The undiscovered magical hinterland of Slovenian Istria

32 Catalog Green Gradin, 2020 photo: Andrej Medica text: Saša Perpar in Manja Vrenko by: PROLOG d.o.o., Logatec B.K.N. d.o.o. coordination: Bojan Markežič president of KS Gradin: Simon Markežič The project is co-financed: SPIRIT Slovenija visitors from the surrounding towns and the coast; events such as Summer in Brezovica, the carnival, the competition for the best Istrian sausage, Christmas gift exchange are traditional events that revive social life in the area. Bojan's shop and bar are located along the road 3 km before the Brezovica border crossing. Travelers like to stop here on their way to Croatia or on their way home to replenish their water supply and treat themselves to a refreshing drink or coffee before continuing their journey. Near the shop, there is a community hall where locals meet for various celebrations, performances, events, and national events. It often features the local singing group Kantadore, which, thanks to the leader Stelijo Markežič, has more than a quarter of a century-long tradition of preserving the original local song and folk tradition. In Brezovica, the industrial plant of plastic products Moplas has been operating since 1985, which in its best times employed up to 25 people, and now offers work to 8 people. It is a family company with modern equipment that successfully cooperates with Slovenian and foreign contractors. In the local community of Gradin, they know that opening to the world is important for the future. At the same time, they are well aware that mass tourism can spoil the beauty of this peaceful and pristine area that has a lot to offer to those who value it’s the peaceful and unspoiled environment. So in recent years, they have invested a lot of effort and knowledge in the development of sustainable and environmentally friendly tourism. Beautiful accommodations and the possibility of recreation in pristine nature, discovering natural and cultural sights, and genuine contact with masters of various traditional skills, are the attributes that will place the area on the world map of green, sustainable, and boutique tourism. The area attracts hikers who wander across the hills and valleys, empty roads and steep slopes are ideal for demanding cyclists. Clean air, silence filled with the sounds of nature and green, as far as the eye can see, are suitable for yoga retreats and various educational programs.