While reluctantly ceding its premier status to Trieste in the 1950s, this confident, wealthy provincial city remains the spiritual and gastronomic capital of Friuli. Udine gives little away in its sprawling semi-rural suburbs, but encased inside the peripheral ring road lies an infinitely grander medieval centre: a dramatic melange of Venetian arches, Grecian statues and Roman columns. The old town is pristine, but also very lively: bars here are not just for posing, for the Udinese, kicking on is the norm.
As well as its culinary and vinous pleasures, the city also has a handful of excellent museums; this was the second home of Tiepolo and there's a number of his works spread over a few sites. You'll often get to see these marvellous works in only your own company.