Isonzo Karst: discover Friuli Venezia Giulia by bike
Riding your bike through the Isonzo Karst upland
The track is rather challenging due to the presence of very steep hills. The valley floor stretch between Palchisce and Bonetti is partially unpaved and the first hundred metres are slightly uneven.
The track runs through the Isonzo Karst upland, a scenery of the battles that took place during World War I. The Karst area stretching from Doberdò (Italy) and Komen (Slovenia) is a wide open-air museum of World War I where several information boards on the routes and track describe the events that took place in this area during the war between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian armies. Mount St. Michele, where the First, Second and Sixth Isonzo battle took place, is now a monument area rich in trenches, walkways, caves and tunnels.
Close to the village of San Michele del Carso (direction SE), the trenches and fortification site on Mount Brestovec (Brestovi) is a very suggestive area run through by the galleria delle cannoniere (embrasures tunnel). The site was restored in 2012 and is now considered one of the most beautiful and important war site on the eastern front.
Another interesting site is the Case Neri Cave (east of the village of San Michele del Carso) used by the Austro-Hungarian army in the 1915-1916 period as shelter for the troops.
In San Martino del Carso the private museum "Ricordi della Grande Guerra" (Memories of the Great War) is worth a visit. In 1918 in Visintini, Hungarian soldiers builtthe military memorial chapel for their comrades fallen during the defence of Doberdò upland.
Mount Skofnik (NO of the village of San Michele del Carso) is one of the symbols of the Cold War. A very wide bunker was built in 1968 under its peak. The site was abandoned in 1992 but secured by the Associazione Fanteria d'Arresto in 2015. Guided visits are possible on request.
"Gradina" visitors’ centre in Doberdò del Lago is the point of reference of the regional reserve of the lakes of Doberdò and Pietrarossa. Its museum lets visitors discover Karst natural flora and fauna, as well as its geomorphological and historical characteristics. Walking on an easy path, you can reach the Casa Cadorna refuge, where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the hollow of the intermittent Karst lake of Doberdò.
Carso 2014+ project was devised by the Province of Gorizia with the purpose of rediscovering the Karst area (from the Slovenian “kras” or “krs” meaning rock, stone) as a place combining unique landscape elements with historic World War I sites. Some themed routes are aimed at promoting cultural tourism and at highlighting local history, memory and environment.