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Photo credit: Jošt Gantar

The Whole-Town Venue

Organising an event completely surrounded with cultural heritage is a one-of-a-kind experience—especially if the town is a living symbol of the Karst way of life that has been developing into a truly special meeting venue. In recent years, the medieval town of Štanjel has become one of the pillars of Karst tourism. The meticulously restored 17th-century castle is among the finest examples of architectural heritage in the Slovene Littoral and is at the heart of the freshest, most unusual meetings story in Slovenia. The entire town—a dense cluster of stone buildings—can become a venue for your event, along with one of its most special spots, the Ferrari Garden.

The Municipality of Komen has been renovating the premises for a while now, and years of intense work have produced completely new sites that are just waiting to be discovered by event organisers. Among others, the Knight’s Hall, featuring a wine library, will soon be restored. The Spacal Gallery is a superb venue as well, and for a truly boutique experience, there is the Fabiani Hall and the Square Tower in the castle courtyard. Many locations remain undiscovered, however, and surrounded as they are with extraordinary cultural heritage and intimately connected with the idyllic landscape, they just beg the organisers to make them the venue for their next event. Built entirely out of stone and radiating special energy, Štanjel is a microcosm of Karst itself.

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Photo: Jošt Gantar

NEED TO KNOW 2019

No event in Štanjel is complete without a walk along the footpaths designed by the famous architect Maks Fabiani. He lived in Štanjel in the interwar period, leaving a considerable architectural legacy. All the paths lead to his masterpiece, the fairy-tale Ferrari Garden, where, in nice weather, you will be able to enjoy a banquet with a view of the Vipava Valley. Fabiani made interesting use of the stone, creating different spaces that nowadays prove perfect for weddings, receptions and boutique events. The most spectacular part of the Ferrari Garden is the oval pool crossed by a bridge, which is supposed to represent Venice. The ubiquitous stone catches the eye, emphasising subjects that just beg to be “Instagrammed”. This is especially appreciated by wedding organisers. They fill most Saturday afternoon slots in Štanjel in the summer. The rest of the week, however, is perfect for incentive organisers, who can use the venue to organise truly extraordinary receptions with a stunning view. You will experience, feel and taste Karst with every step you take.

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Ferrari Garden (www.stanjel.eu)

DID YOU KNOW?

Karst phenomena were named after the Karst region, where they were first discovered. In its capitalised form, the word Karst, or Kras, refers to the region lying between the Bay of Trieste, the Soča Valley, the Vipava Valley, the Upper Pivka Valley and the Brkini Hills. For many, however, Štanjel represents the informal centre of Karst. In its immediate vicinity we can find peculiar natural phenomena that gave their name to all similar occurrences elsewhere in the world. In the ancient Illyrian and Venetic languages, the word “karst” meant “stone”. The typical karst landscape is shaped by the water chemically dissolving the limestone over the course of many years. These processes leave the surface stony, and dotted with sinkholes and numerous karst caves. Cave tourism is one of the peculiarities of the Karst region; Vilenica, one of the first caves to become a tourist attraction, is just over 20 kilometres from Štanjel. Concentrated in the centre of the so-called classical Karst is an abundance of natural and cultural monuments just waiting for you to introduce them to your meeting guests.

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Photo credit: Jošt Gantar

Photo: Jošt Gantar

WHAT'S HOT 2019

Festival Kraška Gmajna / 25 April – 02 June 2019
Venue: Multiple locations across the Karst Plateau

Castle Summer / June 2019
Venue: Multiple locations in Štanjel

The Slovenian Festival of Kamishibai Theatre / 09–11 August 2019
Venue: Štanjel

The 34th Vilenica International Literary Festival / 14 September 2019
Venue: Štanjel, castle court

The Wine Holiday in Karst / 8–11 November 2019
Venue: Štanjel and various other locations throughout the Karst region

The Karst Cuisine Month / 04 October – 3 November 2019
Venue: Štanjel and various other locations throughout the Karst region

Note: Only the main tourist events are listed; the list of major meeting events is not yet ready.

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Photo credit: Jošt Gantar

Photo: Jošt Gantar

BEST INCENTIVE IDEA

Exploring the World of Lojze Spacal
Trieste-born Lojze Spacal is considered one of the most prominent visual artists of the post-war period in the area of Slovenia and Italy, having achieved global recognition. The painter’s world can be explored at the Grajžar Gallery; a tour of Štanjel will give you a glimpse of Spacal’s world, full of surfaces and symbolism. You will make your own linocut graphic and the proprietor will give you an authentic tasting session of Karst prosciutto and Teran wine.

