GRADISCA D'ISONZO | FRIULI VENEZIA REGION

gradisca disonzo

Gradisca d'Isonzo ( or Gardiscje, , archaic ) is a town and comune of the Province of Gorizia in Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region,  The town is located in north-eastern Italy on the right bank of the Isonzo River, southwest of Gorizia. It received town privileges on 14 July 1936. As of 2011, the population of Gradisca is about 6,580. The town is an important centre of the Friulian culture in the Julian Venetia region.

WHAT TO SEE IN GRADISCA D'ISONZO

  • Castle, built by the Venetians in the late 15th century over a pre-existing fortress known from 1176. It was enlarged under the Austrian domination (16th-17th centuries), later being turned into a jail. Among the people imprisoned here was Federico Confalonieri.
  • Cathedral
  • Church of Santo Spirito, with an altarpiece by Pompeo Randi.

Gorizia Province,

DOBERDO DEL LAGO | FRIULI VENEZIA REGION

doberdo del lago

Doberdò del Lago is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Gorizia in the Italian region Friuli-Venezia Giulia, located about northwest of Trieste and about southwest of Gorizia, and borders the following municipalities: Duino-Aurisina, Fogliano Redipuglia, Komen (Slovenia), Miren-Kostanjevica (Slovenia), Monfalcone, Ronchi dei Legionari, Sagrado, and Savogna d'Isonzo. It is located in the westernmost part of the Kras Plateau. It is inhabited mostly by Slovenes. Before World War One, Slovene-speakers comprised almost the totality (around 99%) of the population. In the 1971 census, 96% of the inhabitants were Slovene-speaking. Since then, the number of Slovenes has slightly fallen, mostly due to the increased immigration of Italian speakers from neighboring towns of Monfalcone and Ronchi dei Legionari. Today, an estimated 86% of the inhabitants belong to the Slovene ethnic minority. Doberdò localities include Devetachi, Jamiano, Marcottini, and Visintini.

During World War I, the village was the scene of the Battle of Doberdò. Since many Slovene soldiers fought in the battle as soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian Army. A popular war song Doberdob with the verse "Doberdob, slovenskih fantov grob" ("Doberdò, the grave of Slovene lads"), made the name of the village known all across the Slovene Lands. In 1940, the Slovene writer PreÅžihov Voranc chose the name of the village as the title for one of his best-known novels, Doberdob (undertitled: "The War Novel of the Slovene People"). With this novel, Doberdò became the central symbolic place of the Slovene victims in World War I. Doberdò is also a symbolic place for the Hungarians, since many of them died in the battle fighting in the Austro-Hungarian Army. In Hungary, there is a popular war song with the name Doberdó, reminiscent of the battle. In May 2009, a chapel commemorating the Hungarian victims of the Battles of the Isonzo was inaugurated in the hamlet of Visintini () with a trilingual, Italian-Hungarian-Slovene inscription.

Gorizia Province,

MONFALCONE | FRIULI VENEZIA REGION

Rocca di Monfalcone

The town of Monfalcone has always played an important role as a link with Central and East Europe. Its fortress stands on a hill which was strategic for the control of the coastline going from Grado, Trieste up to Istria. During the Roman age, the mouth of the Timavo river was a renowned spa area for the Aquileia inhabitants.

During the Middle Ages there was a small village called Vicus Panzianus, today called Panzano, the heart of the industrial district of Monfalcone.The location of Monfalcone was strategic for the control of the invasions from East Europe. Emperor Ottone I rewarded the Patriarch of Aquileia with the villages and fortresses so as to be protected from the Hungarian invasions. In 1420 Venice conquered the town and its fortress.In the following centuries the Monfalcone area became the scene of many battles against the Turks first and later against the Austrian and the German populations.The fortress was restored in 1525 and has maintained the same style up to today.

The new town of Palmanova overshadowed Monfalcone’s strategic importance. All the areas close to the North-east border were affected by World War I and Monfalcone, claimed by the Italian “nationalist” movement of the Irredentists, became the scene of cruel battles. The town was severely damaged and then conquered by the Austrians after the defeat of Caporetto. It was given back to Italy after the end of the War, on 24th October 1918. The border areas between Italy and the former Jugoslavia were disputed during and after World War II. Monfalcone was definitely given back to Italy on 14th September 1947.   Today, thanks to the ever growing shipyard activities, many other related industrial activities have rapidly expanded and allowed an economic growth as well as a population increase. The chemical, electric, electromagnetic, iron and steel industries are among the most important activities.

Gorizia Province,

FOGLIANO REDIPUGLIA | FRIULI VENEZIA REGION

fogliano redipuglia

Fogliano Redipuglia (Bisiac: Foian Redipuia) is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Gorizia in the Italian region Friuli-Venezia Giulia, located about northwest of Trieste and about southwest of Gorizia. , it had a population of 2,797 and an area of .All demographics and other statistics: Italian statistical institute Istat. The municipality of Fogliano Redipuglia contains the frazioni (subdivisions, mainly villages and hamlets) Fogliano, Polazzo, and Redipuglia. Fogliano Redipuglia borders the following municipalities: Doberdò del Lago, Gradisca d'Isonzo, Ronchi dei Legionari, Sagrado, San Pier d'Isonzo, Villesse.

