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The eventful history of the second smallest province.
The province of Gorizia
The province of Gorizia
The province of Gorizia 

The province of Gorizia is located in the south-eastern area of Friuli Venezia Giulia, on the border with Slovenia and overlooks the Adriatic Sea. Gorizia offers excellent views with its typical landscapes. It has a rich history with a particular artistic vein thanks to different cultural influences, including Germanic, Slavic and Latin influences. The province and the city of Gorizia were formerly in the territory of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire until it was annexed to Italy in 1918 after World War One. 


The city of Gorizia will be, together with its Slovenian neighbour city Nova Gorica, the European Capital of Culture in 2025!. This small and pleasant city has a very interesting and complicated history. It's a special, unique place. Here, more than anywhere else, you can breathe the atmosphere and the magic of that "World of Yesterday" and feel how its royal past still lives on in the palaces and beautiful gardens found throughout the city. You can immagine how living in a typical Habsburg Mitteleuropa city was like.

The position of Gorizia and her province is enviable.  It's surrounded by the Julian Alp in the north and east and only a stone throw away from the rolling hills of the Collio wine region, an area of ​​prodigious vineyards right on the border with Slovenia. Directing south in half an hour drive you overlook the lagoon of Grado where two interesting Nature Reserves and Parks can be visited.


Grado itself is an island that turned from a simple fishermen village into a popular beach and wellness resort offering sandy beaches where you can enjoy a dip in the Adriatic sea. It has a wide range of hotels, camping sites and apartments to choose from for your vacation. 


The province of Gorizia is unfortunately also famous for its sad World War One history. Many battles took place on both sides of the Isonzo river where thousand of young soldiers lost their lives.  A tangible proof of this is the impressive National Monument and Sanctuary 'Sacrario di Redipuglia' the last resting place of as many as 100,000 soldiers. This monument should not be missed for those interested in the Great War. You can still visit the trenches or the war museum on top of Mount St. Michele. 

Guide in Gorizia / Guided tour in Gorizia

Gorizia has, as I wrote before,  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 the Austrian Empire for almost ten centuries until the end of World War One. In 1947 after World War Two the city was cut in two and a wall was built between the Italian city of Gorizia and the Yugoslavian part where a new city - Nova Gorica - was built. A wall that was only torn down in 2004. It is therefore unique that both cities together will represent the European Capital of Culture in 2025. 

Overlooking the waters of the Isonzo river, Gorizia was a privileged place for the holidays of the Austrian nobility who appreciated the mild climate, the green parks and the proximity of the sea calling it "the Austrian Nice". 


Gorizia represents a city where Italian, Austrian but also Slavic traditions melt together becoming the perfect Mitteleuropa city. This can be seen in the architecture but also in the local dishes of the traditional trattoria. 
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Guide in Gorizia / Guided tour in Gorizia

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. In this century on the right bank of the Isonzo river, a huge fortress was build by the Venetians, of which still some remains can be seen. It is said the fortress was made with the contribution of Leonardo Da Vinci, to face the Turkish invasions.

Walking around th
e streets of the Old Town, you will find the XV Century Casa dei Provveditori Veneti and Torriani Palace, which houses the Town Documentary Museum and "Luigi Spazzapan" Gallery of Contemporary Art.

winetasting Collio

More than half of the Friuli region consists of wine areas. In total there are eight of them. Each area is unique in its own kind of soil (gravel, sand, clay soil, karst rock) and location (flat land, hilly area, close to the sea, near the river). The most famous areas are the Collio nearby Gorizia and the Colli Orientali nearby Cividale. 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 the landscape is scattered by pink colored blooming cherry trees.. 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.

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Guide in Grado / Guided tour in Grado

Grado is called the sunny island and is located in the lagoon of Grado. Since the thirties of the last century it can be reached by a long bridge but for cenuries it was an island. Once a fishermen island, today a nice beach and wellness resort with long sandy beaches where you can still breath the past in the historical center. An enchanting little town to explore taking a stroll through the narrow streets called "calli" and "campielli", just like in Venice! Once a fortified "Castrum" starting from the Roman Empire, it still contains ancient places, houses and churches where you can discover the art and culture of this lovely town. You seem to relive the atmosphere of times gone by, admiring the beautiful Art Nouveau palaces of the early 20th century, the mosaics of the early Christian basilicas, the tiny colorful stone houses where the fishermen and their families lived. Enjoy the romantic sunsets on the dam and the great (fish) restaurants it has to offer. 

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Guide in Redipuglia / guided tour in 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 up against the hill called '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. 

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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 
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