Friuli Venezia Giulia is a region with a special statute in north-eastern Italy, overlooking the Adriatic Sea and bordering with Austria and Slovenia, rich in natural beauty such as the Dolomites and the Grado lagoon. A region constantly protagonist of history but often forgotten, a place where different cultures and peoples meet and unite, a hybrid territory, long disputed but often considered ‘foreign’ by the rest of the nation.
Between these lands flows the river Isonzo, sacred to the peoples of Italy because of the many young men who lost their lives during the eleven bloody battles that saw this place play a leading role during the First World War. From the banks of the river spreads the Isontino, a strip of territory that includes a large part of the province of Gorizia, characterised by a strong dialect, very different from that of the rest of the region, developed from the centuries-old interweaving of Slavic, Germanic and Italian language varieties.
The Isonzo area leaves very visible signs of history, particularly of wartime history, which at times still seems to be felt in the atmosphere, in the visible trenches of the First World War, in the bunkers designed during the Cold War, when this territory was preparing for the communist invasion, in the remains of the many barracks that housed the military from all over Italy from the Second World War until the 1990s.
An area that is rarely a tourist destination, despite its history, nature and bucolic landscapes that also inspired the young Pasolini, who witnessed the poverty of the peasants and the rurality that still characterises the region’s economy today.
Gorizia is the capital of the province, often in the rankings of the cities in Italy with the highest heroin consumption per capita, despite its barely 35,000 inhabitants. An eternal border town, where today the Balkan route of migrants who want to reach Italy and Europe ends.