Growing Great Places Together

Comune di Monfalcone,
Gorizia, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy-
2023 International Finalist

Monfalcone is not only “the city of shipyards,” where the largest and most beautiful cruise ships in the world are built, but it is also nature, history and tradition. The city is a landmark of an area, between the Mouths of the Timavo and those of the Isonzo, where since ancient times myths, stories and legends have been intertwined. It is said that Noah, about a hundred years after leaving the ark, sent a colony of inhabitants led by his son Japheth to populate Europe and that he settled in these very places. It is also believed that the Argonauts, the valiant heroes who set out with Jason in search of the Golden Fleece, landed here.

Important traces were left by the inhabitants of the Castellieri (around 1500 years before Christ) and later by the Roman settlement of the Aquileia era. Later the domination of the territory passed to the Republic of Venice and then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Precisely this border territoriality and historical relevance meant that during the two world wars so much was fought and strong are still today. The sad marks left (trenches and an entire area dedicated Great War Theme Park).

Monfalcone retains many suggestions that, together with excellent facilities, make it a tourist destination of great potential and interest. The city has a large equipped beach, nautical centers and sports facilities dedicated to sea sports. The naturalistic areas are also important, starting from the coastal area with the marsh naturalistic areas and the biotopes of SIC Cavana and the mouths of the Isonzo, to the Karst, the rough and tough hilly area that squeezes Monfalcone towards the sea, where the theme park with the trenches of the Great War is developed.

Recent revival of the Roman Baths, the only establishment in the region with natural healing waters and known since Roman times. Unique at the national level and also a reference point in European industrial archaeology networks (ERIH – International Council) is the Shipbuilding Museum. Museum that tells the recent story of the birth and growth through the 20th century of Monfalcone’s entrepreneurial history. The museum’s itinerary combines the cultural-historical narrative of the birth of the Shipbuilding Shipyard with a visit to the Workers’ Village of Panzano, a neighborhood and community born on the important of the great English workers’ villages of the Industrial Revolution era. Even today, the architectural reality of Panzano’s housing (an excellent industrial village of fisrt years of 1900) and services (Workers’ Hotel, Employees’ Hotel, Stadium etc.) are visible and represent excellence for Monfalcone.

Special attention in recent years has been given to the redevelopment of public green areas, the creation of new Gardens, playgrounds and equipped areas for outdoor activities, thanks to the Administration’s constant commitment and the total expenditure of more than six hundred thousand euros. The whole city has been involved in the quest to improve and upgrade the different trees to give citizens a sense of well-being to better experience the city itself.

Monfalcone’s profound transformation and beautification sis accompanied with the growth of its role and prospects. The city has profoundly renewed itself and now looks ahead, accelerating with a plan of major public works for city redevelopment and rediscovering its identity roots.

Monfalcone has also recently developed a project to improve cycle paths, building new cycle lanes and upgrading existing ones, to connect the different city districts, from the historic centre to the first periphery. The aim of this specific project is to increase the use of cycling for citizens by making areas and services accessible. The cycle lanes created so far and those soon to be created are embellished by the placement of plants and public greenery to improve the quality of the environment. It should be noted that the recent creation of the cycle lane on the historic railway line that connected the shipyard to the adjacent municipality of Ronchi dei Legionari railway is particularly aimed at upgrading the entire ‘industrial’ area of the city.