Gorizia is a very charming city located at the border of Italy and Slovenia. Gorizia had once been the main town of the region but when the international border had separated it in 1945, its importance has decreased. Today, in Slovenia across the border a new town has been founded by the name of Nova Gorica.
Gorizia is located at the confluence of the Vipava and the Isonzo valleys. The city lies on a plain surrounded by the Collio hills which are very famous for their beautiful wines. Gorizia is protected by the mountains from the cold Bora winds which make most of the neighboring towns and cities extremely cold. The town enjoys a pleasant climate all through the year which makes it an important tourist destination.
Attractions in Gorizia, Italy
The Castle of Gorizia
One of the most popular sightseeing attractions in the city is the ancient castle which is located within the old walls of the town and was built in the Middle Ages. The castle had once been the seat of the judiciary and administrative power of Italy.
The castle is divided in Corte dei Lanzi, Palazzetto Veneto and the Palazzetto dei Conti. The Corte dei Lanzi once had a large tower that had been destroyed in the 16th century. There is a small palatine chapel inside the castle which was dedicated to Saint Bartholomew. Inside the chapel are beautiful paintings and canvases which have been attributed to the Venetian School. There are also faint traces of frescoes in renaissance style.
The Cathedral of Gorizia is the most important religious monument in the city. Originally the cathedral had been built in the 14th century but like the other buildings in the city, it was badly destroyed during the First World War. The cathedral was later rebuilt according to the original design in the baroque style of architecture. It has been decorated with stuccos. Annexed to the nave is the San Acatius chapel in a beautiful gothic style. There are various beautiful artworks and decorations inside the cathedral.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola Church
The Saint Ignatius of Loyola church is the most important church in the city. The church was built in 1680 by the Jesuits. There is a single nave inside the church and various beautiful sculptures at the side chapels. There is a fresco depicting Glory of the Saint which was painted in 1721 by Christoph Tausch.
Palazzo Attems Pezenstein
The beautiful palace Attems Pezenstein is definitely worth a visit. Although the palace is not very old, it has several beautiful elements in its architecture. The palace was built in the 19th century according to the designs of Nicolo Pacassi.
Palazzo Coronini Cronberg, Gorizia
Another noteworthy palace to visit in the city is the Palazzo Coronini Cronberg. This palace has beautiful architecture and the interiors are equally marvelous, being decorated with rich carvings and artworks. Today the palace is home to an art gallery.
Getting to Gorizia
Gorizia is an important tourist destination in the region and is well connected to several locations. There is a train station in the city where regular trains arrive from locations like Udine and Venice which are only two hours away from the city. From Trieste, several trains depart for Gorizia every day which is located around 45 minutes from the city. All the trains that arrive from Slovenia stop at the Nova Gorica station which is located ten minutes away from the international border. Gorizia is also well connected to several towns and cities in Italy through an extensive network of buses which depart every few hours from the bus stations. Driving down to Gorizia is very easy and enjoyable since the route is very picturesque.
Moving Around Gorizia
Gorizia is not a very large city so moving around is fairly easy. Visitors can walk around the center of the town that has beautiful small piazzas and narrow streets that are lined with crumbling old houses and buildings. Visitors can even walk to the international border and visit the Slovenian town of Nova Gorica. Another option is to use the public buses which are mainly used by the locals. Taxis are not very common in the city and would not be needed since there are only a few sightseeing attractions in the city which can all be visited on foot.
Stay and Accommodation
Gorizia is quite an important tourist destination among the locals from the surrounding regions and also for international tourists from all over Europe because of its pleasant climate. Due to this the tourism industry has been developed quite well and plenty of good hotels and accommodation facilities are available in the city. In Gorizia, most hotels are located close to the main train station along with a few inexpensive bed & breakfasts. Some of the best hotels in the city are Albergo Gorizia Palace, Grand Hotel Entourage, Albergo Alla Transalpina and Hotel Internazionale.
Eating in Gorizia
In Gorizia, eating out can be a completely different experience in comparison to the other destinations in Italy since its cuisine is heavily influenced by Slovenian cuisine. There are several restaurants in the city where visitors would find typical Italian as well as Slovenian food. There are also many good bars and pubs in the city where good quality wines made from the vineyards in the region are available. Some of the best restaurants in the city are Ristorante Internazionale, Ristorante Al Falegname and Osteria Ca Di’ Pieri.
Shopping in Gorizia
Like in the other cities and towns in Italy, in Gorizia to the shops are all closed at lunchtime and even on Sundays. However, the city on the Slovenian side remains open all through the day. In Gorizia, the advantage to visitors is that they can shop in the Italian city as well as in the Slovenian city across the border. In Gorizia, visitors can purchase good quality wines since the surrounding regions and hills are known for their good quality grapes.
I think of buckwheat polenta and other buckwheat foodstuffs as Slovene, not Italian or German. Slovenian sausage is distinctive, and we make Prsut as well as the Italians — who is to say from whence that is derived as pork has been commonly found on both country tables.
Looking to find out more about my son’s family on his mother’s side. Apparently they lived in Gorizia during the1930s & 1940s but their actual hometowns were nearby Vipava and Monfalcone. Very complicated and bloody history – those years and that region. Last names Kobal and Postojna. They left the country in 1948 as refugees.
In Gorizia there is no “Slovenian cuisine”; Slovenia itself does not have its own cuisine. What is called “Slovenian cuisine” today is nothing more than a combination of Italian and German cuisine. So it’s Slovenia that is influenced by Italian cuisine, not the other way around.
Maybe if you’re not from around here, you might think the cuisine of Gorizia is “Slovene” or “German”, because you’re not used to seeing it, but it’s not: it’s very much Italian. The food you find in Gorizia can also be found in other places in Italy, especially in the alpine regions and in the north in general.
Italian cuisine is more than just what you find in Naples or Sicily, you know.
Nice pictures. Was reading about Marie Therese Charolotte. First ever heard of Gorizia. Thanks for the article & pictures. Stay well!