Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Paleo Park in Bale, Istria Nominated for 2022 ArchDaily Award

February 8th, 2022 - The dinosaur-themed edutainment park in Istria was nominated in the category Hospitality Architecture

The Paleo Park in Mon Perin camp in Bale, Istria was nominated for the 2022 Building of the Year award by ArchDaily, world’s biggest architecture website. It’s nominated in the category Hospitality Architecture, with the list of five finalists to be announced tomorrow, reports Glas Istre / Robert Frank.

The Paleo Park is a blend of a themed amusement water park and an educational and research platform, designed and built to complement and highlight the archaeological site located near Bale. Designed by the NFO architectural studio, the facility promotes the local heritage in a way that respects and helps preserve the ancient site. It’s seamlessly incorporated into the wooded area near the coastline.

Thirty years ago, Bale was inscribed in the World List of Paleontological Sites after dinosaur bones were discovered in Colone bay, today a part of Mon Perin camp. According to expert estimates, a dozen species of dinosaurs lived in the Bale area, including the mighty brachiosaurus. Their fossil remains are said to be located in the seabed and are up to 200 million years old.

This precious natural heritage was used as the central theme in the construction of the water park as an integral part of the camp. The central pool is designed in the shape of a dinosaur; life-size replica models of dinosaurs are also placed around the pools to reinforce the theme of the park.

With an area of 16,000 square metres, Paleo Park is just one of the exceptional architectural projects in Bale, a municipality that has been rapidly developing over the past 15 years. They are dedicated to continuous enhancement of public spaces and introducing innovations to improve the tourist offer and extend the season.

NFO_-_PALEO_PARK_-_photo_Bosnic_Dorotic-44_websize-min.jpgImage by Bosnić+Dorotić / archdaily.com

This is not the first time that a building in Bale is nominated for a prestigious award. In 2008, a sports hall designed by the architectural studio 3LHD won first place in the sports structures category at the World Festival of Architecture in Barcelona. Impressive in itself, but even more so given that Bale won against the Wembley Stadium in London, a €1,1 billion investment - almost 1,000 times more than the Bale hall. Watercube Olympic Pool and Beijing Tennis Centre were also shortlisted in the same category that year.

Last week, the Mon Perin company that runs the camp of the same name announced they will be investing 100,000 euro in archaeological research at the Kazamate site in San Polo Bay, to be carried out by the specialised company In Situ. Namely, it is an ancient Roman villa rustica, a structure dating to the period between the 1st and the 4th century. The villa is to be granted the status of a protected cultural site.

Sunday, 6 February 2022

Istrian Town of Bale Offering Competitive Lures to Would-be Residents

February the 6th, 2022 - The Istrian town of Bale is picturesque and attracts many people to at least visit, and some to move, with its idyllic looks alone. On top of its fairy tale like pull, it now has some concrete lures to get people to make the move.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, in the blink of an eye, all of the one kuna plots in the gorgeous Istrian town of Bale were sold, Nova TV reporter Lina Dollar reported. She spoke with Bale Mayor Edi Pastrovicchi, who said there were no more vacant plots to be had.

"Some thirteen young families have contacted us, but we're preparing a new zone, so we will soon have some available once again and we will go with the tender again soon," announced Pastrovicchio.

Most of those who responded were people who are from the Istrian town of Bale, but as many as 30 percent arrived from outside of the town.

This Istrian town's mayor recalled that ten years ago they started a package of measures for demographic renewal. For example, families received ten thousand kuna for each newborn baby they had, nursery and kindergarten for all local children was made free, and from this year there will be a free snack for elementary school students, as well as free workbooks and extended stays. High school students also have all of their travel expenses co-financed.

As part of the Building Rights Project for young families, municipal plots in Bale for the construction of family houses are being allocated.

Last year, a crèche was built and the capacity of the kindergarten was expanded. The mayor says that in his eighteen years of being at the helm of Bale, the number of children has increased from 15 to 62, as many as are currently in kindergarten.

