The province of Gorizia has always been a fascinating patchwork of different cultures and languages. Located in the southeast of Friuli Venezia Giulia, bordering with Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea, this small area embraces diverse environments and landscapes, as well as many historic and artistic remains bearing the influence of the Germanic, Slavic and Latin cultures.In 1947 the town was divided in two as part of the settlement separating Italy and Yugoslavia. The train station and a few other parts of Gorizia were given to Yugoslavia during the “redistribution” of territory after World War II, although with Slovenia joining the EU the division has now become much less formal or restrictive - Nova Gorica is the name of the town on the Slovenian side of the border.
The area is surrounded by the Gorizia hills, known for their particularly favourable climate in terms of wine production. The city boasts medieval, baroque and nineteenth-century architecture, all coexisting in harmony to create a truly unique appearance. The town has a small but attractive old centre that can easily be visited on foot with pretty, colourful houses lining the streets, a few cute pedestrian streets, arcades below, and shops that attract Italians and Slovenians in equal measure. Remember that many of the houses, and also the cathedral, have been substantially renovated during the last 50 years following extensive damage in the town during the second World War.
Gorizia has a few spots that are worth visiting, as the cathedral, originally erected in the 14th century, like many of the city's buildings, it was almost entirely destroyed during World War I. It has been rebuilt following the forms of the 1682 edifice, a Baroque church with splendid stucco decoration. A Gothic chapel of San Acatius is annexed to the nave. Another interesting church is the Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio, considered the most important church of Gorizia. Built by the Jesuits in 1680–1725, it has a single nave with precious sculptures at the altars of the side chapels.
Situated in the historical center of Gorizia there is Palazzo Lantieri, an historical and charming structure frequented in the past by popes, royal and stellar literary figures including Goethe, Goldoni and Casanova
Gorizia’s main attraction is its medieval castle: standing on a hill above the town and dominating the city of gorizia, from here you will enjoy a wonderful view over gentle hills and over the whole city. Dating from the 13th century onwards, the castle comprises several different parts, with small palaces, some remains of early fortifications, a chapel and a museum. The entrance to the inner parts of the castle isn’t free, but you can access some of the castle walls without paying and get more nice views. Inside you can visit several exhibitions and right outside the castle there are some museums as well, such as the First World War Museum and the Museum of Fashion and Arts. On the city's hills, in the hamlet of Oslavia, you will find the imposing Ossuary of Oslavia, which contains the remains of 57.201 Italian and 539 Austro-Hungarian soldiers who fell in the First World War.
There are several bars and restaurants in the center of Gorizia, but I strongly recommend to try Rosenbar Ristorante on Via Duca d’Aosta 96. Here you can taste the “Gorizia’s rose”, a peculiar local variety of chicory, which only grows in local orchards near Gorizia in winter. To savor its taste and crispness it should be eaten raw. If you just want to have a snack I suggest instead to have a look to the the covered market, located in a beautiful "Liberty" of the late 20s. It opens every morning and it is the ideal place to find various products of the territory and a good area to find a place to eat. Last tip, if you happen to pass in Gorizia during these periods don’t miss these events Expomego, a trade fair held between April and May; Ruralia agribusiness fair in October; Vinum Loci wine fair, always in October and Gusti di Frontiera in September.
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