September 18, 2010

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Gorizia/Gorica, Italy

The beautiful town along the Italian-Slovenian border

Gorizia (Slovenian Gorica) is a lovely Italian small town, very picturesque, stretched along the border between Italy and Slovenia. Of course the town wasn't built so close to the border, the border was drawn here after WWII. The name "Gorizia" originates from the Slavic or old Slovenian "gorica", which means "small hill" (the meaning is same in modern Slovenian, too) and Slovenians still call this town Gorica. The name was probably given, because old Slovenians originally settled on the small hill above the modern city, where there's a beautiful castle today. The town name was first documented in the year 1001 as "Villa quae Sclavorum lingua vocatur Goriza" ("The village that in Slavic language is called Goriza", source).

Gorizia, first being a small village inhabited by old Slovenians, fell under the Austrian rule in 1500 and soon became a lovely small town and a melting pot of many cultures such as the Slovenian, Italian, Friulian and German. It became bigger, attracted more people and gained importance in this part of Europe. And then came the tumultuous 20th century, world wars, killings, emigration, the rise of fascism, nazism and communism and things started to change. I'm sIn 1910, 51% of Gorizia's population were Italian, 37% Slovenian and 11% German. Today most Gorizians are Italians, a very small percentage are Slovenians, while the German minority is completely gone. Today Gorizia is purely Italian, but when you walk around this lovely small town, you feel like you're in Italy, Slovenia and Austria at the same time. All these ethnic groups have left a big mark on modern Gorizia and so it's no wonder, that this town is so delightfully adorable.

Let me show you our trip to Gorizia/Gorica:

Our journey began in Trieste (Ita) and we passed by the scenic Miren castle (Slo). That's where we saw Gorizia for the first time (it's that bigger settlement in the behind).

This area is very close to the Slovenian-Italian border.

And we're inside Gorizia, somewhere in the suburban area.

Closer to the old center, we started to look for a parking space.

And we found it! And since it was just over 15h, I could park here for free, how awesome.

This part is called Piazza San Antonio (San Antonio square).

Still on the same piazza, this is the view on the other side.

I was amazed, how clean and neat Gorizia looked like.

My girl posing in front of the Questura (a police office).

I was really impressed with Gorizia's old town. It's really so beautiful and also really well renovated. The only other thing, that surprised me, was that there was almost no people in the center. It was after 15pm, very hot and most of Gorizia was empty. Were people having a siesta? It was a Saturday, maybe Italians visit mama on that day? I don't know. I wonder, why so empty, though. Of course we had a good chance to make some nice pics, it was sunny and it felt like a museum. It's a pity, that we didn't have so much time to go to the castle and to see more of the old center. We had to see so much more that day and arrive in Ljubljana in the evening, so we were under a slight time constraint. But it was enough, though.

A lovely street in Gorizia's old center leading up to the castle.

This is like one of the main pedestrian areas in Gorizia: Via Rastello.

It looked so neat and clean. And there fas a Slovenian shoe shop named Kosič.

And then we came to Gorizia's main square: Piazza della Vittoria (Victory square). The Slovenians call this town square Travnik, which means "meadow".

The Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio reminds me of Austria, so beautiful. More here>>

The other side of the piazza with beautiful old houses below the castle.

It's a pity that the square was so empty. The total opposite was Tartini square in Piran.

The Castle of Gorizia (Castello di Gorizia, Goriški grad) was rebuilt in the 1930s, because it was destroyed during WWI. It was restored to the version from the 16th century, more here.

A lovely fountain.

The piazza della Vittoria from another angle.

Palazzo del Governo.

Back to Via Rastello and back to the car...

We probably spent around 1h or less in Gorizia/Gorica and really enjoyed it, although the heat was nearly unbearable. That day was one of the hottest of the whole Slovenia trip 2010. But I'm glad we visited it, it was probably the most beautiful town we saw that day in Italy. I really recommend you to see it, if you happen to be in the area.

We left Gorizia pretty fast, just hopped on the other side of the border to the Slovenian town Nova Gorica (literally "New Gorizia"). That town was built after WWII (1947) to accommodate Slovenians, who escaped from Gorizia and Italy. More about that in my next post.

Hello Nova Gorica, hello Slovenia again!

My rating of Gorizia/Gorica:

Great place for photos ✰✰✰✰✰
Well preserved and clean ✰✰✰✰✰
Toilets, parking, souvenirs ✰✰✰✰✰
Friendly to tourists ✰✰✰✰✰

Miren castle :Before [Slovenia Tour 2010] Next: Nova Gorica>>

[All photos by MKL, 2010, except the map]


  1. Like the Europe architecture here. This town seems pretty deserted.

  2. @Shingo: It was deserted that day. Well, it's a small town after all, only 35000 inhabitants. Maybe they were having a siesta ;-)

  3. Beautiful place and they are so clean everywhere ... how I wished Kuala Lumpur could be half as clean!

  4. Gee I wish my city had more Via Rostello-esque places! How quaint.

  5. That place seems like a pretty interesting city. Is the border very clear or are the two towns melting together like an duo-national city?

  6. Everything looks pretty!!! I'd love to see the Castle of Gorizia up close.

    I really need to save money.

  7. scolling thourgh the pics and reading captions and them BOOM! I run inter a picture of your beautiful girlfriend. ^_^

    Looks like a nice town, nothing close to history and character like this on my side of the Atlantic.

  8. wow nice castle!! the trail up to the castle quite similar to those in germany :) hohoho with narrow streets and packed with buildings... and shopping streets :) yeah i found many different types of churches when i was in italy and spain

  9. @Wenny: It's definitely clean :)

    @Nashe: Yep, very lovely street.

    @Sander: I think they're not really melting together yet, but the border is not so clear. Some suburbs stick together, yea. From all I know, many Italians, who study at Gorizia uni, live in Nova Gorica, cuz Slovenian side the life is cheaper. Also a lot of Italians shop on our side and gamble. Slovenians on the other side go to walk around Gorizia's old town :)

    @Gnetch: Saving money is always good :)

    @Jamaipanese: Haha... thanks, she's posted on most of my posts about Slovenia, because she just looks so good :P

    @FuFu: I think you would like the town, it's small and lovely. But I guess it's better when more people are found in the streets :)

  10. the police officer look beautiful! Hot! I mean the place is hot!

    The town does seem quiet!

  11. @Netster: Hehe.. thanks, bro.


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