GRADO | FRIULI VENEZIA REGION

grado

People have always been attracted to unknown places located outside of their own territory. Hence, there is a strong need for everyone to escape from their own environment to learn about different cultures, people, ways of living and traditions. For this reason, and thanks to the many attractions offered, Grado has always been a favourite destination for people arriving from every place.

Once you have reached Belvedere from the mainland you drive a long way across the splendid lagoon that is divided by this panoramic road. While driving, you can really surrender to imagination and wonder what is beyond the horizon.

A dive into nature allows you to focus on intense aromas that are always characterized by a light brackish smell.

Off to the left side, in the background of the surrounding landscape, you can see the island della Madonna di Barbana and to the right are mud-flats dotted with straw huts.

As you keep driving, you notice a small town with a huge bell tower off ahead in the distance, which becomes clearer and clearer as you get closer to the town. On both sides you admire the lush green of a pinewood forest, gardens, parks, small harbours, beaches and different kinds of houses, from simple ancient houses of the ancient borough in Veneto style to modern houses, guesthouses and hotels. Before reaching the town, you pass a revolving bridge that links the mainland to Grado, an island featuring the characteristics of almost all those islands that have been isolated from the mainland for a long time.

Set amidst nature, the island of Grado features a remarkable heritage, such as the early Christian basilica and its historic centre, its port for fishing, motor and sailing boats, its golden and sloped beaches, which have excellent sand and, because they are facing southwards, are suitable in particular for children. The excellent quality of its sand contributed to the transformation of Grado from a poor fisherman’s village to a renowned tourist centre. In 1892 it was officially inaugurated as a health care centre thanks to a decree issued by Emperor Francesco Giuseppe. In the past it was frequented by the Austro Hungarian nobility. Nowadays it is frequented by tourists, arriving from all over the world, who have found a suitable place to discover, admire, study, relax, enjoy and regain energy.

The Thermal Centre.

Grado is a stripe of land trapped between the Adriatic sea and the lagoon, away from river mouths, industrial sites and large towns. The combination of pure sea air, high rate of iodine, dense salt content in the water and the excellent characteristics of the pure sand all contributed to the successful inauguration of the first spa in Grado in 1873. Its beneficial factors were scientifically proven, and thus it became well known for its therapeutic qualities.

Today, the island boasts one of the few psammotherapy (sand bathing) centres famous all over the world. The recognition is due in particular to the perfect position of the establishment, which while facing the Adriatic Sea it also faces South towards the Mediterranean sun. Today, the modern spa establishment offers a wide range of treatments ranging from the first sand bathing technique used by our grandfathers to the newest sophisticated healing methods acknowledged by the medical profession, which include sand baths (psammotherapy), aromatherapy treatments with sea water, balneotherapy (therapy in tubs with ionised sea water), and physiotherapy in adequate rooms for the specific treatment of skin diseases.

In general, the treatments offer regenerating therapies for the general well being and relaxing methods against various diseases caused by the stress of modern life. The thermal centre features a pool containing seawater, which is filtered, sterilized and heated to approximately 32 degrees Celcius. The combination of seawater and the high water temperature offer remarkable benefits for those who wish to bathe in a comfortable and healthy environment. It is possible to swim, as well as to relax against one of the many jets of water. Annexed to the thermal pool are a sauna room, a Turkish bath, and a multi-person whirlpool tub.

There is also a Shiatzu tub which combines the traditional hydro-massage with the oriental methods as the jets of water are specifically directed towards the meridian lines of the body.

Gorizia Province,

GORIZIA PROVINCE | FRIULI VENEZIA REGION

Gorizia Province Italy

The Province of Gorizia is a province in the autonomous Friuli–Venezia Giulia region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Gorizia. It belonged to the Province of Udine between 1924 and 1927 and the communes of Sonzia, Plezzo, Bergogna, Caporetto, Tolmino, Circhina, Santa Lucia d'Isonzo, Gracova Serravalle, Canale d'Isonzo, Cal di Canale, Idria, Montenero d'Idria, Castel Dobra, Salona d'Isonzo, Gargaro, Chiapovano, Aidussina, Santa Croce di Aidùssina, Cernizza Goriziana, Tarnova della Selva, Sambasso, Merna, Ranziano, Montespino, Opacchiasella, Temenizza, Rifembergo, Comeno, San Daniele del Carso, Zolla, Vipacco, San Martino di Quisca and San Vito di Vipacco; and the eastern part of Gorizia, were part of this province between 1918 and 1924, and from 1927 to 1947. These communes are now part of Slovenia. It has an area of and a total population of over 142,035. The Province has a coastal length of less than 100 km. There are 25 communes in the province. Around 11% of the population of the province is of ethnically Slovene. Italian legislation ensures the protection of the Slovene linguistic minority in 9 of the 25 municipalities comprising the province. Three rural municipalities (Doberdò del Lago, Savogna d'Isonzo and San Floriano del Collio) have an ethnically Slovene majority, but the majority of native Slovene speakers in the Province live in the urban area of Gorizia..  The Province is bordered by Udine Province, Trieste Province, Slovenia, and the Adriatic Sea.

