Palmanova: the fortified city, and Udine
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If you are on holiday at our village in Caorle, a visit to the towns of Palmanova and Udine is almost mandatory! Amidst shops, food and traditions, experience these wonderful places.
Palmanova and its architecture
To reach Palmanova we recommend that you take the motorway towards Trieste and exit at Portogruaro (47 km from Palmanova) or Latisana (33 km). The Palmanova exit is just a few hundred metres from the first gate into the city (Porta Aquileia).
You’ll be amazed by the architectural structure of this City-Fortress, built by the Venetians in 1593 to counter the advance of the Ottoman army. The settlement is located within a mighty wall that has a polygonal plan in the shape of a 9-pointed star.
The point of arrival in the city is located in the main square (Piazza Grande): a large, perfectly hexagonal area with a Istrian stone base in the centre on which the tall flagpole stands. On the same square stands the Palmanova cathedral, built between 1615 and 1636, a building that is the best example of Venetian architecture in Friuli and interesting to visit inside.
We would also like to point out the Historical Museum, located in Palazzo Trevisan, which houses an important collection of weapons from the Middle Ages, as well as drawings and plans that will help you understand the philosophy behind the construction of the City-Fortress. However, a healthy walk through the inner streets or along the perimeter walls will certainly be pleasant.
In 1960, the city was declared a National Monument by the Italian State and in 2017 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is possible to organise a guided tour by calling the Tourist Office of Palmanova at +39 0432-924815.
Once you have finished visiting the town, you can leave Palmanova through the Porta Udine, taking the road that leads to the capital of Friuli bearing the same name. Take the Regional Road n. 56 and in 20 kilometers you will reach Udine.
The shortest and quickest way would be to use the parallel motorway, but admiring the beauty of the Friulian countryside, called ‘la bassa‘ by its inhabitants, is a much more meaningful way to get to know this region.
You cross small hamlets that seem to have remained from past years and you enter the city by crossing a large flyover that passes over the railway and then continue on Viale Hungary to find parking in Piazza 1° Maggio, the point, in our opinion, the most convenient and near the center.
If you park on this square, you will notice the bulk of the City Castle above you.
It would take at least a day to visit the city and, in any case, for a short visit it is recommended to have a minimal paper guide, which you can easily find in the many newsstands of the city.
You can climb up to the castle from the square where you parked and visit its civic museums, but above all to admire the wide panorama of the Friulian plain below you. Go down the hill on the opposite side from where you came up, taking a wide, long descent that in a few dozen metres takes you to Piazza della Libertà: here you are in the heart of the city.
We won’t mention the many places and monuments to visit, just Piazza Mercato, the meeting place of the people of Udine. Taverns, a symbol of Friulian traditions, serving good food and wine, teem here.
However, we recommend you take part in the classic ritual of the aperitif with the ‘tajut‘ (a glass of wine) often accompanied by a slice of the world-famous San Daniele ham, whose birthplace is only a few kilometres away.
Author: Gianni Prevarin
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