Dan Tautan

photo: Dan Tautan

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Overview

Gorizia sits astride the Italian-Slovenian border, which was drawn literally through some of the buildings following World War II. Until 2004, the Iron Curtain ran through the center of Piazza Transalpina. Before World War I, the city was part of Austria, and architecture at this far eastern edge of Italy hints of its Austrian rule with a number of buildings that look far more Hapsburg than Italian. On a hill above the city, Gorizia's medieval Castello commands views in all directions from fortifications built during the city’s brief time under Venetian rule. Under its walls, Borgo Castello is a quarter also built by the Venetians and now ...

Gorizia sits astride the Italian-Slovenian border, which was drawn literally through some of the buildings following World War II. Until 2004, the Iron Curtain ran through the center of Piazza Transalpina. Before World War I, the city was part of Austria, and architecture at this far eastern edge of Italy hints of its Austrian rule with a number of buildings that look far more Hapsburg than Italian. On a hill above the city, Gorizia's medieval Castello commands views in all directions from fortifications built during the city’s brief time under Venetian rule. Under its walls, Borgo Castello is a quarter also built by the Venetians and now filled with good restaurants. In its streets look for the small 14th-century church, Chiesa di Santo Spirito, and the Museo de Storia e Arte. Along with historical artifacts and exhibits, this museum has good displays of local arts and traditional crafts. Sant'Ignazio church, with its onion-shaped domes, is a clear reminder of the Austrian rule. Although there is not much to see in the Slovenian part of the city, called Nova Gorizia, the Castagnavizza (Kostanjevica in Slovenian) contains the crypt of the last of the French Bourbon dynasty, in exile here in their final days. Two golf clubs are nearby, one a challenging course on steep hillside.

Stillman Rogers
About the Expert

Stillman Rogers has written more than two dozen guidebooks, including Adventure Guide to Canada's Atlantic Provinces, Guide to Eastern Canada, and Adventure Guide to the Chesapeake.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring through fall offers the best weather, although summers can be very hot.