- Travel tips
- 11 March 2023
Between Friuli Venezia Giulia and Slovenia: a good idea for a road trip
If you are looking for a road trip itinerary, the Friuli Venezia Giulia region of Italy and Slovenia offer a lot in terms of landscape, history and activities for young and older. I want to tell you about my journey along the state border, with some stops in Italy and others in Slovenia. It is a journey by car that can be planned for both the summer and winter, because being mostly in the middle of nature, the colors are particular in every season.
The elegant city of Trieste and the fascinating castle of Miramare
Miramare is one of the most beautiful castles in Italy, not only for its position overlooking the sea but also for the large park that surrounds it (we are talking about 22 hectares). It was built as a residence for Maximilian of Habsburg and his wife Charlotte of Belgium. Inside the castle there is a museum with the original furnishings of the time. It is an essential stop in the province of Trieste.
On the same day, you can combine the city of Trieste which is only about 15-20 minutes away by car. Trieste is a truly beautiful and elegant city. Piazza Unità d’Italia, which overlooks the sea, is one of the most impressive squares in Europe. You can take a stroll in the historic centre, which offers nice views (such as the Grand Canal), treat yourself to many activities such as museums and historic buildings or simply stroll along the sea. There is no shortage of cafés and restaurants!
Postojna Cave is uniquely beautiful!
Postojna caves are the most beautiful caves I have seen so far, because to the beauty of the place itself and also due to its vastness. The caves alone, in my opinion, are worth a trip to Slovenia if you are a nature lover.
Visits are limited to predefined times. I advise you to consult the official website to see the times of the day you plan on going and above all to buy the tickets online in advance to be sure that you will visit on that particular day and time. Keep in mind that there is a huge crowd lining up every day.
The visit lasts about an hour and a half and is divided into using a train, but also covers a stretch on foot. The little train is used for a journey of almost 4 km to reach the inside of the caves and to return to the exit. The part of the walk instead covers a distance of about 1.1 km along a path of stalactites and stalagmites. If you have small children, bear in mind that this distance must be covered in full to catch the train.
It is difficult to describe the underground environment of the caves in words. The karst conformation that nature has given us, thanks to the continuous erosion of water, is nothing short of unique. A real natural spectacle that will leave you speechless!
Predjama rock castle (but Slovenia offers so much more!)
At about 15 minutes by car from the Caves, one can find Predjama Castle. It is worth making a short stop given the really short distance. The castle is built into the rock of a large cave and the first impact on sight is exciting. I visited the castle on a gloomy and cold day. If on one hand, the humidity compromised the visit, on the other it made the atmosphere grotesque like in the movies.
The castle is interesting to see from an architectural point of view due to the surrounding rock walls. It’s all going up and down between stairs and doors, up to the top where the cave tunnels begin (area not accessible to visitors). The audio guide, also in Italian, will tell you the history of the castle. My visit lasted about an hour.
Combining Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle in one day is the ideal solution.
You can continue your road trip in Slovenia, whose unmissable stops are at least two: the capital Ljubljana, with a very nice historic center and Lake Bled for a truly suggestive nature.
Ronchi Sant’Egidio as a logistics base: from San Daniele to the casinos
The logistic base of my trip was the Ronchi di Sant’Egidio farmhouse in the province of Udine and not very far from Gorizia.
Apart from the proximity of these two cities, it was the starting point to spend a day in Trieste, about 50 minutes away, and one in Postojna at a similar distance. It takes an hour and a half to reach Ljubljana by car. Palmanova is just 20 minutes away.
The location of this farm is fantastic. The place is surrounded by greenery. If you like relaxation and nature, it is the perfect place to sleep, rest and plan your daily excursions.
There are tons of interesting places in the area that you can add to your road trip, based on the time you have available and those can be:
- San Daniele del Friuli: it is the homeland of prosciutto and I recommend the Casa del Prosciutto “Alberti 1906” for a food and wine tour;
- Palmanova: fortress city and so unique for its polygonal star plan with 9 points;
- the historic center of Udine with its medieval style;
- the casinos and SPAs of Nova Gorica: if you like gambling, you are in the right place!
Then, all you have to do is start the engine of your car and leave, because Friuli and Slovenia are places to be discovered!
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