Through the centuries Gorizia has had several nicknames.
WHAT SHOULD YOU CERTAINLY VISIT IN GORIZIA ?
NICE OF AUSTRIA
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 he Austrian Empire. These northern influences can be seen in the architecture. Gorizia was once called by the Austrian nobility the "Nice of Austria" because of its mild climate, many had their second home here. They also went to the nearby beach and health resort on the island of Grado which was completely constructed by the Emperor Franz Josef.
THE CURSED CITY
The town of Gorizia is built around a hill with on top of it a magnificent castle. The castle has been completely restored after the First World War, but it gives you a good idea of how it once looked like in the Middle Ages. You can visit the castle.
On top of the hill near the castle you can also visit the War Museum. Gorizia was also called 'città maledetta - the cursed city, because it was almost completely devastated after the Great War. The city was bombed very often and its liberation has cost many human lives.
At the foot of the hill there is the old center with the main square 'Piazza della Vittoria'. Here you find the church of St. Ignazio that was built in the 18th century in Austrian Baroque style and was used by the Jesuits. Around the square you can admire some interesting buildings and villas. See the highlights on this page.
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY
Some visitors call Gorizia "the sleeping beauty". From the splendor of the past a lot has vanished but it still makes you go back in time. It is definitely worth a visit because it is easy to visit in a half-day and you can combine Gorizia with a visit to the wonderful hilly wine region Collio nearby or a visit to Slovenia.
THE ITALIAN BERLIN
Gorizia was divided into two at the end of the Second World War, just like Berlin. The part in Slovenia was called "Nova Gorica". In 2004 the old border crossings have been removed because of the Schengen treaty. You can feel the strange sensation on the Transalpina Square by standing with one foot in Italy and one foot in Slovenia.
The highlights of Gorizia:
Piazza Vittoria with the church Sant'Ignazio
Square Transalpina, old borderline between Italy and Slovenia
Villa & Park Coronini
The war museum
The fashion museum
Each year during the last weekend of September the old city center of Gorizia changes into a world map of flavors. During the "Gusti di Frontiera' the old center is divided into several districts. Each one of them has its own theme and cuisine specialties according to their geographical location on the map.