Villa Manin i Pordenone
By CODROIPO, west of Udine, trains run every hour. It is a quiet town, where there would be nothing worth recommending, if only three kilometers to the southeast weren't for Villa Manin, which completely dominates the town of PASSARIANO. The only public transport to the villas from Codroipo is three buses a day, so it's best to go there on foot: after leaving the station go straight and left from the market - it is not difficult to catch a bargain.
Villa Manin (wt.-nd. 9.30-12.30 i 15.00-18.00), built in 1738 r. and then magnified by Lodovico Manina, the last Doge of Venice, is Friuli's most famous country house. W 1797 r. Napoleon was here, when he signed the Campoformio treaty, as a result of which Venice passed into the hands of Austria.
Interior, largely covered with common frescoes, it only impresses with its size. There are plans, to increase the use of the tourist potential of the villa, but now it is only a center for cultural exhibitions, and the arena - formed from large galleries at the front - is a venue for open-air concerts in summer. The wild park behind the villa is more attractive (Wed. 14.00-18.00, sb. i nd. 9.30-12.00 i 14.30-18.30): ponds overgrown with rushes, singing birds and mossy monuments create a nice atmosphere for an afternoon nap.
PORDENONE, the westernmost of the three major cities of Friuli Venezia Giulia, today it is the main production center of the region, specializing in such areas of light industry as electronics, textiles and ceramics. The best way to explore the well-kept historic center is to walk along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele to the Gothic-Renaissance Palazzo Comunale - from the train station, go straight along Via Mazzini, then take the second street on the right.
Opposite the palazzo is the Museo Civico Ricchieri (wt.-nd. 9.00-12.30 i 15.00-18.30); it is mainly a secondary collection of Venetian art, but you can find a handful of works by the best local artist here, Giovanniego Antonia Sacchiense, simply called II Pordenone. (If you want to see more of the master's works in his hometown, be sure to find the Roraigrande parish churches, Torre, Villanova i Valloncello, how the EPT office can help, Motta square 13. ) Many of the paintings now in the museum were removed from the Duomo after the earthquake in 1976 r.; the building itself, mainly late gothic, it is noteworthy only because of the Romanesque campanile and several heavily damaged frescoes by Pordenon, adorning one of the pillars at the end of the nave.
You can learn more about the everyday life of the countryside in Friuli at the Museo Provinciale della Vita Contadina (wt.-sb. 9.00-12.00 i 15.00-18.00, sb. i nd. 9.00-12.00) na Piazza Giustiniano, where you can walk from the duomo with a short walk along the river.
There is a lot to see around the city, but without a car it is very difficult. W SIXTH TO REGHENA, a bit south of Pordenone, there is a fortified abbey of Santa Maria in Sylvis, belonging to the oldest inhabited monasteries in the world. It was founded in the 8th century. by the Longobards and has some beautiful bas-reliefs. A bit further, in SPILIMBERGO and VALERIANO you can admire beautiful buildings and more paintings by Pordenon.