TRIESTE PROVINCE

GORIZIA PROVINCE

GORIZIA

CORMONS

GRADO

UDINE PROVINCE

PORDENONE PROVINCE

 

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Gorizia Province

Gorizia

Centuries ago, Gorizia was home to the powerful Counts of Gorizia. From their hilltop castle, they ruled for four centuries a territory that extended from Tyrol to Croatia. In the 16th century, the city was acquired by Austria’s Hapsburg monarchy. Except for brief periods of domination by the Venetian Republic and later Napoleon, Gorizia remained Austrian until after World War I, when the region was united with Italy.

Following World War II, Gorizia experienced a similar fate as Berlin. When the Paris Peace Treaty divided the city between Italy and Yugoslavia, fences were literally erected through private gardens, backyards, and driveways, segregating families and neighbors and cutting off farmers from their land. Italy received the best end of the deal, taking the main share of the city and its thirty-seven thousand residents. Yugoslavia was given only the outskirts; however, Communist dictator Josip Tito determined to rebuild those suburbs into a new city that would rival the original, hence the name Nova Gorica, or “new Gorizia.”

With the collapse of the Communist bloc—and the subsequent breakup of Yugoslavia—Nova Gorica became part of Slovenia. Today, the city flaunts a progressive character, complete with sporting arenas, casinos, and discotheques. Italian Gorizia, in contrast, abounds with Venetian, Gothic, and Slavic architecture, including the onion-domed church of Sant’Ignazio and a fortified hilltop castello, not to mention the winding medieval streets of the city’s historical quarter.