Udine is the historical capital of Friuli. The area has been inhabited since the Neolithic age, and was later, most likely, settled by Illyrians.
Based on an old Hungarian legend, Attila (?–453), the great hun emperor built a hill there, when besieging Aquileia, because he needed a winter quarters billet: he instructed his soldiers to bring soil in their helmet and shield, because, the landscape was too flat, without any hill. He established the town there, and built a square-shape tower.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the area increased in importance after the decline of Aquileia and afterwards of Cividale also. In 983 AD Udine is mentioned for the first time, with the donation of the Utinum castle by emperor Otto II to the Patriarchs of Aquileia, then the main feudal lords of the region. In 1223, with the foundation of the market, the city became finally the most important in the area for economy and trades, and also became the Patriarch's seat.
In 1420, it was conquered by the Republic of Venice. In 1511, it was the seat of a short civil war, which was followed by an earthquake and a plague. Udine remained under Venetian control until 1797, being the second largest city in the state. After the short French domination which ensued, it was part of the Austrian-puppet Lombardy-Venetia Kingdom, and was included in the newly formed Kingdom of Italy in 1866.
During World War I, before the defeat in the battle of Caporetto, Udine became the seat of the Italian High Command and was nicknamed "Capitale della Guerra" ("War Capital"). After the battle, it was occupied by Austrians in 1918 until after the Battle of Vittorio Veneto in 1918. After the war it was made capital of a short-lived province (Provincia del Friuli) which included the current provinces of Gorizia, Pordenone and Udine. After 8 September 1943, when Italy surrendered to the Allies in World War II, the city was under direct German administration, which ceased in