Udine was first attested in medieval Latin records as Udene in 983 and as Utinum around the year 1000. The origin of the name Udine is unclear. It has been tentatively suggested that the name may be of pre-Roman origin, connected with the Indo-European root *ou̯dh- 'udder' used in a figurative sense to mean 'hill'. The Slovene name Videm (with final -m) is a hypercorrection of the local Slovene name Vidan (with final -n), based on settlements named Videm in Slovenia. The Slovene linguist Pavle Merkù characterized the Slovene form Videm as an "idiotic 19th-century hypercorrection."
Udine is the historical capital of Friuli. The area has been inhabited since the Neolithic age, and was later, most likely, settled by Illyrians.
Based on an old Hungarian legend, Attila (?–453), the leader of the Huns, built a hill there, when besieging Aquileia, because he needed a winter quarters billet: he instructed his soldiers to bring soil in their helmet and shield, because the landscape was too flat, without any hill. He established the town there, and built a square-shape tower.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the area increased in importance after the decline of Aquileia and afterwards of Cividale also. In AD 983 Udine was mentioned for the first time, with the donation of the Utinum castle by emperor Otto II to the Patriarchs of Aquileia, then the main feudal lords of the region. In 1223, with the foundation of the market, the city became finally the most important in the area for economy and trade, and also became the Patriarch's seat.
In 1420, it was conquered by the Republic of Venice. In 1511, it was the seat of a short civil war, which was followed by an earthquake and a plague. Udine remained under Venetian control until 1797, being the second largest city in the state. After the short French domination which ensued, it was part of the Austrian-puppet Lombardy-Venetia Kingdom, and was included in the newly formed Kingdom of Italy in 1866.
During World War I, before the defeat in the battle of Caporetto, Udine became the seat of the Italian High Command and was nicknamed "Capitale della Guerra" ("War Capital"). After the battle, it was occupied by Austrians in 1918 until after the Battle of Vittorio Veneto in 1918. After the war it was made capital of a short-lived province (Provincia del Friuli) which included the current provinces of Gorizia, Pordenone and Udine. After 8 September 1943, when Italy surrendered to the Allies in World War II, the city was under direct German administration, which ceased in April 1945.
Udine has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cfa). Precipitation is abundant year round with spring and fall being the wettest seasons. The highest temperature recorded was 38.2 °C (101 °F) on July 21, 2006 while the lowest temperature recorded was −18.6 °C (−1 °F) on December 19, 2009.
In 2007, there were 97,880 people residing in Udine itself (whereas the greater area has a population double its size), located in the province of Udine, Friuli Venezia Giulia, of whom 46.9% were male and 53.1% were female. Minors (children ages 18 and younger) totalled 14.36 percent of the population compared to pensioners who number 24.27 percent. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06 percent (minors) and 19.94 percent (pensioners). The average age of Udine residents is 47 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Udine grew by 1.48 percent, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.56 percent. The current birth rate of Udine is 9.13 births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births.
The town and its nearby area have a Slovene population estimated at about 2,000. A 1475 document mentions Slovene as the language of the "lower class" in the town, and the Udine Manuscript of 1458 contains Slovene vocabulary. Alasia da Sommaripa's Italian-Slovenian dictionary was printed in Udine in 1607. A chair for Slovene was established at the University of Udine in 1970.
As of 2006, 90.90% of the population was of Italian descent. The largest immigrant group came from other European nations (particularly those from Austria and Croatia): 5.37%, followed by sub-saharan Africa (mostly from Ghana): 1.65%, and North African: 0.77%.
The old residence of the patriarchs of Aquileia, the palazzo Patriarcale, was erected by Giovanni Fontana in 1517 in place of the older one destroyed by an earthquake in 1511. Under the Austrians it was used as a prison. In the cathedral archives was formerly preserved a recension of the Visigothic code of laws, called the Breviary of Alaric, in a manuscript known as the Codex Utinensis, which was fortunately printed before it was lost.
In the 1550s, Andrea Palladio erected some buildings in Udine. The church of Santa Maria della Purità has 18th-century frescoes by Giambattista Tiepolo and his son Domenico.
The church dedicated to St. Mary of the Castle is probably the oldest in Udine, judging from extant fragments dating back to the Lombard era. It lost its parish status in 1263, when it was annexed to the larger parish of Saint'Odorico (now the Cathedral). It has been renovated many times over the centuries: the façade, for example, was entirely rebuilt after the 1511 Idrija earthquake. Its three naves preserve the suggestive atmosphere of silence and contemplation, which is often found in old churches. The Venetian Governor, Tommaso Lippomano, commissioned the Venetian Gothic portico with steps and ramps leading down the hill in 1487.
In the principal square (Piazza della Libertà) stands the town hall (Loggia del Lionello) built in 1448–1457 in the Venetian-Gothic style opposite a clock tower (Torre dell’Orologio) resembling that of the Piazza San Marco at Venice. It was begun in 1448 on a project by Nicolò Lionello, a local goldsmith, and was rebuilt following a fire in 1876. The new design was projected by the architect Andrea Scala.
