Cycling safe through rolling hills of Brda
The rolling hills of the wine-growing region of Goriška Brda are popular with cyclists, and even the iconic Giro d'Italia has made a detour through the region twice. However, it has not been until now that the region got a dedicated cycling path, linking it with the city of Nova Gorica through Italy.
The 3.7-kilometre path between a former border crossing at Vipolže and Dobrovo in the heart of Brda was inaugurated on 13 October to make part of a 20-kilometre route running on both sides of the border.
The safe cycling path will be particularly important as Nova Gorica and its Italian counterpart Gorizia assume the title of the European Capital of Culture in 2025.
The investment in the Brda section was worth over €2 million, with the EU and the state chipping in more than €1.3 million and the Brda municipality €783,000.
The opening ceremony heard that the project was important not only for locals but also for tourism and for promoting a healthy lifestyle.
"The cycling path is very important, not only for cyclists, because we have also modernised the road and increased visibility, so that the whole traffic is safer," Brda Mayor Franc Mužič said.
Quoted by the regional newspaper Primorske Novice, he said that they had first started talks on the project with the Italian Gorizia province almost 30 years ago.
When everything was ready to start building the path, there was a new delay because the project had to be changed to preserve mighty trees at a point where the route enters Slovenia.
The investment is seen as paving the way for more cross-border projects to be funded by the EU.