Udine is located about 30 minutes from Trieste Airport and about 1 hour from the International Airport of Venice. The Venice airport is directly served by major US airlines while the Trieste Airport is well connected to Milan and Rome international airports (about 1-hour flight) and have shuttle and train services connecting to Udine.
Although Udine is a small city with about 100,000 inhabitants, it offers all those opportunities typical of bigger centers: traditional “osterie” (eateries), pubs, wine bars, cafes, restaurants, pizzerias, theaters, cinemas, discos, museums, and shopping malls among the biggest in Europe. Udine was the third city in the world, after Milan and London, to have a street lighting system; today it is completely equipped with a fiber-optic rapid connection network. The bike sharing system is also extremely efficient.
Throughout the year there are numerous cultural events of national and international importance: from the Far East Film to the Vicino/lontano festival, not to mention Friulidoc, the food and wine extravaganza held in September. From July to September there are innumerable Summer events in the city, offering opportunities for entertainment and amusement for all tastes: international artists have appeared over the years, including Madonna, U2, Coldplay, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Vasco Rossi, Kiss and Bruce Springsteen.
The theaters Teatro Giovanni da Udine and Centro servizi e spettacoli, teatro stabile di innovazione del Friuli Venezia Giulia have very attractive programs every year, and there are discounted tickets for Udine University students.
Udine is at the heart of Europe. A few kilometers away there is Aquileia, an old Roman town founded in 181 BC, with rich archeological finds, where students and professors from the University often go on digs. Aquileia also has the Heroes' Cemetery: from here, in 1917, the body of the Unknown Soldier was taken to Rome, where he now rests at the Altar of the Motherland, in memory of those who died in all wars.
Cividale del Friuli is one of the most important Longobard sites in the world, and San Daniele del Friuli is well-known for its quality ham. Palmanova is a star-shaped jewel, and there are numerous medieval castles in the Friuli hills.
Starting from the month of March-April 2017, it is possible to identify some key moments in the cultural life of the city (and / or of the region). Some examples are:
- Vicino/Lontano (11-14 May): the festival can host one meeting (2 or 3 Italian experts, perhaps from the institutions supporting the conference), recalling that prof. Michele Morgante (already invited speakers) is part of the association's Scientific Committee (www.vicinolontano.it);
- Night of the Readers (June 21): it would be possible to propose a reading as part of the event organized by City Council. Reading can be cured by UniUd staff (goo.gl/wHSJ7S);
- Conoscenza in Festa (June 29-July 1): the festival can host one meeting in one of the main squares of the city. It could be organized as a second date after that of May, creating a short thematic course of preparation for the conference (www.conoscenzainfesta.eu);
- Friuli Doc (7-10 September): fun activities themed edited by Imaginary Scientific or KaleidoScienza for one / two days during this amazing fair (www.friuli-doc.it);
- PordenoneLegge (13-17 September): the festival can host the presentation of a book of popular science. Again, this meeting could be thought of in the logic of being the third and final moment of preparation for the conference (www.pordenonelegge.it).
The meeting will be held at the University of Udine. This venue was chosen because it offers a unique informal interactive environment in the charming City of Udine, in the region called Friuli Venezia Giulia in the North East part of Italy, in the centre of Europe, close to Venice and Slovenia. The Area has been recognized as one of the best destinations in the World from the Lonely Planet – Best in Travel 2016 (http://www.turismofvg.it/).
The University of Udine was founded in 1978 as part of the reconstruction plan of Friuli after the earthquake in 1976. Its aim was to provide the Friulian community with an independent centre for advanced training in cultural and scientific studies. The University currently has the following degree programmes: Agriculture, Biotechnologies, Economics, Engineering, Law, Modern Languages, Communication and Training, Humanities, Medicine and Surgery and Mathematics, Computer Science and Multimedia.
The University is actively involved in student and staff exchange projects with universities within the EU and is currently engaged in close collaboration with several universities from Eastern Europe and other non-EU countries. Moreover the University participates in many research projects at the national and international level. The present number of students enrolled at the University is approx. 17000.
Udine and its University are a point of reference in a region historically known as a meeting place and at the crossroads of different worlds and cultures. Geographically situated in the centre of the European Union, the University of Udine plays an active role in a close network of relations, committed to sharing its knowledge and ideas. Since its establishment, Udine University has pursued the policy of internationalisation, aimed at preparing students and forging relations and partnerships with universities and institutions in Europe and the rest of the world. Udine University collaborates not only within Europe but across the globe and has long-standing connections with Africa, India and China.