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Photo credit: Jošt Gantar

Photo: Jošt Gantar

PERFECT GIFT

Nature is not the only famous and exciting thing about Karst, however. Karst prosciutto, or Kraški pršut, and Teran wine, as well as Karst cuisine in general, attract large numbers of tourists, especially when a homestead organises a so-called osmica. This is a culinary “event” where the organiser serves home-produced food and drink. This will allow you to provide your meeting guests with a practical demonstration of the “zero-kilometre” philosophy. Karst offers endless examples of superb cuisine combined with this philosophy. If you want to get as close as possible to the place where prosciutto is produced, go to Kobjeglava, where your meeting group will be pampered by the top chef Simon Komel. Modern and urban Karst cuisine is superb; we believe it will satisfy even the most demanding incentive groups. Karst prosciutto, aged for at least three years, is the epitome of this experience. The caterer also ensures that a premium offering is available at Štanjel Castle, making top-tier cuisine a fixture of events held in the Ferrari Garden.

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Photo credit: Jošt Gantar, Žana

Photo: Jošt Gantar

BEST KEPT SECRETS

The idyllic Hotel St. Daniel is within shooting distance of Štanjel and offers a picture-postcard view of the latter from its lovely garden full of herbs and lavender. The proprietors, Nina Abramič and Miran Prodnik, conceived the hotel on an ecological basis. For them, “eco” is not just a fashionable label but a way of life. Nina, who is a bio-resonance therapist, made this philosophy part of the hotel concept, while Miran, a university-educated painter, took care of the realisation. The result was a hotel featuring two rooms, three apartments, three suites, a restaurant, a gym and a holistic wellness centre. It is a prototype for a boutique tourist product that points the way for the development of new tourist products in the Karst region. The hotel is also a gallery of sorts, reflecting the refined aesthetic sense of the owners, which permeates every space in the hotel. In addition to the wine list, they also offer a water list. Thanks to these characteristics, the hotel became a member of the Bio Hotels group, whose admission criteria are among the strictest (there is only one other Slovenian member, the Trnulja estate and farm).

Hotel St. Daniel (Photo: Ana Rojc)

OFF THE BEATEN MICE TRACK

The architect Fabiani truly left a mark on Štanjel. In its prime, the Fabiani family employed over a hundred people. They had a horse stable, an orangery, a wine house—faladur, a granary and even a single-storey school. Unfortunately, the bulk of the architect’s heritage had been left to decay. The dilapidated Villa Fabiani was noticed by the architect Blanka Malgaj and her husband Andrej. With a great amount of sensitivity, the new owners renovated the villa, transforming it into a very special venue. Villa Fabiani hosts wedding receptions, cultural and official events, as well as offering several prestigious rooms. The family is also in the process of renovating the estate vineyard. With assistance from the Štoka winemakers, they replanted the indigenous Pikolit grapevine.

You can acquaint yourself with the spirit of the famous architect by taking the thematic Fabiani trail that connects Štanjel with the homestead. The space is exclusive and is only rented out by prior arrangement. The participants of your events will be grateful for being able to experience one of the most wonderful special venues in Slovenia.

The Fabiani Trail (Hotel St. Daniel)

WHERE TO STAY

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Like Sleeping Beauty, Štanjel is waking from its sleep. The dilapidated, overgrown stone houses are being transformed into apartment houses meticulously restored to cultural monument protection standards; an increasing number of them are also available to rent. You will not be able to provide a group of guests with accommodation at a single hotel, but spending the night in several different apartments lining the narrow stone streets can become a truly unique experience.

Štanjel is among the oldest and certainly one of the most picturesque Karst settlements. In recent years, it has turned into an idyllic wedding venue, but the potential of this place is much broader. It is definitely the ideal location for boutique corporate events and incentive programmes. You don’t need to go far for inspiration: a similar road has already been taken in the Gorizia Hills. To start with, the people responsible will need to carefully take stock of what is available and then offer it in a straightforward and commercially acceptable way on the meetings market. Štanjel is a diamond in the rough of the incentive market, waiting to be discovered by international event organisers. The authenticity and passion of the people of Karst will definitely not leave your participants indifferent.

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Photo: Polona Makovec

WHO TO CONTACT

TIC Štanjel
Štanjel 1a
6222 Štanjel
T: +386 (0)5 769 00 56
E: tic@stanjel.eu
www.stanjel.eu