Wednesday, 16 October 2013


Yesterday I travelled by train from Venice to Udine. The hotel, which is just down the road from the station, is pleasant, the room is large and comfortable, the staff incredibly helpful, and it is so much better than the hotel in Venice. I must try to put up a critical review, to discourage others.

I quickly realised I was not in a tourist heaven. The resturant did not accept credit cards, only cash, and the total for the enjoyable food was half  that would have been charged in Venice. After settling in I went for a walk, but still got lost. Still, I did get there and back.  With some help. In Udine you pass supermrkets all the time: in tourist heaven they are difficult to find.

This city is closer to the mountains, and I was told that the Friuli is lke being in a different country. I wonder how true that is. There are a lot of Germans around , but there were plenty in Venice.
Last night at the restaurant i was sitting next to a couple from Argentina, whose family had originally come from the Friuli. They had very little Italian or English, and I have forgotten most of what little Spanish I knew, but we tried, and talked quite a lot. Then the food arrived and silence fell.

This moring I had intended to visit both Castelmonte and Cividale, but did not set off in time due to a  tricky tummy. So I travelled by trin to Cividale, a small town which appears pleasant and prosperous, and found my way to the Duomo, the archaeological museum, an old convent,  somewhere ehlse, and a cafe where I sat down and drank tea.
There are regular regional trains to and from both cities, only two carriages long, and it took only about 20 minutes for the trip. Lots of young people, presumably students. Goodness me, they all smoke such a lot. They chuck the butts all over the place, just like in Australia. At one time it was not done to smoke while walking along the streets, but things have changed. I felt that I had to get inside somewhere in order not to inhale smoke.  

The BBC TV keeps us informed about the financial struggle between the President abd the Congress, and I cannot believe that the right wing ratbags are willing to bring their country to the brink of financial disaster. Incredible!

After.returning from Cividale I set out to explore Udine a little, so as to make my whole day of visiting churches and galleries easier, and not to waste so much time trying to find out both where I am and where I want to be. I walked up to Piazza Liberta, very impressive with colonnades and lovely stone, and broad open spaces, with many plaques commemorating who did which great things and when. Then I walked up to the Castello, high above the rest of the city, with commanding views, and a very defensible position, but it was a little too late to tackle the museums. Instead I sent to the Duomo and then to the Baptistery, where I talked at length to the woman who was providing information, and we talked at length. In such places one feels that all these events have only just happened.

This city is very good for my Italian, as when I speak it, no one breaks into English, and I am inordinately delighted to receive many compliments. My teachers will be pleased too.


Elephant's Child said...

I am so glad that you have a better hotel this time. And have loved sharing your adventures - thank you.

ChrisB said...

Oh good your hotel sounds much better and glad to hear the prices are more reasonable. You must be thrilled to get so many compliments regarding your Italian - well done! Will continue you to look forward to your traveller's tales!