Visit Udine

The Canals


Did you know that the town of Udine might not even have existed?
The truth is this, the town was established and only began to develop after the water of the Torre River in Zompitta was dominated and channeled before it was dispersed among the gravel plains, taking advantage of the slope of the land.
The Torre, whose source is above Tarcento, sees its waters channelled into two canals: the Cividina canal on the left bank and the Udine canal on the right.
From the nineteenth century the Ledra canal was added to these, which is often mistakenly confused (also by the Udinese people) with the "roe". The canal in Udine officially surrenders a portion of its water to a canal that ends up in Pavia di Udine being dispersed through the gravel and a canal that reached Udine in Planis from Beivars, passing Piazza Primo Maggio, precisely at the point of Largo delle Grazie.
With their hearty current, the canals of Udine have been the power behind many of the machines creating the first industrial activities. In fact, there were about fifty large water wheels which drove a number of mills and spinning machines on these two water channels, fueling many activities particularly in the Borgo Grazzano and Borgo Gemona area.
The canals of Udine and Palma were also very useful, for the development of activities in the town of Udine and not only there, acting as water "suppliers" for the urban and surrounding areas. Water is a very valuable asset, of which the Udine area, for geological reasons, has always had a short supply. The subsoil is very gravelly, and so water had to be sought elsewhere. A simple example of the use of the canal waters is its use in providing water for the fountains of Piazza San Giacomo and Piazza Libertà, the work of the famous Giovanni da Udine.