The Spirit of Istria
“However, we soon realized that in tourism development there are two options: the first, using local communities and cultural and historical heritage solely to make profit, and the second serving the community and promoting new investments to revitalize the cultural and historical heritage. Although the second option is more difficult and pays off only in the long run, it was the only right choice for us as a place and people.”
Four years ago on the Istrian peninsula, a small tourism revolution began. Project Istra Inspirit was set by the Region of Istria, the Istrian Tourist Board and the Istrian Tourism Development Agency to make our rich cultural and historical legacy the cornerstone of the authentic Istrian tourist experience. Together, we wanted to bring tourism in Istria to life in a way that would keep our history and community alive. We knew that globalization is threatening the traditional identity of the community and that tourists today want authenticity and they want to experience it with the local community.
Strongly disliking the term ‘event’, we decided to create ‘experiences’ interactive performances based on Istrian stories, myths and legends taking place on authentic locations linked to the stories and enriched with thematic dinners prepared with local ingredients. The journey through the history of Istria began!
Looking at the sun from our office, we imagine a romantic sunset at the archaeological site of Vizula, where a true Roman drama took place, or the sun which warms the hands of working people from Buzet who will prepare homemade bread for Inspirit guests, teach them to play traditional Istrian games and try to get them to help wash laundry in the old way.
Manuela Hrvatin, Croatia