Udine - Tricesimo, Castle
The province of Udine is located in mid-east Friuli-Venezia Giulia, bordering Austria to the north, Slovenia to the east, and bounded on the south by the Adriatic Sea.
This varied area extends from the wonderful Lignano Sabbiadoro beach - a popular destination for tourists - to the snowy mountaintops of the Prealps, Carnic Alps and Julian Alps. These mountains are perfect for skiing holidays in breathtaking landscapes and on ski slopes like Forni di Sopra, Sella Nevea and at Tarvisiano.
There are many preserved areas like the Parco Naturale delle Dolomiti Friulane where it is possible to see deers, chamois and ibex and the Tarvisio Forest, located in the heart of the Julian Alps, considered one of the largest wooded areas of Europe, with a wide variety of animals. Impressive destinations for excursions are the coastal lagoon with the Oasi Avifaunistica di Marano Lagunare - with many kinds of birds in any season - and the Conca dei Laghi di Fusine located in the impressive mountains of Tarvisiano area, famous for the charming landscape and the beauty of its colors.
The area is characterized by the Tagliamento river, surrounded by varying and fascinating landscapes, renowned for the dramatic events which took place there during the First World War.
Besides its natural wonders, the province preserves an important cultural heritage, evidence of a complex and sad period of history: archaeological sites like Aquileia with its remains of a Roman city and of the early Christian cathedral; the city of Udine, full of artistic evidence; important sites like Cividade del Friuli and Palmanova. The area is also dotted with many villas, towers, abbeys and castles in the countryside or on the hills.
Its genuine gastronomy, specialities and renowned wines give a magic touch to this extremely charming land, from San Daniele -where the famous ham comes from to Colli Orientali del Friuli, full of vineyards.
The first stop of the route is Udine, considered the city of Tiepolo (18th century) since it preserves many masterpieces by him and by his son Giandomenico, like the frescoes that decorate the Cathedral, Palazzo Arcivescovile and the Oratorio della Purità.
With its squares and charming loggias, the ancient centre holds many elegant buildings with a Gothic-Venetian style, like Palazzo Comunale or Loggia del Lionello, evidence of its secular connection with the Serenissima. The majestic and sumptuous Castle situated on top of a hill is particularly remarkable. It is the site of the Civic Museums that comprises many sections: the Archaeologic museum, the Gallery of drawings and printings, the Museum of Photography, the Photographic archive and the Ancient Art Gallery, with precious paintings from the 16th-19th centuries.
In the coastal area, Lignano Sabbiadoro is the perfect tourist destination: kilometres of beach, clean and calm sea, ideal for a holiday where tourists can practice sports, have fun and relax.
Aquileia is an important destination for culture seekers: it was one of the main cities of the Roman empire and then an important centre for the clergy. It is a Unesco listed site for the value and importance of its historic and artistic evidence. The archaeological site and its Museum render the magnificence of the Roman period, while the structure of the Patriarchal Cathedral and the wonderful mosaics of the Museo Paleocristiano provide historical evidence and examples of early Christian art.
Palmanova is another site of remarkable historic relevance. It was founded at the end of the 16th century in order to protect the possessions of the Serenissima; it has a perfect star shaped nine-point ground plan, considered a masterpiece in defensive engineering.
Not far away (near Passariano), it is possible to see the majestic Villa Manin, totally incorporated in the surrounding landscape. The elegant mansion of the last doge of Venice -Ludovico Manin- is also famous because it was the place where the historic treaty of Campoformio (or Campoformido) was signed.
On a hilly area full of castles, by the Natisone river, rises the charming Cividale, a small village and capital of the first Longobard duchy. It preserves a remarkable artistic heritage, like the famous Tempietto longobardo, a wonderful example of High Middle-Ages architecture decorated with frescoes and stuccoes and the impressive Cathedral and Ponte del Diavolo (bridge), with a spectacular view on the river and on its surroundings. Remarkable is also the National Archaeological Museum, with a valuable collection of objects and finds of the Roman and Middle Age periods.
Regarding the numerous religious sites, there is the old Santuario della Beata Vergine di Castelmonte, situated in the Prealps. In a panoramic area, it's the destination for many pilgrims. Considering the peculiarities of the area, visitors shouldn't miss the old castles route, leading to Castello Valentinis in Tricesimo, Castello of Cassacco or Colloredo in Monte Albano, a sumptuous structure where Ippolito Nievo lived.
Beaches, mountains, hills and Spas: the province of Udine gives the opportunity to practice many outdoor activities, in any season.
In the coastal area it is possible to practice aquatic and nautical sports; the valley and the hills are rich in trekking, riding and biking routes. One may hike around special areas like the lagoon of Marano, an ideal place to watch many kind of birds in any season.
Forni di Sopra, Ravascletto, the Tarvisiano area and Sella Nevea: the mountains in the province of Udine are an ideal destination for trips in uncontaminated environments, walking with snowshoes, climbing on frozen falls and, especially, skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing, thanks to a dense network of ski slopes right up to the borders with Austria and Slovenia. On the green hills close to the Alps - on the Lignano Sabbiadoro coast - there are many golf courses providing a chance to combine sport, amusement and relaxation.
One can opt for health treatments at the Spas of the Lignano Sabbiadoro thermal baths, which combine the precious qualities of sea water with that coming from below the ground. There are also other thermal resorts like the Arta baths in Carnia, renowned since the Roman period.
The area offers a schedule full of events like the epiphanic bonfires (“pignauri”) of a Celtic origin, that representing the local tradition auspicious of good omens for the new year. In Cividale del Friuli the Messa dello Spadone is instead celebrated on the sixth of January.
As for religious events, there is the Palio di San Donato in Cividale del Friuli, a costume parade held in August; there is also a remarkable folkloric event, the annual historical evocation of Palmanova, held in July.
Many feasts celebrate local specialties like wine festivals and events held to celebrate the famous ham in San Daniele and Sauris.
The main ingredients of the culinary tradition of Udine are the products of the land, above all rice, beans and vegetables.
In the lowland and lagoon area there are mostly seafood courses, like the fish broth, that is typical in Marano Lagunare. In the inland and in the north of the province meat and stronger flavours predominate, widespread are potatoes and bean soups and “bisna”, a form of polenta with beans and sauerkrauts.
Besides the rice dishes, the typical dishes of the area are the “cjalzons”, ravioli stuffed with cheese, eggs and vegetables; “frico”, fried Montasio cheese; omelettes with herbs and cooked salami with polenta. Specialities of the hilly area of Forgarese: stewed wild boar with cornmeal, stewed roe and tagliatelle with hare ragù.
San Daniele and Sauri ham are internationally renowned specialities.
Regarding desserts, the “gubana” is a millefeuille with walnuts, liqueur and spices, typical of the Natisone Valleys.
The Province offers a wide variety of exquisite and famous wines such as Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and the rare Picolit.
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