laws in a manuscript known as the Codex Utinensis, which was fortunately printed before it was lost.
- The church dedicated to St. Mary of the Castle, probably the oldest in Udine, dating back to the Lombard era. It was annexed to the larger parish of Saint'Odorico (now the Cathedral) in 1263. It has been renovated many times over the centuries: the facade, for example, was entirely rebuilt after the earthquake of 1511. Its three naves preserve an atmosphere of silence and contemplation.
- The Loggia di Lionello, presently the seat of the townhall, in the main square (Piazza della Libertà); begun in 1448 on a project by Nicolò Lionello in the Venetian-Gothic style resembles that of the Piazza San Marco in Venice, was rebuilt following a fire in 1876 on a project by architect Andrea Scala.