Udine was the historical starting point for a route over the Saifnitz or Pontebba Pass to Villach by way of Pontebba and Tarvisio. It lay on the Roman road the Via Julia Augusta, but there is no sign of Roman occupation. Founded in 983, after the decline of Aquileia (an important Roman city) and Forum Iulii, Udine became important for commerce, and was for 4 centuries capital of patriarchate of Aquileia (see Aquileian Rite). In the 1230s the seat of the patriarchate of Aquileia was transferred to Udine, giving its Romanesque cathedral new prominence. In 1420 Udine became part of Venetian territory. It remained a part of the Republic of Venice until 1797, when Napoleon yielded Venice and her territories to Austria in the Treaty of Campo Formio, signed in 1796 in Campoformido, a village about 4 miles west of Udine. In 1866 it was annexed by the kingdom of Italy as part of the unification of Italy.
The distance from Lignano is about 67 km., ca. 53 minutes by car.