World War I memorial of Redipuglia, resting place of approximately 100,000 Italian soldiers. More than 650,000 died on the battlefields of World War I.]] Fogliano Redipuglia lies at the eastern end of the shifting front of the Italian Campaign against Austria-Hungary (and Germany) in World War I, and today is home to Italy's largest war memorial on Monte Sei Busi in Redipuglia. The campaign overall featured the dozen or so Battles of the Isonzo including a number in this area but especially the Battle of Caporetto, a heavy defeat for the Italians with 11,000 killed, 20,000 wounded and 265,000 captured. As points of interest, famed WWII German officer Erwin Rommel fought in this battle as a junior officer, and American author Ernest Hemingway drove an ambulance for the Italian Army (see A Farewell to Arms). After Caporetto, the Austria-Hungarian advance was forced to stop anyway due to lack of supplies, and after almost a year the Italians were able to reinforce and regain this territory by destroying the Austro-Hungarian Army in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, which defeat led to the final end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The huge war memorial from 1938 contains the corpses of 39,857 identified Italian soldiers, and 69,330 unidentified. In a nearby cemetery are buried another around 14,000 Austro-Hungarian soldiers. Trench fortifications can be seen next to the war memorial, as well as a display of large WWI artillery pieces. Pope Francis visited Redipuglia's military memorial on 13 September 2014 to mark the centenary of World War I to pray for those who died in all wars.

Lagorai Dolomites,

CORMONS GORIZIA | FRIULI VENEZIA REGION

cormons gorizia

A column of smoke arising from the top of the mount Quarin signalled danger. From fortress to fortress it reached the Carnia, the boundary of the Roman Empire, which was threatened by barbarian invasions. Of that ancient fortress in Cormòns, only a massive breached tower and an irregular ring of stones belonging to the ancient walls remain today. Nonetheless, the expansive view is always marvellous from these remains.

From the top of the Alps the view descends to the so-called “Soglia di Gorizia”, i.e. the lowest passage of the Alps from which the barbarians coming from the Far East countries entered Italy during the dark ages. The gentle slopes of the Collio patched with vineyards and cherry trees lie all around the area. Southwards, the plain is crossed by the Isonzo River which flows into the Adriatic Sea, glittering in the sunshine.

From the top of mount Quarin, the panoramic view up to nearby Slovenia lets us understand why Cormòns is pleased to define itself as “the heart” of the Collio. The town not only represents a geographic centre but also an economic point of reference. As a matter of fact, it has been the main centre of this enchanting hilly area next to Gorizia for ages. Today it is well reputed for its wine, excellent restaurants, elegant hotels and comfortable agriturismo (farms serving typical regional dishes.)

The ancient origin of its name probably derives from the Celtic word Carmona, (the land of weasels). In the VIII century, it was seat of the Aquileian patriarch and prior to that it was already famous for its wine and fruit production.

In the Middle Ages, it was a trade centre. Between the 1600s and the 1700s it was embellished with churches and palaces. Today, Cormòns is a quiet town in Hapsburg style featuring private and public buildings with nice facades, churches with onion-like domes and a theatre in neoclassic style.

The most ancient part of Cormòns is the medieval centa of Lombard origins, i.e. a maze of narrow alleys lined with brightly painted houses, around which lies the historic centre, characterized by harmonious 17th- and 18th-century buildings. Like for instance, the Cathedral of Sant’Adalberto, an imposing 18th-century building, the neoclassic palazzo Locatelli (now seat of the Town Hall) whose harmonious façade overlooks Piazza XXIV Maggio, the “lounge” of the town. As a matter of fact, the Cormòns inhabitants enjoy meeting in this square, which hosted the market during the Middle Ages. Today, thanks to a renowned wine cellar and to elegant bars, this square has been deputed for the tajut, rite (the very popular aperitif of the Friuli region consisting of white wine “flavoured” with chats). The Piazza XXIV Maggio has a magical atmosphere on the summer evenings, with people comfortably seated at the tables of the bars, listening to music and admiring the starry sky into the small hours.

Strolling around Cormòns, we discover small architectural treasures, such as the late medieval tower belonging to the ancient wall ring, which is today part of a very well kept vineyard at via Cancelleria Vecchia, the monumental gate surmounted by a triple lancet window of the 18th-century building Devetag-Del Mestre at n. 70 via Matteotti, the church of St. Leopold located in the south east area featuring precious stalls carved in wood, the 18th-century sanctuary of the Rosa Mistica, designed by the Lombard architect Carlo Corbellini. Just in front of the sanctuary, in the centre of Piazza Libertà lies the bronze statue of the Hapsburg Emperor Massimiliano I, an unusual work of art which stands imposingly on a high marble pedestal. We ask ourselves whether it represents nostalgia or retaliation . It is a witness of the past and of a century-long presence of the Austro Hungarian Empire.

In 1903, the statue was set in the square formerly named piazza Cumano, to commemorate the 4th anniversary of the annexation to the Great Empire. By means of this statue the Cormòns inhabitants paid tribute to Emperor Massimiliano I, who in 1518 had granted to Cormòns the status of ‘town’ and tax exemption for six years. These concessions were possible thanks to the remarkable wines destined to the Emperor’s table.

The statue was removed at the beginning of World War I and relocated in the square in 1981 upon wish of the Cormòns inhabitants, who are very attached to memories and traditions. A spectacular historic representation in honour of the Emperor and of the strong link with the past is held in Cormòns on the first Sunday of September during which duels on horses are performed, more than five hundred ladies and knights, fencers and Lansquenets parade along the main streets. Added to this, another awaited event takes place on the second Sunday of September: the feast of the grapes. The rite of the grape harvest is one of the older events in Italy and has been celebrated for over seventy five years. On this occasion the so-called “wine for peace” is shipped to major head of states around the world in a sign of peace and brotherhood. This special wine is fermented from the harvest of over four hundred grapes coming from the ‘Vineyard of the World’ (a blend of vines originating in the five continents, which is grown in the area, thanks to the enterprise of the Producers’ Association of Cormòns).

Gorizia Province,

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