"These are certainly measures that help people stay here and move here, and I believe that this is a project that can be copied at the level of the whole country if there is money for it," concluded Edi Pastrovicchio.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Monday, 9 November 2020

Bale and Bjelovar Win Miko Tripalo Award for Promotion of Local Democracy

ZAGREB, November 9, 2020 - The Istrian municipality of Bale has been given the Miko Tripalo Award for promoting local democracy through participatory development and local governance while Bjelovar, a town east of Zagreb, has been awarded for promoting local democracy through budget transparency.

The Miko Tripalo Centre for Democracy and Law, established in tribute to the prominent Croatian politician, reformer and dissident, said the award went to the two local government units which "are bright examples of local democracy in Croatia, creating room for the necessary change of the public governance paradigm at the local and regional levels and promoting the values of a democratic and open society."

Since 2019, residents of Bjelovar have had access to information on payments from the town budget, including payments to legal and natural persons as well as daily allowances for town employees.

With participatory development, Bale municipality has turned to the strategic planning of development based on environmental protection and the preservation of natural resources and the cultural and historical heritage.

The award-giving ceremony, held in Bale, was addressed by the president of the Miko Tripalo Centre for Democracy and Law, former president Ivo Josipovic, and the chair of its Steering Board, historian Tvrtko Jakovina, as well as Bale municipality head Edi Pastrovicchio and Bjelovar deputy mayor Igor Brajdic.

Saturday, 7 March 2020

New Gastronomic Event Celebrates Indigenous Istrian Cuisine

March 7, 2020 - All lovers of traditional Istrian cuisine and indigenous local food will be delighted by a new gastronomic event, which will be held from March 13 to April 12 at taverns in Kanfanar, Svetvincenat and Bale. 

"Tradizione a tavola: jela iz pinjate" is a new gourmet story in which the first edition will feature four famous Istrian taverns, Kod Kancelir (Bale), Castello (Svetvincenat), Kononba Klarici (Klarici) and OPG Pekica (Pekici), reports Glas Istre.

The springtime is still an excellent time for exquisite, hearty meals that nourish the palate and invigorate the body, especially if they are made from homemade ingredients. At affordable prices for a three-course menu, the aforementioned taverns will offer all visitors a range of traditionally prepared, warm dishes, as prepared by their grandmothers, and developed by numerous generations of Istrians. 

Director of the Svetvincenat Tourist Board Dean Pustijanac said that in tourism, it is always important to present what makes us special and what makes us different from others, and Istria’s rich gastronomic tradition is definitely their comparative advantage. Apart from the fact that it is imperative to pass on the recipes to the younger generations, traditional gastronomy is undoubtedly one of the motives for tourists to visit.

The menu will include, among other things, jota of cabbage and beets, noodles with fennel, salt or truffle, as well as traditional Istrian pastas, pljukanci, fuži, gnocchi and ravioli in various combinations, including pancetta and sheep cheese. In addition to homemade pasta, numerous guests will be able to taste Istrian prosciutto, wild asparagus, wild game or home-grown chicken, and Istrian Boskarin dishes. Local wines from Istrian winemakers will accompany all dishes.

“We were a very big family and we mostly were in agriculture, we had cows and sheep, and there was always a lot of work to do, but we made meals that didn't need to waste a lot of time, and again it was delicious and healthy. That's why a lot of pljukanci was made, and we ate them with grated dried skuta, pancetta, asparagus, and so on. It used to be a poor dish and today it is much appreciated and is available in all taverns and restaurants. The gnocchi was a little more delicate and appreciated, so we made them mostly on Sundays, with chicken sauce and the like,” said Maria Ferlin.

Alica Jelenic added that there were no refrigerators during their childhood, so everything was mostly consumed on the same day, and it was not uncommon for several women to get together to make homemade pasta to feed their larger family. It is these stories, with the demonstration of traditional pasta and dishes, that is a fragile but crucial thread that can bring tourists to Istria and turn them into grateful returning guests.

