The northeastern Italian town of Gorizia is as gorgeous as it is historic. This adorable and small town that sits at the foot of the Julian Alps is full of Austrian, Slovene, and Italian influences. It is one of the only cities in the country where you can have one foot in Italy and one in Slovenia at the same time without requiring a passport. Visit the intriguing Gorizia today and embark on fabulous new adventures.


With Gorizia’s small size of only sixteen square miles, the town’s festivals and events are generally on a smaller scope and scale than some of its Italian counterparts. In the spring, the town hosts a successful trade exhibition which nicely complements the area’s flourishing industries of textiles, leather goods, and building materials for furniture. August brings the San Rocco Festival which features the music of a melodic antique bell concert. In November, the city is typically home to a popular wine exhibition and competition that shines a spotlight on the region’s famous sparkling wines.

In May, the city hosts Settimana della cultura friulana, or Week of Friulan Culture. The festival features events tied to the history, traditions, and cultural identity of the region.

October brings the Visavì Dance Festival, which showcases emerging trends in Italian and Slovene contemporary dance. As part of the festival, events are held both in Gorizia and in Nova Gorica.

The locals enjoy celebrating Carnival in their own particular way during the month of February. The events typically include a procession of allegorical carts and groups from the Friuli Venezia Giulia region and from Slovenia wearing masks and costumes.

The celebrations also include a wedding between Bepo Zanet (the Carnival King) and his girlfriend Milojka followed by a lively funeral procession for the Carnival King.


The city itself is wonderful for wandering around the local streets and squares to patron the quaint cafés and intriguing shops. One of the more unique points of interest during your tour of the city will be the abundance of public and private gardens. It is quite impressive to see how the beautiful green gardens fit so seamlessly into the landscape of Gorizia.

Approximately fifteen minutes or so away from Gorizia is Gradisca d’Isonzo. The city on the bank of the Isonzo River is only four square miles and is home to approximately six thousand people. Of particular interest in the town is a fifteenth century Venetian fortress, a beautiful cathedral, and the Church of Santo Spirito which is famous for its altars. The city can easily be seen in a morning or afternoon and is sure to delight sightseers with its ancient ruins and historical landmarks.

Located in the Karst Plateau just outside of Gorizia is the Redipuglia Memorial. This is the largest Italian memorial dedicated to the fallen soldiers of World War I. The solemn monument is a must-see for history lovers together with the Redipuglia Museum, which outlines the conditions on the front during the Great War.


Two beautiful palaces call Gorizia home, Palazzo Coronini Cronberg and Palazzo Attems Pezenstein. Both palaces are gorgeous examples of architecture. Through the centuries since its origin, Palazzo Coronini Cronberg sustained much damage from wartime conflicts before receiving beautiful renovations that make it a favorite sightseeing spot today. Palazzo Attems Pezenstein is a more modern palace that features historical statues, a fabulous collection of paintings, and a coveted scenic courtyard.

For a literal religious experience, pay a visit to the Church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, one of the most popular in the city of Gorizia. Historians suspect this church’s roots trace all the way back to the late seventeenth century, but it has been updated and renovated over the years. The façade now looks fairly modern with clean lines, arched windows, statues, and two distinct towers. Be sure not to miss the Glory of the Saint fresco inside.


Families would be remiss not to take advantage of the historical center of Gorizia. Wander the streets together and look for new adventures and drink in the beautiful architecture and monuments, such as the Cathedral of Santi Ilario e Taziano Martiri before stopping at a local café for a sweet treat.

A popular activity for many is to visit the nearby Grado Lagoon. The Lagoon is home to the Nature Reserve of Valle Cavanata which is wonderful for bird watching. In addition, the casoni, or traditional fishermen houses with straw roofs that sprinkle the shore of the Adriatic Sea will transport you and this ancient fishing village back in time. Be sure not to miss the protected area of the Mouth of the Isonzo River Reserve for some spectacular showings of Mother Nature’s finest works.


Kids will not want to miss their chance to live out a real live fairytale with a visit to the Gorizia Castle. This circa eleventh century castle has been renovated some over the years, but still maintains much of its old-world character. Visitors are usually able to explore the grounds of the castle for some outstanding views and check out the inside of the medieval structure to experience life in a real castle. With so much to explore indoors and room to roam outdoors, a visit to Gorizia’s castle could easily fill an afternoon.


One of the most unique experiences in Gorizia is that of Transalpina Square. The piazza is the site of the border between Gorizia and Nova Gorica of Solvenia. However, it is unlike most borders in that when visiting this square that stretches into both cities, you will not need a passport to actually have one foot in each city at the same time.

While visiting this historic piazza, do not miss the circular metal plaque in the center of the square that marks the place where the Gorizia border wall once stood, or the Nova Gorica railway station at the eastern end of the piazza nearest to Slovenia.

Gorizia is an enchanting border city that is a melting pot of the surrounding cultures. With unique historic monuments surrounded by stunning natural scenery, memories of a trip to Gorizia will certainly last a lifetime.

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