Planning a Trip
By Train -- From its train station on Viale Europa Unità, Udine runs about two trains hourly from Venice (1 3/4-2 hr.) and from Trieste (1-1 1/2 hr.).
By Bus -- The bus station is 1 block east of the train station on Viale Europa Unità. There is extensive service to other cities and towns in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, but little outside it, provided by SAF (tel. 800-915-303; www.saf.ud.it). Hourly buses (more frequent between 7-9am and 4-7pm) make the hour-long trip to and from Trieste.
By Car -- Udine is an easy 2-hour drive north and west of Venice on A4 east to A23 and then north. From Trieste, it's a trip of a little under an hour west on A4 and then north on A23. If you are driving from Cortina d'Ampezzo or another Dolomite resort, you will drop down from the mountains into Belluno on S51 as if you were going to Venice, but head east (toward Pordenone) instead on S13 at Vittorio Veneto. Allow about 3 hours for the drive.
The tourist office is at Piazza I Maggio 7 (the other side of the Castello from Piazza della Libertà; tel. 0432-295-972; fax 0432-504-743; www.turismo.fvg.it) and is open Monday to Saturday 9am to 1pm and 3 to 6pm.
City Layout -- Much of the center of Udine is closed to traffic and surrounded by ring roads. The train and bus stations are at the southern end of this ring network, on Viale Europa Unità. From there it is about a 15-minute walk into the center, following Via Aquilea and its continuation, Via Veneto, to Piazza della Libertà. Bus no. 1 makes the trip from the train station to the center (1€/$1.30).
Festivals & Markets -- Udine d'Estate is the city's major festival, running from July to mid-September with concerts and theatrical performances in churches and on Udine's beautiful piazze. An outdoor food market fills the atmospheric Piazza Matteotti daily from 8am to 1pm.