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Gorizia and Surroundings

Gorizia, a small but welcoming town on the Eastern border of Italy, is easily reachable by train from Venezia Santa Lucia. Before going there, all I knew about it was that in the past it was often involved in bloody conflicts because of its strategic geographic location; and that my friend Costanza would be there […]

Gorizia Travel

Gorizia, a small but welcoming town on the Eastern border of Italy, is easily reachable by train from Venezia Santa Lucia. Before going there, all I knew about it was that in the past it was often involved in bloody conflicts because of its strategic geographic location; and that my friend Costanza would be there to guide me around.

I was soon explained that Gorizia and its inhabitants share a lot with the nearby Slovenians: in fact, the border with Slovenia is pretty much invisible over there, and I was often told that the hill on the right, the church down the road or the square nearby belonged to foreign territory. This also means that many Italians in the area partly have Slovenian origins and speak a Slovenian dialect. Bilingual schools, drama groups, choirs, Sunday masses etc are also very popular and widespread. As a result even I, who was there for just three days, ended up learning some Slovenian words (“Hvala lepa” is something you might want to remember, as it means thank you), much to my friend’s delight.

Gorizia Travel
Another peculiarity of Gorizia and its province is that, as I briefly mentioned above, it has lost a very high number of men in a series of battles, and especially during World War 2. This implies that it is very common to find commemorative plaques all around the town centre, dedicated to brave soldiers and partisans. I think it is very important to stress the cultural value of Gorizia because the not-attentive tourist might find the town banal or uninteresting: in fact, apart from a few pretty squares, the Castle dominating the panorama, and cute little streets going up and down, there is little to admire. It is the School of Diplomacy and International Sciences that makes Gorizia famous, and even its students agree that spending three years there is not the most entertaining of things. However, I found Gorizia a fantastic place to relax, far from the usual chaos and noise of bigger towns. And there are a couple of trips in the area that I absolutely recommend:

Lignano: Less than an hour away by car, the famous touristic destination of Lignano Sabbiadoro offers a calmer beach, too: Lignano Pineta, just next to it, and much less crowded. The sea over there is ideal for kids, as the water is shallow for at least 15

metres along the coastline, clear and usually free from jellyfish. The centre is close to reach on foot and offers a great variety of bars, shops and restaurants. I personally tried the “Nerone” restaurant and found it excellent and definitely not too expensive, even for a student like me!

San Daniele: A famous destination too, but for different reasons from Lignano: the village is in fact the mother-place of a delicious ham, the “prosciutto di San Daniele”. I was so lucky to visit it in correspondence with a fair, involving karaoke music, stands selling home-made soap, dresses, bags and so on, as well as (and most importantly) afternoon snacks of prosciutto with a selection of grissini (breadsticks) and of local cheese. Awesome! Besides, the village itself is very pretty and worth a visit. Best souvenir: a 500gr jar of special tomato sauce with minced prosciutto.

Practical tips: it could be a good idea to rent a car in order to optimize time, as trains are not too frequent. For people who love walking and hiking, the hills around Gorizia can be ideal so remember to bring the necessary equipment! Also bear in mind that it can be very windy over there.

About Author

London,Italy
Student

This travel guide is written by Irene Negri 20, Italian, passionate about reading, writing, traveling and learning languages. Currently a student of International Development and International Relations in London, Irene speaks five languages and has recently started to study her sixth (Arabic, quite a challenge!). She dreams of working for an NGO and learning to fly biplanes, while discovering as many cultures and countries as possible. Up to now she has traveled a bit around Europe and taken part in a 6-month school exchange programme in New Zealand, and she will soon spend a semester in Istanbul as part of her degree (thus trying to master Turkish as well...). Very sociable and lively. Irene will be happy to answer any question about her travel writings at kerinkfoof@gmail.com.