A summer holiday in Istria: What are your Istrian hosts like?
Istrian people are special. They proudly highlight their Istrian genes, their culture and customs, whilst enjoying the benefits of modern living. And this is what makes them the exemplary hosts.
Do you belong to a group that examines the past, the authentic customs and the tradition of the place you plan to visit? Are you one of those who study their romantic destination before choosing the perfect villa for their summer holiday? Are you one of those who would like to wander through a town’s streets, talk to the local people and enjoy the local gourmet offer?
If you recognise yourself in these descriptions, then Istria is the best possible location for you summer holiday. You will be welcome guests and your hosts will be local inhabitants from Istria, peace-loving people from the Croatian peninsula.
From where do the people of Istria and their customs originate
Thanks to a number of waves of settlement that have taken place in these areas throughout history, the culture, customs and languages have changed along with the occupying rulers. This kind of historical mishmash puts Istria first, so most of the people here feel y like Istrians from a cultural point of view. However, there is also something that has not changed much over the centuries, and especially not so often, which is its geographical location and climate.
In order to save the small part of fertile land they had, the inhabitants of Istria built settlements on barren lands, on the edges of fields and sinkholes, or by the sea. So, today towns and settlements can be found by the coastline or on top of the hills in the interior, and the houses are most often separated by narrow cobbled streets. Today, such streets are the subject of admiration of tourists, but also something that the people of Istria are very proud of.
If you take a look at Istrian fields, you will find scattered kažuni, small dry-stone buildings. These are most commonly found in the southern and western parts of Istria. It is almost impossible to expect people with such a history to be bad hosts. Today’s villas in Istria are modern, the towns have good wireless Internet coverage, but the hosts of Istria are as modest as they have always been.
Diligent people on red soil
Due to the geographical location of their peninsula, the clean sea, the poor land and the stone, Istrians were forced to live off fishing and agriculture. To make the most of what they had, the inhabitants of Istria were shepherds on the hills of Ćićarija, plowed the poor Barban fields, cultivated the world-famous Istrian Malvasia on the red soil and knitted fishing nets.
You will often hear that Istrians are kind, work at a slightly slower pace, have hidden strength, work hard with a good work ethic and a great deal of patience. They are used to their lives being difficult, so it may sometimes seem difficult to communicate with them and develop a friendly relationship.
Just like the men, the Istrian women took care of the entire household. They were brave and self-taught and did all the household chores, but also much, much more than that. They also carried out more difficult physical tasks without any problems.
Apart from hard physical work, the people of Istria also knew how to sing. Two-part singing and playing in a so-called Istrian scale was also known. If you are interested in singing and this kind of cultural heritage, be sure to explore this unique musical scale and the indigenous way of singing the people of Istria have. A summer holiday in Istria is more authentic with roženice or duplice, the musical instruments that accompany this folkloric dance.
The dancers of Istria danced and continue to dance to Balun, an ancient dance performed in simple costumes made of brown and white cloth. Traditional folk costumes and many other artefacts from Istrian life can be found at the traditional fairs that take place in almost every town.
Experience authentic Istria. Sail the Adriatic, taste the local food, explore the local stories and discover why Istria has been a favourite destination for Europeans and travellers from around the world for years.
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