Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for visitors to Udine, Italy by A4A guest writer, Sally Cochrane.
Local guide posts provide recommendations for destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.
Overview of Udine
Udine is located in the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia right up in the north-eastern corner of Italy. Set against the backdrop of the Alps, Udine is well-known for its grappa, San Daniele prosciutto and truffles from the north.
Bordered by Austria to the north and Slovenia to the east, Udine is just a short drive to either. Other towns within driving distance worth mentioning are Cividale (a quaint town close to the Slovenian border), Trieste (a port town and the capital of Friuli) and Lignano (a beachside town popular with locals and tourists alike).
Top 5 places to visit
5. Cittá Fiera
The biggest mall in Udine. Probably more for locals, but this was the place I went shopping when I lived in Udine on student exchange. They have some great shops we can’t get back home like Accessorize, Calzedonia, Intimissimi and H&M. I remember trying the best Cannoli I ever had here and I have been forever searching for the perfect one since!
4. Castello di Udine (Udine Castle)
The castle is built upon a hill that overlooks the city of Udine. There is a legend that is passed around that claims when Atila the Hun raided the biggest city in the Roman Empire, Aquileia, he wanted a hill built to be able to see the burning from a distance. The current Castle building was constructed on the ruins of a fortress destroyed by the 1511 earthquake. It is a steep climb up, but worth it for the magnificent views.
3. Stadio Friuli
Udine’s largest stadium and home to Udinese, a club in the Serie A League. It is only a very short drive from the city centre and has hosted FIFA and UEFA Championship League games as well as major artists such as Coldplay, AC/DC and Metallica. I would definitely recommend catching a ‘calcio’, or soccer game, whilst you are there in order to fully experience the Italian enthusiasm.
2. Miramare Castle in nearby Trieste
Worth the drive or train ride from Udine, Trieste is a beautiful port town near the border of Slovenia. I visited Miramare Castle with my host family and was taken aback by the beauty of the grounds and also the history that surrounds it dating back to the 19th century. With magnificent views of the sea, ‘Miramare’ literally means to see the sea.
1. Piazza della Libertá
Stroll the piazzas of Udine town, watching the locals and stopping along the way for an Aperol Spritz at a local bar or Gelato at a hidden Gelatería like Oggi. For me, there is nothing better than spending the day living like the locals do. Not only is it cheap to do, you will have a much better experience!
Eating and drinking
My favourite thing to drink, and a specialty in the Friuli, is an Aperol Spritz. Head to any local bar and they will pour you a concoction of Aperol liqueur and white wine topped with soda. When you order, you will also get little nibbles to eat while you drink.
If you ever head out to Cividale, 30 minutes on the train from Udine, my favourite little bar is a place called Il Santo e Il Lupo (The Saint and the Wolf). A restaurant I recommend in Udine is Pizzeria Concordia, which serves great pizza and pasta at value prices. It is near the park also, so you can take a stroll after lunch.
For me, the train was always the easiest way to get around without a car in Udine and its surrounding cities. Tickets were cheap and could be picked up at any station. Bus is also a common way to get around within the city and out to Cittá Fiera. Remember to check timetables as these can vary between summertime and wintertime. There are different types of tickets including daily, monthly and annual depending on how long you are going to be there.
There is also the FVG Card (similar to an Oyster Card in London) which lets you explore the Friuli region with ease. Just make sure you get your tickets validated on the bus!
Although I didn’t have too much experience with accommodation in Udine as I stayed with a host family, I do have some recommendations for the best area to stay in. My first suggestion would be somewhere near the central train station such as Hotel Europa (I have actually stayed here for 1 night) or Hotel Principe. My second suggestion would be somewhere closer to the centre of town such as Ambassador Palace Hotel or Astoria Hotel.
Accommodation in Udine is quite reasonably priced compared to the rest of Italy at $100-150 per night for a 3-4 star hotel in a good location.
Hi, I’m Sally and I am a travel agent, foodie and blogger at Safe Travels By Sally. Among many other experiences, I have skied down the Austrian Alps on Christmas day, gone for a ride in an army tank through the mud in Slovakia and attended University in Mexico.
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The photo used for the feature and vertical graphic belongs to Allie Feru, www.blondeontheroad.com. All other photos in this article are the property of A4A guest writer, Sally Cochrane.
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