Opposite the Loggia del Lionello is the Loggia di San Giovanni, a Renaissance structure designed by Bernardino da Morcote. Other noteworthy monuments in the square are the Fountain by Giovanni Carrara, an architect from Bergamo (1542); the Columns bearing the Venetian Lion and the Statue of Justice (1614), the statues of Hercules and Cacus and the Statue of Peace (1819) which was donated to Udine by Emperor Francis I to commemorate the peace Treaty of Campoformido.
The Cathedral of Udine is an imposing edifice whose construction started in 1236, on a Latin cross-shaped plan with three naves and chapels along the sides. The church was consecrated in 1335 as Santa Maria Maggiore. At the beginning of the 18th century a radical transformation project involving both the exterior and the interior was undertaken at the request and expense of the Manin family. The Baroque interior has monumental dimensions and contains many works of art by Tiepolo, Amalteo, and Ludovico Dorigny. On the ground floor of the bell tower (built from 1441 over the ancient baptistry) is a chapel which is completely adorned with frescoes by Vitale da Bologna (1349).
The center of Udine is dominated by the Castle, built by the Venetians from 1517 over a Lombard fortification ruined by an earthquake in 1511. The current Renaissance appearance dates from the intervention of Giovanni da Udine, who finished the works starting from 1547. The castle houses one of the most ancient Parliament Halls of Europe.Orto Botanico Friulano, a botanical garden
Parco Botanico Friulano "Cormor", a park and botanical garden
Udine has a university, the University of Udine. The archbishop's palace and the Museo Civico have quite important paintings. The city has a theater, the Teatro Giovanni da Udine.
Important festivals include the wine-and-food September festival, Friuli D.O.C., the national literary prize for non-fiction Premio Friuli Storia and the biggest European festival of popular East Asian cinema, the Far East Film Festival, in April.
Asteroid 33100 Udine was named in honor of the city.
Along with Italian, Friulian is often spoken in Udine, as well as a variant of Venetian (called Venetin) that is however in decline.Civici musei e gallerie di storia e arte (since 1906) with Museo Archeologico, Galleria d'Arte Antica, Galleria dei Disegni e delle Stampa, Museo Friulano della Fotografia, Fototeca e Collezioni Risorgimentali
Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea
Museo etnografico del Friuli (Palazzo Giacomelli)
Gallerie del Progetto
Museo del Duomo di Udine
Museo diocesano e gallerie del Tiepolo
Udine is important for commerce, with several commercial centers in the hinterland. There are also iron and mechanical industries (Danieli and ABS are the most important).
With 7,600,000 travelling people every year, Udine railway station is the most important station in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Train services operate to Venice, Treviso, Trieste, Gemona del Friuli, Tarvisio, Cividale del Friuli, Padua, Bologna, Rome, Verona and Milan. International trains operate to Vienna and Munich.
The main football club in the city are Udinese Calcio, founded in 1896, who play in the Serie A (2016-2017 season). Their ground, the Stadio Friuli, was a venue at the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
The local basketball team, Snaidero Udine, played in the second national league, the LegaDue.Luigi De Agostini (born 1961), football player
Afro Basaldella (1912–1976), painter
Giuseppe Battiston (born 1968), actor
Enzo Bearzot, (1927–2010), national football trainer
Girolamo di Bernardino, 16th-century painter of frescoes
Bernardino Blaceo, 16th-century painter
Emanuele Blandamura (born 1979), boxer
José Bragato, (born 1915), cellist and composer
Carlo Caneva (1845–1922), major general
Luca Carlevarijs, (1663–1730), painter
Elena Cecchini (born 1992), cyclist
Andrea Centazzo (born 1948), drummer and composer
Bruno Chizzo (1916–1969), football player
Giovanni da Udine, (1487–1564), painter (Renaissance)
Raimondo D'Aronco, (1857–1932), architect
Mario David (1934–2005), football player and coach
Alfredo Foni (1911–1985), football player and coach
Fabio Frittelli, (1966–2013), better known by his pseudonym Mo-Do, an Italian musician
Francesco Janich (born 1937), football player
Dalila Di Lazzaro (born 1953), actress and model
Ernesto Lomasti, (1959–1979), mountaineer
Fabio Masotti (born 1974), cyclist
Alberto Mazzucato (1813–1877), composer and music teacher
Tina Modotti (1896–1942), photographer, actress, revolutionary
Francesco Pavona (1695–1777), Baroque painter
Luigi Pio Tessitori, (1887–1919), indologist, linguist
Alessandro Piu (born 1996), football player
Bruno Pizzul, (born 1938), sports journalist and football player
Bruno Sacco (born 1933), car designer
Alessia Tuttino (born 1983), football player
Elena Valentinis (1396–1458), Roman Catholic Blessed professed religious
Glauco Venier (born 1962), jazz pianist and composer
Giuseppe Virgili (1935–2016), Italian footballer (striker)
Alessandro Zanni, (born 1948), rugby union player
Udine is twinned with: