The eventful history of the second smallest province.
The province of Gorizia
GORIZIA AND ITS SURROUNDING. GUIDED TOUR OF GORIZIA
The province of Gorizia belongs to Italy since the end of the First World War. Before that this province had been under Austrian rule for centuries.
The main city Gorizia is small but has a great history. It is a special, unique place. Here, more than anywhere else, you can breathe the atmosphere and the magic of that "World of yesterday" and see how living in the Habsburg Mitteleurope was like.
Called the garden city, overlooking the waters of the Isonzo river, Gorizia was a privileged place for the holidays of the Austrian nobility who appreciated the mild climate and proximity of the sea, Gorizia represents a city where Italian, Austrian but also Eastern Europe traditions melt together. This can be seen in the architecture but also in the local dishes of the traditional trattoria
The position of Gorizia and her province is enviable. It is 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 vineyard right on the border with Slovenia. Directing south in a half hour drive you overlook the lagoon of Grado where some 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 health resort offering a wide range of long sandy beaches and hotels, camping sites and apartments where you can enjoy a dip the Adriatic sea.
The area 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.
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 the Austria Empire for almost ten centuries until the end of World War One. The tragic events related to the Great War but also World War Two eventually ensured that the city was cut in two in 1947 and a wall was built between the Italian city of Gorizia and the then Yugoslavian city of Nova Gorica. 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.
The Mitteleuropa influences can be seen in the architecture and gastronomic dishes. 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. 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 the 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.
THE WINE REGION 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.
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.
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 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.
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