Udine is a quiet and stately provincial capital - and also the unofficial capital of Friuli (Forum Iulii-Cividale del Friuli) , which comprises the largest part of the Region of Friuli-Venezia-Giuli. While the once-great seaport of Trieste is the regional capital and reigns over the coast, Udine presides over the region's inland plains and its Alpine peaks. For centuries Udine was a Venetian city - in contrast to Trieste, which was part of the Austrian Empire. Today, Friuli is known as a region of wines, prosciutto di San Daniele and Montasio cheese. Udine is an excellent loction to taste these products and to start a visit to this less traveled part of Italy.