Nova Gorica is a planned town, located on the Slovenian border with Italy. A trip to this hidden gem in western Slovenia can be a great choice if you are looking for a day excursion the busy capital of Ljubljana, or are spending your holiday in one of the wine regions. Your journey to Nova Gorica can be enrichened with a scenic train ride, where you will get to enjoy the views of the stunning landscape of the Gorizia Region, completed with a visit to the town's unique plantation of bourbon roses. An image of a red rose is also drawn on the town's coat of arms and has become a symbol of Nova Gorica.
Although the history of Nova Gorica is young, its origins are quite impressive, following the events after the Treaty of Peace with Italy at the end of World War II. As its result, the town of Gorizia belonged to Italy and soon after, it was decided to start building a new town, Nova Gorica translated as “new Gorizia” on the then-Yugoslavian side of the territory. Although it is only the 10th-largest city in Slovenia, this hidden gem at the Italian border definitely won't disappoint you. One of its unique attractions is the Transalpina Square (Trg Evrope in Slovenian) which is also where the town's main railway station is located on the Slovenian side. The square’s special characteristic is that it is divided between the Italian town of Gorizia and the Slovenian Nova Gorica and was separated by a border wall until 2004. Nowadays, you can freely cross the border and literally stand in two different countries and cities at once.
Another sight near the town of Nova Gorica is a viaduct, known as the Solkan Bridge with an 80-meter stone arch, the largest one of its kind in the world. It was built back in 1900 – 1905 as part of a railway line between Vienna and Trieste and offers a gorgeous panoramic ride of the hilly landscape and the turquoise blue Soča River. There are trains departing daily from Ljubljana to Nova Gorica, where you can experience a train ride along the rails of this historical viaduct. Because the train travels via different routes, you should check that it makes a stop at station Solkana, before it arrives in Nova Gorica and not the other way around.
Given the size of Nova Gorica, you can explore this charming border town by foot and if you like, ascend to the Kostanjevica Hill, which is only a 20-30-minute walk away from the town’s centre. There, you can walk through a green park and smell the beautiful plantation of bourbon roses, being one of the biggest and most complete collections of this type of flower in the world. On top of the hill also stands the Franciscan Kostanjevica Monastery, with an impressive library, consisting of old books, as well as the tombs of the last King of France and his family in the crypt of the monastery’s church.
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