Slovenian Embassy in Madrid Spotlights Nova Gorica as European Capital of Culture 2025 at National Day Reception

Published: 19.6.2024

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Slovenian Embassy in Madrid Spotlights Nova Gorica as European Capital of Culture 2025 at National Day Reception

On June 18, the Slovenian Embassy in Madrid held a National Day reception, a week ahead of Slovenia's official National Day on June 25. The event, in cooperation with Slovenian Tourist Board, which focused on tourism, included a special presentation of Nova Gorica and the Vipava Valley, along with the European Capital of Culture Nova Gorica GO 2025, and attracted around 200 guest, among them 15 journalists.

Slovenian Embassy in Madrid Spotlights Nova Gorica as European Capital of Culture 2025 at National Day Reception

In light of the re-establishment of a direct air connection between Madrid and Ljubljana and the announcement of a larger number of charter flights between Spain and Slovenia this summer, the embassy decided to devote this time's reception on the occasion of the National Day to tourism promotion. Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to the Kingdom of Spain, Mr. Robert Krmelj, said: "Cooperation between Slovenia and Spain is also strengthening thanks to the ever-improving mutual knowledge between Slovenians and Spaniards. Undoubtedly, the growing tourist flows between the two countries also contribute to this. That is why I am extremely happy that Iberia is re-establishing a direct flight connection between the two capitals this summer."

Representatives of Slovenian tourism, including the Slovenian Tourist Board, Nova Gorica and Vipava Valley, and the European Capital of Culture GO 2025, attended the event in Madrid. They engaged in networking and showcased Slovenia as a premier destination for cultural holidays. The Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) has designated Art and Culture as the central theme for their communication strategy in 2024 and 2025, aiming to position Slovenia as an appealing destination with a vibrant contemporary art scene and rich cultural heritage.

( From left to right: Brigadier David Humar, Mojca Grandovec, Martina Sfiligoj, Ambassador Robert Krmelj, Marjana Černič Krmelj, Amerisa Kurbegović, Sabina Ljubi Salazar, Mija Lorbek, Aleksandra Lipej, Nina Vrabec)

Direct Madrid-Ljubljana Flights Enhance Accessibility for Spanish Tourists

 Iberia representatives also participated in the reception. From July to September, direct flights between Madrid and Ljubljana will start, with Iberia operating on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This new connection will enhance accessibility for Spanish guests. Slovenia, already a favoured destination for travellers from Spain and the wider region, experienced a slight increase in overnight stays by Spanish tourists in the first four months of this year compared to the same period last year. The new air link will enable Slovenian tourism to more effectively target and attract the Spanish market, leveraging Madrid's strategic geographical location.

Aleksandra Lipej, Global Communications Manager at the Slovenian Tourist Board, highlighted Slovenia as a vibrant destination for green, active, and cultural tourism. She remarked: "The new flight connection between Madrid and Ljubljana opens up exciting tourism opportunities for us. At the Slovenian Tourist Board, we are seeing an increasing number of Spanish tourists, and we are actively engaging the Spanish market through various projects. This includes a comprehensive global digital campaign, press trips and study tours for industry representatives, and our presence at major trade fairs and workshops."

GO! 2025 Nova Gorica – Gorizia

Looking ahead to 2025, Slovenia will host a groundbreaking event as Nova Gorica and its neighbouring city Gorizia in Italy jointly take the stage as the European Capital of Culture, marking the first cross-border European Capital of Culture. This celebration will showcase Slovenia's rich culture, renowned art, creative spirit and distinctive heritage on a global platform. The programme is set to encompass a diverse range of themes such as fashion, exhibitions, performances, music, theater, ecology, sustainable development, film, architecture, gastronomy, technology, and sports, promising an exciting cultural experience unlike any other.

The unique aspect of having two cities share the title of European Capital of Culture without borders marks a significant milestone. This distinction belongs to the two Gorizia cities. Nova Gorica, Slovenia's youngest city, is intricately linked historically and in daily life with Gorizia on the Italian side of the border. Nestled amidst the fertile hills, orchards and vineyards of the Brda and Vipava valleys, where the emerald Soča River originates from the heart of the Alps, and with the mysterious Karst and the sea in plain sight, this region has nurtured a town with a vibrant, youthful identity since the aftermath of the Second World War.

Mija Lorbek, Director of the GO! 2025 explained: "With the GO! Borderless slogan, the European capital of culture 2025 transcends boundaries in multiple dimensions: uniting the cultures of two sister cities - Slovenian Nova Gorica and Italian Gorizia, blending natural wonders with cultural performances, and intertwining gastronomy, sports and culture." She also highlighted key events: "Central to our cultural programme are exceptional performances set amidst natural marvels: a concert featuring acclaimed pianist Alexander Gadji on the Three Bridges of the Emerald Soča River, a multimedia dance spectacle by the MN Dance company at the active Solkan quarry, an arboreal orchestra in the enchanting Rafut Park, and Rossini's opera staged at the cross-border Europe Square. Additionally, the grand event Tastes without Borders will unfold at the Europe Square, an extension of the renowned Italian culinary celebration Gusti di frontiera, now embracing rich cultural exchanges into Slovenian Nova Gorica."


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