The bell-tower of the church Santa Maria di Castello, which stands on the top of the hill that dominates the town of Udine, is probably one of the best known emblems of the city. It offers magnificent view of the city area and its surroundings. On the top of the bell-tower stands the bronze statue of St. Mary.
All I really knew was that I had a couple of hours to spare, I was near Udine, it had a reputedly good piazza and that there was a hill in the middle of the city. Now, from two sources I thought to be reliable I got two different heights; one claims 83ft (approx 25 metres) and the other claims 70 metres. Without my tripod and theodolite I couldn't verify either claim. Since I'm not even a surveyor, that would make it doubly difficult.
Thus it was that when I pulled up in the Renault, the hill was immediately before me. What luck I thought, and I was right.
So it was I wandered to the very top and came upon what I later determined was the building housing the Civic Museum.
Santa Maria del Castello Church with its 13th century frescoes also stood out and the charming Casa della Contadinanza with a restaurant inside; reached through the Lippomano portico. A panorama which includes Italian mountains and Slovenian plains can be enjoyed from the walls which lead to the castle entrance on clear days. Of course, the operative adjective mentioned was "clear", I hope you are there on clearer days than I enjoyed.
The morainic hill is quite strange in that it is completely isolated; explanations without scientific backup give rise to the legend which says that this hill was made by Attila and his soldiers, transporting the dirt there with their helmets in order to be able to enjoy the spectacle of the burning Aquileia.
The castle was destroyed twice by earthquake (1348 and 1511). It was then rebuilt by Venetian authorities, but without the fortress: in its place they built a late Renaissance-style palace which nowadays houses the Civic Museum, the Archaeological Museum and the Historical and Art Galleries: the last one houses works of Friuli painters from Middle Age to XIX century, besides some works by Tiepolo.
Porta Manin is the main gateway to the old core of the town. In the medieval times it was the defending tower and the part of the huge city walls. Unfortunately, not much of the city walls was left in the town.
On the both sides of the street, which leads to the Porta Manin, there are significant and fine designed medieval city palaces.
I can't really say it's a must to see the piazzas and central parts of Udine. But still it was nice and calm to take a walk there during the evening.
There are quite many bars and pubs in the middle of the centrum, with a big square as the middle-point.
The Porticato S. Giovanni is also a impressing building. The panteon was built 1553.
However, don't think you'll find a big party in Udine. The people of the town seems to be totally pleased with a couple glass of vine, some silent music, and some silent friends on the other side of the table.
Loggia del Lionello is probably the best known and the most attractive medieval building of Udine. It is situated on Piazza della Liberta, right opposite to Loggia di San Giovanni. This beautiful building, made of red and white stone in a pure venetian-gothic style, was built in the mid-15 century by the local master Lonello.
The splendid cathedral of Udine has very huge proportions and dominates whole Piazza Duomo. The building was erected in the first half of 13th century (1236) on the spot of an earlier church. The bell-tower of the cathedral looks to me more like an defending tower, never before I have seen such an campanile.
The interiors of the church is richly decorated and I was in particularly impressed by the paintings of G.P. Tiepolo.
Loggia San Giovanni, situated on Piazza della Liberta, is emblem of the town of Udine. The splendid complex contains of porticoed arcades and the Torre dell'Orologio, magnificent town clock. In front of the Loggia there are monument of Justice, and high pillar with Venetian lion on the top of it.
The beautiful belfry of the church of Santa Maria di Castello, one of the emblems of the town of Udine, stands alone besides the church. It represants the highest peak of the town and can be seen from the milles away.
At the top of the belfry stands the iron statue of Santa Maria.
The church of San Giacomo is one of the oldest in the town. It was erected in 1378, but the front facade was designed back in 1500 by master Bernardino da Marcote. The side chapel of the church was added in the middle of 16th century.
The shining gold hands glistening in the sunlight as the two bronze moors strike the hours on this attractive timepiece from the early 16th century are but one of the distractions in this interesting piazza.
The Utinenses monument in the foreground is another and the arcaded Porticato di San Giovanni beneath the clock is another.
Torre dell'orologio, the Town Clock, which rises from the Loggia di San Giovanni, is probably the best known site of Udine.
The contrats of the blue coloured smiling sun inside the clock looks great on the white stone of the tower. Bellow the clock there is a Venetian lion, which simbolize the town of Udine as a part of the Venetian republic.
The portico Lippomano is an fine example of the Venetian gothic stayled porticoe. It is situated right behind the Loggia di San Giovanni. This fine designed porticoed stairways leads you to the top of the hill that dominates the centre of the town, where the castle and the church of Santa Maria del Castello are situated.
The fountain which stands in front of Loggia di San Giovanni was erected in 1542, under the designs of the Bergamo's architect Giovanni Carrara. Together with the other monuments it makes the unique aspect of the Loggia di San Giovanni complex.
L'arco Bollani, the Arch Bollani, was constructed under the project of the famous Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio in 1556.
The arch stands practically as the gateway into the complex of castello (the castle) which is situated on the hill that dominates the old core of the town.
A beautiful, Venetian-style building on the Piazza della Libertà. It is the City Hall palace. It was realised between 1448 and 1456 by Bartolomeo delle Cisterne from Capodistria (today Koper, in Slovenija), based on a project of Nicolò Lionello. It was rebuilt in 1876 after a fire.