CITY TOUR - ISTRIA HINTERLAND
The Piran countryside offers genuine experiences and it gives you a special feeling as if time has stopped. Old stone cottages sit high above the sea on the hilltops of Slovenian Istria. From here, you have a view of the sea and the Alps, olive groves, vineyards on steep hills and valleys strewn with orchards and vegetable gardens. Take a ride along the Istrian wine route. Discover the heritage of Istrian farmers and indulge in delicious Istrian food. While strolling through the narrow village streets, visit “torkla” – an olive press. In autumn, when the olives are ripe, you can taste freshly pressed olive oil.
A clustered settlement on the hill above Dragonja, it has many features of the Istrian architecture. One of them is the Church of Marija Roženvenska. The specialty of Nova Vas village is large stone yards that testify to lively village life in the past. Growing olives for olive oil and grapes for wine was extensive. Here, the same as with other locales of Slovenian Istria, garden crops played a significant role in building the church belfry with a statue of St. Josef. Villagers managed to build it with the money they earned from selling garlic.
The village of Padna, with its closely built houses, has fully preserved its characteristic image of a typical Istrian village, and it is listed as a historic heritage site. The village, set amidst the Šavrinje hills, is an excellent vantage point from which you have a view of the sea as well as the Alps. The whole southern side of the slope is scattered with olive trees. Some of them are over 300 years old. Villagers like to boast about their olive oil, which is famous for its rich taste. It is available in the spring for tasting during the Festival of Oil and Chard. Chard played a significant role in the village's history, as the money from its sale helped build the church belfry of St. Blaž, the patron saint of the village.
Sv. Peter (St. Peter) village is one of the three Istrian villages in the Piran hinterland that are nearest to medieval Piran. A high slope (175 m) offers a view of the valley of Dragonja and the bay of Piran. In the village, there is an open-air ethnographic museum – Tona’s House – that will take you back to life as it used to be. On the ground floor, there is a well-preserved “torkla” – olive press. If you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of horseshoes and a stone wheel grinding the olives which were plucked with great care. On the first floor, there is an old rustic kitchen.
In the village of St. Peter, a professionally restored typical dwelling of the rural inhabitants is located. It is built of stone, which on hot summer days shelters its dwellers from excessive heat and in winter collects warmth from sun rays. In addition to the reconstructed olive oil mill with its press on the ground floor, you may also see characteristic rural rooms (a country kitchen and living room). The monument was named after a wealthy peasant woman Tona Gorelli, about whom oral folklore still exists.
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