09 October 2016

Sauntering in Slovenia: Šmartno, Dobrovo, and the Goriška Brda

I'm not a fan of cars. I don't even have a valid driver's license. Nevertheless, I appreciate the flexibility and reach that cars can give you, allowing you to explore places that are a little bit harder to reach. For example, the Goriška Brda (Gorizia Hills) in western Slovenia. This is the area of the country across the border from Italy, famous for its wine. And yes, sometimes, one gets the feeling that it looks more Italy than Slovenia.

Just look at these rolling hills. It reminds me of Tuscany, and I think it could totally replace it, say, for shooting a movie for example. Anyway, this was the landscape we were exploring that day, as we drove around to reach these small villages.

The pictures above were taken in Šmartno. This is a village surrounded by stone walls, as if it were a fortress. The population is small, just 210 people. Yet there's still a charming restaurant, and a cozy cafe inside. We strolled the narrow streets, which were reconstructed after a very devastating earthquake a few decades ago.

We popped our heads inside the village church. It was small and pretty.

Then we drove to the nearby village of Dobrovo. This village is also small, with just 351 inhabitants. Its distinctive feature is the Renaissance-style Dobrovo Castle, pictured above. This building dates from 1606, and features a museum and a fancy restaurant. We checked out the museum.

The photos above were all taken from the museum, which was exhibiting period furniture and other objects. There was also some rooms displaying artwork. It was an interesting place, but the building was more memorable than its contents.

Anyway, this took our morning. After driving here, and checking out these villages, we ate our packed lunch, and then we drove further to Tolmin. You'll see those photos next.


  1. No valid driver's license? Did you have one in the US?

    It does have a Tuscan feel!

    1. Zhu,

      Nope, I didn't have a license in the US either, let alone a car. I preferred to save my money to travel rather than to use it to buy and maintain a car in car-heavy US. It was tough, but totally worth it.