The charming town of Kobarid is quainter than nearby Bovec, and despite being surrounded by mountain peaks, it feels more Mediterranean than Alpine, with an Italianate look (the border at Robič is only 9km to the west).
On the surface not a whole lot has changed since Ernest Hemingway described Kobarid (then Caporetto) in A Farewell to Arms (1929) as ‘a little white town with a campanile in a valley,’ with ‘a fine fountain in the square’. The bell in the tower still rings on the hour, but the fountain has sadly disappeared.
Kobarid was a military settlement during Roman times, was hotly contested in the Middle Ages and was hit by a devastating earthquake in 1976, but the world will always remember Kobarid as the site of the decisive battle of 1917 in which the combined forces of the Central Powers defeated the Italian army.
Kobarid lies in a broad valley on the west bank of the Soča River. The centre of town is Trg Svobode, dominated by the Gothic Church of the Assumption and that famous bell tower. Buses stop in front of the Cinca Marinca bar/cafe on the eastern side at Trg Svobode 10.