Stop in Nova Gorica and smell the roses
Everything is coming up roses in Nova Gorica as the 18th annual Festival of Roses is starting on 27 April. Running until 21 May, this celebration of the rose will feature different flower-related events and workshops.
One of the main attractions is the Bourbon rose garden at Kostanjevica Hill, which is home to the second largest collection of Bourbon roses in Europe. Guided tours to this and other rose gardens around the town will be organised as part of the festival.
Visitors will be able to attend painting and photography exhibitions and partake in culinary and cosmetics workshops.
On Friday, 28 April, there will be a concert by Italian pop star Anna Tatangelo.
For the first time ever visitors will be able to spend a day among the Damask roses. At a local farm they will harvest petals of this antique rose variety and distil them to create rose water. They will learn more about roses at a lecture and a culinary workshop, followed by a tasting of different products containing roses.
Local restaurants will offer desserts and cocktails with roses and even a rose-themed tasting menu, while relaxing massages with rose oil will be available at spas.
The festival is one of the main cultural and educational events organised by the local association for the promotion of roses in collaboration with the municipality of Nova Gorica, the Kostanjevica Franciscan Monastery and the gaming company Hit.
The rose is a symbol of Nova Gorica, said the town's Mayor Samo Turel, who plans to give more recognition to the flower by planting more rose gardens. As Nova Gorica and its Italian neighbour Gorizia will be European Capitals of Culture in 2025, Turel and Gorizia Mayor Rodolfo Ziberna have pledged to create a 30 kilometre flower trail connecting the towns.
The flower trail will connect existing and new rose gardens, said the president of the local rose association Katja Kogej, who believes the trail will have a lot to offer, including rose seedlings and rose products, as well as culinary and wellness services.