The eventful history of the second smallest province.
The province of Gorizia
GORIZIA AND ITS PROVENCE. GUIDED TOUR OF GORIZIA
The province of Gorizia is only belonging to Italy since the end of the First World War. This also happened to the province of Trieste. Before that this region was already in the hands of the Austrians since the year 1000. First of the earls of Gorizia and later from the year 1500 of the Austrian Empire. Gorizia belongs along with the nearby town of Gradisca d'Isonzo to the county of Gorizia. Its northern influences can be seen in the architecture. The province of Gorizia is situated in a very variable landscape. It is surrounded by the Alpi Giulie (Julian Alps) in the north and east where it borders with Slovenia. It lies in between the rolling hills of the Collio wine region with the village Cormòns as its central point. In the south it borders with the coast with its lagoons and the beautiful historic seaside town of Grado which is lying on an island.
In this area was fought a lot on both sides of the river Isonzo during the First World War. The impressive National Monument and Sanctuary 'Sacrario di Redipuglia' is a sad evidence of its cruel past. Here are resting the remains of as many as 100,000 soldiers and this monument should not be missed for those interested in the Great War as the First World War is also known. You can still visit the trenches and there is a war museum.
Gorizia has been nominated as European Capital of Culture for 2025 together with its Slovenian neighbour town Nova Gorica. Gorizia is as the name suggests, the capital of this province and was part of Austria for almost ten centuries. Starting from the year 1000 Austrian earls governed this area with their autonomous counties and later starting from the year 1500 it was inherited by the Austrian Empire. These northern influences can be seen in the architecture. Gorizia was once called by the Austrian nobility who had their second home here, the "Nice of Austria" because of its mild climate Continue reading
Gradisca comes from the Slovenian word Gradišče which means "fortified place". The first time the city is mentioned is in a document from 1160, but only in the 15th century the city becomes better known. This in particular because it was part of the County of Gorizia, the larger town Gorizia was not far away and in its castle lived the Austrian Count Leopold. It was the century of the Turkish invasions and looting. The earl had signed a treaty with the Turkish Sultan in which they agreed that this county could not be plundered for 20 years as long as the Turks were allowed to cross it with their horses. As a result, the Venetian Republic, which had occupied the nearby Friuli since 1420, became a prey of these attacks and therefor the Venetians decided in the late 15th century to construct in the middle of the county of Gorizia a large fortress nearby the village of Gradisca d'Isonzo.
THE WINE REGION COLLIO WITH THE TOWN CORMÒNS IN THE HEART OF IT
More than half of the region consists of wine regions. In total there are eight of them. Each area is unique in its own kind of soil (gravel, sand, soil, clay soil, karst rock) and location (flat land, hilly area, close to the sea, near the river). The most common areas are the Collio and the nearby Colli Orientali. Here you feel like you're really on vacation, driving through the rolling hills overlooking the beautiful peaks with their characteristic cypresses that usually remind you of Tuscany or Umbria. If you come in the spring than the landscape is scattered by pink colored cherry trees that are in bloom. Drive on winding country lanes, each with a beautiful new view and choose from many different wineries where you can stop to taste the delicious wines yourself.
Grado comes from the Latin word "Gradus" which means "footstep". Why 'footstep' you might think? Well because the island of Grado, a very important port in Roman times was served as a gateway for the slightly more distant inland Aquileia, the fourth largest Italian city of the Roman Empire. Aquileia was accessible thanks to the river Natisse. Large seagoing boats though first had to stop in Grado to transfer their goods (oil, fabrics, spices, wine, marble, amber etc.) onto smaller boats that could sail the Natisse river . That is why the sailors put here their first footsteps on the solid ground of Grado.
SACRARIO DI REDIPUGLIA
Impressive and overwhelming, in other words I can not express it. The Sacrario Militare di Redipuglia - Military Sanctuary of Redipuglia - is a very large monument made completely out of karst stone and has been built against the side of the hill 'Monte Sei Busi' (the mountain of the six holes) site of heavy battles during the Great War.
The monument was inaugurated in 1938 by none other than Mussolini. It is the final resting place of as many as 100,000 soldiers who died in this area during the First World War.
Which places are good to combine in one day?
Gorizia & Sacrario di Redipuglia
Gorizia & wine area Collio
Gorizia & Cormòns
Gorizia & Gradisca d'Isonzo
Gorizia & Grado