From Bovec the road follows the Soča River south, running parallel with the Italian border, to pass through the pretty market town of Kobarid.
It's hard to believe now that this idyllic scene was home to some of the bloodiest mountain battles ever fought. In 1917—towards the latter portion of World War I—the combined forces of the Austria and Germany launched a surprise offensive in an effort to dislodge Italian forces holding Kobarid and the surrounding Soča Valley. The battle raged on as hundreds of thousands were killed under appalling conditions on both sides. In the end, the Italians retreated and were almost knocked out of the war. "Caporetto"—Kobarid's Italian name—became synonymous throughout Italy with shame and defeat.