Nine experiences, a sea of feelings, countless flavours, one Istria
Istria, ‘Croatian Tuscany’, as some call it, has long been known to connoisseurs for its gastronomic offer, and is increasingly a good host to many sporting events and festivals. But Istrians have gone a step further and have created an innovative and short-term award-winning project ISTRIA INSPIRIT. It is co-launched by the association of Istria Municipality (Istarska županija), Istrian Tourist Board and Istrian tourism development agency. Istria Inspirit – Travel through time is a cultural-tourism product in nine locations with a one-day event full of experiences, tastes, smells and feelings connecting local gastronomy, traditions, music and theatre. Old Istrian legends are presented in a creative and imaginative way within the city castles, lighthouses, historical town centres and museums, mines or archaeological sites. Programmes usually last two to three hours in which visitors are fully immersed in the story of the rich past of the mythical creatures and Veli Jože, from the witch Mare to Labin miners. After the execution visitors are enjoying the flavours and local delicacies such as ham, fish, polenta, soups, fuži, truffles, olive oil, wine and beer, natural juices … Moments of Istrian mystical history, with top actors and superb scenery, are completed with a special dinner prepared from various historical periods, entertainment, dancing and many surprises.
Nine experiences are based on historical staging, folk tales and customs. The general framework of the project makes the locals involved in the realisation of each individual experience through amateur art, revitalisation of traditional crafts, dance, production and the sale of authentic souvenirs, food and beverage … With the constant involvement of the project leaders, organisational teams, sales centre and call centre the programme includes the production of 400 artists, 80 extras, directors, playwrights and 10 representatives of the technical staff, and students.
“We wanted to present Istria as an interesting, mythical and traditionally rich peninsula, a place where the young respect and love to present their heritage and the history in innovative and attractive ways,” says Manuela Hrvatin, project manager. “As cultural tourism has for many years been neglected in comparison to gourmet or sports tourism in Istria, we have decided to take advantage of existing resources: costumed stories, great legends, myths and fairy tales and produce from them products. The project aims to extend the tourist season, and encourage non-pension spending, as well as attract new market segments and enhance the satisfaction of existing visitors.”
After the first two years, in which the programmes were viewed by some 10,000 domestic and foreign visitors, Istria Inspirit is preparing for the third year in which the organisers are introducing novelties: already now are known the terms of all one-day events which will during summer 2014 be integrated into a Istria Inspirit festival, in off season they will design group programmes for children called Istria Inspirit Junior and for business groups – corporate, congress and event agencies – there are a special Exclusives. For business groups, congress and conferences participants, team building and incentives throughout the year can on request be organised by Istria Inspirit.
Individual tickets for individual programmes cost 27 Euros and all information on the events, as well as online ticket purchase, can be made on the website
Istria Inspirit – numerous awards for the most creative tourism programme:
- CBTour – the best creative programme of Croatian business tourism
- MRAK – the best creative and innovative tourism product
- “Simply the best” – creative and innovative approach to creating tourism offer
- Golden goat 2012 / Capra d’oro 2012 – the best innovative product in Istrian municipality
- Golden Zoom Awards – the best marketing campaign of a tourist destination
- „XVIII edición Concurso al mejor producto de turismo”, FITUR, Madrid – nomination for the best international tourism product
ISTRA INSPIRIT PROGRAMI
- Iustitia – what has Domenico Furlan stolen and how was justice served (Poreč)
- Mythical creature of Istria – what has Veli Jože eaten, kakvi su napici štriga and dances of the ancient circus (Pula)
- Ancient Buzet– how was the bread baked and to what music did they dance in the old Buzet (Buzet)
- Jules Verne: escape from Kaštel – how count Sandorf escaped from Kaštel and what does Jules Verne know about this (Pazin)
- Lighthouse of love – whom count Metternich secretly loved and why they did not live happily ever after (Savudrija)
- Crispo – With what music did Constantine the Great honour his son and why was the stepmother evil (Medulin)
- Mining republic – is there a sky below the ground: how did miners live and what they ate (Labin)
- Which Mare – why did whinchat Mare end at the stake and how did the executioners celebrate (Savičenta)
- Spacio – what did the batana fishermen and farmers eat and what did they talk about in konoba (Rovinj)