After the onsite Congress, you are invited to join an exciting five day Congress Tour (7 – 11 August, 2023) around south-western Slovenia and north-eastern Italy. The rich program includes visits to exhibitions and museums, especially those with a lace and textile connection, as well as cultural and natural attractions in both countries. Lunches during the tour will be included in the price.  You will book your own accommodation which will enable you to regulate the price of your tour by booking the accommodation which suits you best. We will start and finish each day of the tour in Nova Gorica, so you can choose any of the Congress accommodations, from the Student Dormitory to four star hotels.

Roses at the Kostanjevica Monastery garden in full bloom. Photo: Kostanjevica Monastery
Many women from the Goriška region served in Egypt to support their families. Photo: Wikipedia

DAY 1: Monday, 7 August, 2023

We will start our journey by visiting an exhibition which illustrates the fatal impact the state border (and changes to the border) between the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, today the Republic of Slovenia, and the Republic of Italy, has had on the lives of people along the border and beyond.

Later, we will visit Kostanjevica Monastery where members of the French House of Bourbon are buried in the church crypt. We will also see the second largest public collection of the original Bourbon roses in Europe (the only larger one is at Roseraie de l’Haÿ near Paris).

Our tour will continue to the world’s longest stone arch railroad bridge where we will admire the emerald River Soča. Its unique beauty was also recognised by the filmmakers of The Chronicles of Narnia, who filmed some of the most exciting scenes of that famous movie by the River Soča.

We will finish the day by visiting an exhibition about the Alexandrian women. The term ‘Alexandrian woman’ was invented by the local people of the Goriška region for the girls and women who worked in Egypt as cooks, maids, nannies, wet nurses, governesses, dressmakers, etc. during the construction of the Suez Canal.

Rich and diverse lace collection in the Cjase Cocel Museum. Photo: Cjase Cocel Museum
Lace can beautify a bag.
Photo: Association Fuselliamo

DAY 2:  Tuesday, 8 August, 2023

The second day we will start with a visit of the Friulian Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions in Udine, which presents a rich and varied collection of exhibits describing different aspects of local culture and tradition dating from the eighteenth century to the present day.

Later, we will visit Cjase Cocel, the museum of agricultural life in Fagagna. Cjase Cocel is a farmer’s house as it would have been 50 years ago. Such houses were the places in which men and women played out their entire existence before the advent of mechanized farming. The museum houses a wide display of agricultural tools, as well as an interesting collection of equipment, patterns and lace from the former lacemaking school in Fagagna.

We will finish the day in Gradisca d’Isonzo, where we will visit the Association Fuselliamo. We will enjoy a lace exhibition prepared just for the participants of the tour and spend time with members of this association.

Breathtaking underground canyon in the Škocjan Caves.
Author: Borut Lozej, Photo Source: Archive PŠJ
Lipica is the cradle of magnificent Lipizzan horses. Photo: Lipica Stud Farm

DAY 3: Wednesday, 9 August, 2023

We will start the day visiting Škocjan Caves, a very special natural phenomenon found on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites, with the biggest underground canyon in the world, as well as many stalagmites, stalactites and other karst phenomena.

Later we will visit Škratelj homestead in Divača, dating to the 17th century, which is the oldest preserved homestead in the Karst. Today it hosts exhibitions dedicated to Slovene film actors and to the first Slovene film star, Ita Rina, born in 1907 in Divača, who lit up the film screens of Europe and the world in the 1920s and 1930s.

Our male companions will particularly enjoy our visit to the Military Museum in Lokev, situated in a defence tower which was built in 1487. Today it hosts a rich exhibition of military objects from the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the end of World War II.

We will finish the day in Lipica, the oldest and biggest Lipizzan stud farm in the world. The beginning of its unique story dates back to 1580. Today it is a home of over 300 magnificent white Lipizzan horses which live freely on more than 300 hectares of green space.

Lacemakers from Bazzovica always surprise with interesting exhibitions. Photo: Afrodita Hebar Kljun
Roman remains in Aquilleia are not yet fully discovered. Photo: Wikipedia

DAY 4: Thursday, 10 August, 2023

On the fourth day we will go to Aquileia, an ancient Roman city. In the 2nd century the city was large and prominent, as one of the world’s largest cities at that time, with a population of over 100,000 inhabitants. The city is one of the main archaeological sites of northern Italy.

Later we will visit the Castle of Duino, a private residence of the Princes Della Torre e Tasso, with a large collection of furniture and musical instruments, and breath-taking views of the Gulf of Trieste.

In Santa Croce we will visit the Trieste Coast Fishing Museum, where we will learn about the history and fishing traditions of the Slovene inhabitants along the coast between Trieste and Timava River.We will finish the day in Basovizza where we will be welcomed by members of the Cultural society Lipa. We will enjoy a lace exhibition prepared by members and have the opportunity to meet with local lacemakers.

Lacemakers from Veliki Dol promote lacemaking whenever possible. Photo: Cultural Society Kalunca
Inspiration for lace found in stone carving.
Photo: Cultural Society Kalunca

DAY 5: Friday, 11 August, 2023

The final day of our tour will be spent in Veliki Dol, a small settlement in the heart of the Karst region. Members of the Cultural society Kalunca will introduce us to the lacemaking history of Veliki Dol where, between 1909 and 1957, a lace school operated.

They will also talk to us about their efforts for the preservation and development of lacemaking in the village and some very interesting projects which were carried out in recent years with the aim of making lacemaking in the region more popular.

We will also be able to enjoy a lace exhibition, prepared just for the participants of the tour. Later we will admire local craftsmen at work and also try our hand at stone carving. We will finish the day and the tour by meeting local lacemakers and tasting local cuisine.

Price per person:
570 € for minimum 40 participants
610 € for minimum 30 participants
650 € for minimum 25 participants

Price includes: transportation from Nova Gorica pickup point, English speaking local guide, lunches, entrances to crypt and monastery in Kostanjevica, Friulian Muesum of Arts and Popular Traditions, Cjase Cocel, Škocjan Caves, Škratelj homestead (or Military Museum), Lipica Stud Farm, Aquilea Basilica and Archeological museum, Castle of Duino, Fishing Museum and organization.

Price excludes: personal expenses.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email