Robidišče (13 inhabitants) is Slovenia’s westernmost settlement. It is located in the Municipality of Kobarid in the Littoral region on the border with Italy. In the Middle Age this area was owned by the Patriarch of Aquileia. Later the village came under the Venetian republic. The area became a part of the Habsburg Empire until 1866 when it was incorporated into the kingdom of Italy. After WWII in 1947 Robidišče was cut off from the Venetian region by the border between Italy and Yugoslavia. Because of this more than 150 locals packed their belongings onto waggons, crossed the border into Italy and never returned. The village was drastically transformed in 1976 when an earthquake with magnitude 8 on the Richter scale shook the village. The reconstruction of the village was not completed for a long period of time and the village population decreased. In 1869 the village had 178 inhabitants and in 1910 the number rose to 228. In 1991 there were only 17 people living in Robidišče and the number fell to 8 in 2000. Currently, the village is being revived and turned into an attractive tourist spot, which includes mountain bike rails, glamping, etc. 

Authors: Lana Peternel, Katarina Polajnar Horvat


Theme: Natural disaster, Migration, Aging, Infrastrukture, Bordering, Borders

Figure 1: Robidišče (July 2023).

Figure 2: Ethnographic collection in Robidišče (July 2023).

Figure 3: Border guard shelter in Robidišče, Slovenian – Italian border (July 2023).

Figure 4: Border guard shelter in Robidišče, Slovenian – Italian border (July 2023).

Figure 5: Robidišče, (July 2023).

From the Field Notes

Robidišče is isolation in a positive sense. A place that in today’s context is not burdened by negative experiences. Historically, however, this was not always the case. Isolation in the historical context of Robidišče includes meanings burdened by the fixed borders between Italy and Yugoslavia. Robidišče, next to the barracks of the Yugoslav army and far from Kobarid and Tolmin, had no prospects for development, they claimed. In primary school textbooks, the village was presented as an example of abandonment, depopulation and disappearance. But the future has disproved these assumptions. Robidišče is a well-known place where seclusion is of great value to those who spend their lives or holidays there. Seclusion in Robidišče brings fulfilment, peace and contentment.