I woke up at 3 am and could not go back to sleep. Breakfast at the hotel was very good! There were many items to choose from, including fresh fruit salad, meats & cheeses, breads, cereals, eggs, and pastries.
A few weeks before my trip, Amy (a friend from Slow Travel and now Slow Europe) contacted me letting me know that she and her husband, Larry would be staying not too far from Udine while I would be there. We made a plan to meet and spend the day together in Udine on Thursday.
After a few texts and I believe a phone call, we set a time to meet. Larry dropped Amy off in front of my hotel and then he went to park the car. We chatted and caught up a little while waiting for Larry to arrive. I met Amy once in person years ago in San Diego at a Slow Travel GTG. It was so nice to see her again and to meet her husband for the first time.
Amy had plans in mind for the day, which was great for me as I was still a little zombie like/jet lagged. The first thing we did was head to the Duomo. This photo was taken a few days later as there was a water truck in front of the Duomo while we were there on Thursday.
The Duomo contains beautiful frescoes on both the walls and ceiling as well as famous painting from Tiepolo. *Clicking on each set of photos below will take you to slideshows with larger photos – I added them as groups of photos to save room.
Right next door is the Museo del Duomo, which is located inside the Baptistry. There we saw some incredible ancient frescoes. Here is one example (a little blurry).
After leaving the Museo del Duomo, we visited the Museo Diocesano e Gallerie del Tiepolo, which is located in the 18th century archbishop’s palace. Here you will find frescoes from Tiepolo, paintings, a blue room, a yellow room, a red room, a library full of ancient books, a cool staircase with a fresco from Tiepolo on the ceiling, and a collection of wooden statues from various nearby churches housed in the museum after an earthquake for safe keeping. A museum guard stuck close to us and provided many explanations, mostly to Larry, as Amy & I wandered around. Here are some photos from our visit…
This museum also contains a glass case of ex votos. I have to thank Amy for explaining the ex voto as I never knew what the significance of these paintings were before. Here’s a link that describes ex votos. Below was my favorite one from the case in the museum.
Next, we walked through the beautiful Piazza della Libertà where you will find the Loggia di San Giovanni with a very cool clock tower (similar to the one you will find in Piazza San Marco in Venice)…
and the pink and white striped Loggia del Lionello (Udine’s verson of the Dodge’s Palace in Venice).
By this time, we were ready for lunch. We ate at Enoteca Giardinetto, a restaurant recommended by Shannon, another friend from Slow Travel/Slow Europe. We shared an antipasto – insalatina tiepida di polipo e patate con pomodorini, olive taggiasche (octopus and potato salad with tomatoes & olives). I ordered the garganelli con crema di burrata, melanzane e pomodori soleggiati. (pasta with burrata cream, eggplant, and sort of sundried tomatoes). Amy, I did not memorize these items! I took photos of the menu in the window my last day in Udine.
Oh my gosh! SO SO GOOD!!! Amy ordered homemade gnocchi made from purple potatoes, with shrimp in a zucchini puree sauce and Larry ordered a sort of raw grilled tuna.
The biggest mistake I made during my time in Udine was to not return to this restaurant. At the time, I am not sure how it happened (I now think it was due to my jet lag haze) but somehow after searching their website for the days the restaurant was open, I was under some impression that they only were open for lunch and early evening as a wine bar. I even walked by one of the first evenings I was in Udine and saw that it was packed with people having drinks and antipasti around 5 pm. I just figured this enoteca type restaurant did not stay open for dinner. On my last day there, I walked by and saw the hours in the window. I realized then that they were open for dinner, but of course they were closed that night!
After lunch, we went Oggi Gelato, an excellent gelateria! I ordered pistachio, which was pretty good. I returned the next day and ordered the nocciola (hazelnut) gelato. It was amazingly delicious! I ended up going there many times during my stay. By my last visit, the girl behind the counter knew me and probably knew just what I was about to order!
Next, we walked back towards my hotel to visit the Museo Etnografico di Friuli. This was one of my favorite museum visits during my trip this year! This museum houses a large collection of items displaying life in Friuli from the 18th century to the 20th century, including more ex votos. The above link to the museum provides detailed information.
Once again we had a museum guard hang out with us during most of our visit. She was very helpful though, providing us with extra information about many of the items in the museum and answered our questions.
After our museum visit, I waited outside the museum with Amy while Larry went to get the car. We said our goodbyes. They were heading back to the US the following day. I am so grateful it worked out to spend the day together! I had such a wonderful time with both Amy & Larry!
After our goodbyes, I went back to my hotel, put my head on my pillow for 1 minute, and woke up 4 1/2 hours later! That was not my plan! I was so groggy. I went out and walked around a bit intending to find a place for dinner, but was too tired. I grabbed a couple of items at the grocery store and went back to my hotel for the night.
What a great first full day of my trip!
Here is a link to Amy’s blog. She is much better with the details of each visit. She also visited many other little towns in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region with great photos from each visit!
Next up – Day 3 ~ Friday in Trieste