Located next to the Italian border, Nova Gorica is one of the most beautiful cities in Slovenia. In addition to its beauty, it is well known that Nova Gorica is one of the youngest cities in the country, as it was not established until 1948, when Gorica was annexed and the region was left without a center. This is how Nova Gorica, or "New Gorica", was created.
As a university town, Nova Gorica is home to a youthful life, especially for those who love champagne and fun. During the year, fairs, festivals, theatre performances, concerts, traditional and historical events fill the city calendar.
Map - Where is Nova Gorica?
Nova Gorica is located on the western side of Slovenia, next to the Italian border, in the immediate vicinity of the county of Udine. The city is not part of any national park and is a bit far from the Slovenian coast. The town is the center of the Goriška alpine region.
- Distance from Ljubljana: 105 km / 70 minutes
- Distance from Piran: 100 km / 1.5 hours
- Distance from Trieste: 50 km / 1 hour
- Distance from Bovec: 75 km / 70 minutes
The history of the city
Nova Gorica is a consciously designed 20th century city. It was built along the principles of modernist architecture when the Treaty of Paris set a new boundary between Yugoslavia and Italy.
The influx of labor from Yugoslavia played a major role in the construction of the city. Residential buildings, department stores, universities, schools, and cultural centers were raised from scratch.
Since 2011, Nova Gorica, together with the Italian Gorizia and Šempeter-Vrtojba, has formed a common cross-border metropolitan area managed by a joint administrative body.
#1 France Bevk Square
At France Bevk square you can see a bronze model of the city, and next to it is a monument to the builders of Nova Gorica, created by Zmago Posega. It was created in 2008 to pay tribute to the city’s volunteers, whose sacrificial work allowed Nova Gorica to be born.
#2 Solkan Bridge
Perhaps the best-known attraction in the area is the Solkan Bridge, which is also crossed by the Bohinj train. Although the bridge belongs to the village of Solkan next to Nova Gorica, it is only 3 km from the city center.
#3 Kostanjevica hill
Near the town is the Kostanjevica hill, at an altitude of 143 m, less than 200 m from the Italian border. You will find the Church of the Annunciation and a 17th-century Franciscan monastery here.
The Bourbons, the last members of the French royal family, are buried in the crypt under the church, who fled France after the 1830 revolution and then found refuge here, in Gorizia.
#4 Soca Fun park
You don’t have to travel far if you want to put your skills to a test. The adventure park in Solkan is only 2.5 km from the center.
- Address: Pot na Breg 55, 5250 Solkan, Slovenia
#5 Sveta Gora
Here you will find the library named after Father Stanisla Srabec and the second largest plantation of Bourbon roses in Europe. It was established in the 19th century. It is best to schedule your visit for the May-June flowering.
#6 Vipava Valley
To the east of the city you find one of the largest wine-producing regions in Slovenia. This is the Vipava - or Vipa Valley, with its lovely little inns offering local food specialties. In the valley, in addition to wine tours, cycling is very popular.
#7 Goriska Brda
Goriška brda - alias the Slovenian Tuscany is located on the other side of Mount Sabotin, not far from Solkan. The secluded small wine region can only be reached by one road, from Nova Gorica.
In addition to rich and delicious food with juicy fruits, you can taste excellent Slovenian wines. Choose from 300 different types of wines from more than 50 local farms!
#8 Panovec forest
One of the values of the town is the nearby, well-preserved forest, the Panovec Forest. In addition to domestic tree species, non-native species can also be found in it. Hiking trails cross the forest, offering a good hiking experience.
The forest originally belonged to the Counts of Gorica and then became the property of the Habsburgs in 1500 after the extinction of the family. The forest was a source of much conflict between the government and the nobles, as it was not possible to extract timber freely from it.
It later became state-owned and was taken care of by skilled foresters from the 19th century. The area is now protected, enriched with Mediterranean and mountain plant species.
#9 Castle Branik (Castle Rihemberk)
If you are already in the area, do not miss Rihemberk Castle, which is only half an hour away. One of the most beautiful and largest castles in Slovenia is Branik, which can be found in the town of the same name.
It is also possible to visit individually during opening hours. The castle is closed in winter and is open from April to November. In summer, the castle is open daily from 10:00 until 19:00.
Admission is 5 euros for adults. There is a discount for children and pensioners.