Gorizia Province Italy

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN GORIZIA

Dominated by its castle, The city of Gorizia is an Italian town that keeps its balance between its German and Venetian origins.During the Middle Ages, its imposing castle was inhabited by the Counts of Gorizia whose estate covered those territories nowadays belonging to Italy, Slovenia, Austria Boemia and Croatia. As we walk through the centre of Gorizia, we reach Palazzo Attems-Santacroce which overlooks Piazza De Amicis and hosts the Provincial Museums. Behind this striking palace is the ancient Jewish Ghetto and its Synagogue which hosts the Jewish Culture Museum. Along some main roads like Corso Verdi, Corso Italia and the charming Viale Venti Settembre there are some elegant open air coffee houses and shops.

For the gourmands, Gorizia offers unique recipes accompanied by local wines, like the D.O.C. (Controlled Denomination of Origin) wines from the Collio and the Isonzo areas. As a matter of fact, the hilly area of the Collio is famous for its high quality wines.Precious white wines like Sauvignon, Pinot grigio and Tocai can be tasted in many farm houses and wine cellars, which are always open to tourists and to those willing to drive along the “wine route” going from Gorizia to Dolegna.

The City of Cormons is the heart of the Collio area and is located in an enchanting hilly area very close to Gorizia. It has always been the main town of this enchanting hilly area, renowned not only for its geographic position but also for its trade. Its historical centre is surrounded by the ancient city walls dating back to the Longobardi (Lombard) time, which are the most ancient part of the city. Since the Middle Ages, the Market square has been the deputed place for the rite of the tajut, the Friuli appetizer which consists of a glass of white wine and some gossip.

Another town worth remembering is Gradisca, also known as the “countryside estate”. Firstly dominated by Venice, it was later ruled by the Hapsburg family. This town still preserves its ancient defensive walls as well as the Duomo, the Civic museum, the Merchant’s Loggia, the Monte di Pietà (pawnshop), the government palace of the Venetian rulers and the tower palaces.

Another significant town is San Floriano, whose inhabitants are proud of their Slav ancestors. Between the 5th and the 6th Century, their ancestors settled down right in this area and were able to revive the ancient Roman traditions. Vineyard growing nowadays is the main activity of this area and, in order to celebrate the ancient rites, a procession is held in mid July of every year, in honour of the Saints Ermacora and Fortunato.

Grado is a fascinating town that is characterized by its charming outline and its huge bell tower.It reveals its green pinewood, its gardens, parks, ports, sandy beaches and its buildings ranging from simple, ancient houses up to the most modern ones, to guesthouses and hotels. Among its ancient heritage, the town boasts some precious early Christian basilicas.Besides, the tourists are more and more attracted by its golden sandy beaches.

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.

Friuli Venezia Region,, Gorizia Province,

SAN FLORIANO DEL COLLIO | FRIULI VENEZIA REGION

san floriano del collio

On a crisp Autumn day of 1181, Ermelinda, the abbess of the Benedictine convent in Aquileia, together with her followers, reached the small town of San Floriano located on the lowest rise of the Collio. She wanted to acquire more properties in favour of the convent, and as the farmers living in the small town were still free from the feudal bounds, they sold some vineyards and fields to her.

The names borne by San Floriano inhabitants, which were handed on from the Chartarium Monasterii Aquileiensis, proudly recall the barbarian origins of their slavic forefathers : Bizlau, Stogian, Budin, Zdebor... Between the 5th and the 6th centuries their ancestors had settled in the Collio and revived the ancient Roman sites. After the conversion to Christianity, the town had inherited the name from Saint Floriano, a very old faith bound to the fertility of fields and vineyards and to the fertility rites of Spring, which was symbolized by water, a traditional feature of the Saint. 

So the vine-growing has developed with the town to the present day. An archaeological site located at the foot of the hill of San Floriano, ¥teverjan in Slovenian language, witnesses the presence of a Roman villa villa rustica dating back to the Augustus age. Slightly northwards lies the Dvor estate recalling the first ruling family of the town, the Dornberg, who since the 1300s have kept for themselves ten percent of the grape harvest. As a consequence, the disputes between the inhabitants and the town rulers during the grape harvests were always riotous and violent. 

The Dvor building and the chapel with a severe Baroque interior, (the Slovenian word Dvor means Court) belonged to the Strassoldo and then to the Tacco families. In the 1600s the Formentini family from Cividale moved to the tabor on top of the hill. This was a fortified building to defend the family from the turks and the Veneto people. In that area, in ancient times lay the church of San Floriano, which was restored during the Baroque age. It collapsed during the first World War and rebuilt in Romanesque style in 1926.

The church also featured a towering bell tower of Aquileian style. Some events celebrated today go back to the religious Aquileian tradition, such as the procession of the saints Ermacora and Fortunato, which takes place during mid July. It is a sort of fertility or propitiatory rite, a procession walking through the vineyards, praying for a good harvest.

In Autumn, after the feast of San Martino, the renowned white wines of San Floriano, such as Tocai, Ribolla and Malvasia, are available for the many visitors who arrive every year from far and wide to enjoy a day or more of the hospitality offered by San Floriano, in this peaceful atmosphere disturbed only by the continuous renewal of nature.

Gorizia Province,

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