When it rains you go drinking! Or at least that’s what our day turned in to. It was raining pretty hard on our first day in Gorizia, so we decided to drive and explore all the accommodations that I had short listed for our visit in September 2015. We made it 6 km out of town to a nearby castle.
The gardens were very beautiful, even in the rain; and the surrounding views of the golf course and local area were quite stunning. After meeting to discuss room options for our stay next year it was time for lunch, so we found a cozy table in the restaurant of the castle. At the end of our meal, as we were getting ready to leave, the only other occupied table asked us where we were from, which resulted in another glass of wine and a cheese plate, before loading ourselves in to their car for a wine tasting in to Slovenia, a whole 5 km away.
It was a great way to end our afternoon and go in to the evening, with a local to provide history and background on the area and things to see and do. Maja is a Slovenian interpreter who works in Slovenian, English, and Italian. Her companion was an Renato, an Italian importer who did not speak English, so it gave me lots of opportunity to practice my limited Italian. The sun went down, we went back to Renato’s house for a night cap (the driver, me, had been drinking water since lunch), and by 10 pm we were on our way home. At this rate we’ll need another 2 weeks to explore all our options, having only visited 1 location and traveling all of 10 km! But it was a fantastic way to spend a day, couldn’t ask for better company, food, or drink.
Day 4 greeted us with better weather. We headed in to Cividale during their medieval festival, what fun! Most people were dressed up and the ancient streets were shut off to traffic with temporary wooden doors at all the entrances to the fortified old town, flags hanging in the streets, temporary tables and chairs set up for BBQ lunch, stalls lined the roads selling jewelry, clothing, and other wares that fit in with the theme. There were jousting competitions, archery contests, and all kinds of other spectacles. And everyone was dressed up, if not in full period costume, then they at least had flowery headbands on. It was a lot of fun.
Cividale is a very pretty town and I can see why the locals and visitors alike speak of it in high regard. The river running through it is a beautiful turquoise, there are squares around every corner that are lined with cafes, gelateria’s and restaurants. We have been here a week and are still surprised at how many pizzerias there are; you come across one every 3 store fronts!