“This is a unique project that shows where our gastronomy comes from and how it drives tourism development. The mere fact that we have people around us who, in traditional ways, produce homemade food that we then market, is something precious and irreplaceable. I think that lies in the future of our tourism and economy, because it all revolves around our homemade prosciutto and cheese, homemade gnocchi and pljukanci and all other foods. Such manifestations show how tough and innovative our hospitality profession is, how much it nurtures the past because this is our future. Once again, a big thank you to all our daughters who pass on to their younger generations their great and valuable knowledge and love for traditional cuisine that otherwise would disappear in the face of modern culinary tendencies. This is another step where we have to show our big heart and once again prove to ourselves that we can launch an economic boom by basing all our catering on local products. This is the goal, and our tourism must be based on domestic agriculture, and then our guests will support us,” said the President of the Istrian Guild of Caterers at the Chamber of Crafts, Stanislav Briškoski.

The event is the result of the cooperation of the tourist boards of Svetvincenat, Bale and Kanfanar with the tourism company Maistra d.d. and the Rovinj Craftsmen's Association for the development of gourmet products. It is a combination of tradition and top Istrian gastronomy, which by its unquestionable quality, attracts the attention of true gourmet experience fans, continually enriching Istria's offer and putting it on the world gourmet map again, attracting more and more visitors from day to day. However, in all this, local guests should not be forgotten, who also need to be tempted by the quality offer of food and drinks at affordable prices, and that will be provided to them from next Friday.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Bale: From Underdeveloped Little Town to Istrian Touristic Gem

A mere fifteen or so years ago, Bale in Istria was a pretty but still undeveloped small town that seemed to lack any real perspective. This is no longer the case today.

As Novac writes on the 14th of December, 2019, it all began fifteen years ago with the decision of Plinio Cuccurin, hitherto publicly known as a top manager and one of the two key figures at what was then the Rovinj tobacco factory, to devote himself to the development of his native Bale.

Since then, Bale has transformed itself beyond recognition. Not only through budgeting, changes are evident at both the content and visual levels. Bale was given a brand new framework, primarily owing to Cuccurin's idea that he and his associates saw the Mon Perin Citizens' Association in perspective and could see what function it could have in the development of this picturesque little Istrian town. In a decade and a half, in addition to becoming a mainstay of the municipality whose budget has begun to fill up, Mon Perin has become a leader in sustainable, participatory and social entrepreneurship in Croatia, according to Glas Istre.

Sustainable entrepreneurship in the case of Mon Perin and Bale means that it is evolving to fit the wants and needs of its residents first and foremost. The concept of participatory democracy means that employees and co-owners of Mon Perin, as well as the residents of Bale participate in the creation, adoption and the eventual implementation of various projects through the municipality. Mon Perin's entrepreneurship is social as well, since it takes care of those who need help through donations and by creating tourism, cultural and business activities, as well as raising standards collectively.

In Bale and through Mon Perin, and owing to the unbreakable link between them, all these theories have been successfully put into practice in beautiful little Bale.

Through Mon Perin and the camps that belong to it, such as San Polo and Colone, Bale is developing a hitherto unknown and therefore innovative enterprise - one with a human face. Success is important, as is profit, as is environmental protection. The point of the whole story for Bale lies in the balance of all those things, the balance of citizens and of nature. At the same time, everything seems somehow to limit the development of Bale and Mon Perin, but in a proper manner, opting for gradual and moderation rather than exaggeration.

Mon Perin's market value today syands at a massive 300 million kuna. When it was first established, there were two one-star camps, and now there is one four-star camp. At the time of its founding, it had a mere five employees, and now there are 35 of them. Overall, in the season, 140 people work for Mon Perin, and the average net salary is 7,200 kuna, which is 20 percent more than in industry.

The huge difference in time since its inception to the present day is already visible at first glance in three other categories. First, in the number of overnight stays: there used to be 73 thousand per year, now there are 276 thousand.

Second, revenue: from 5.2 million kuna, they increased to an incredible 59 million kuna.

Third, EBITDA, therefore, profit before depreciation and tax: from 317 thousand kuna it climbed to an impressive 28.5 million kuna! Mon Perin's total investments since 2006 up to 2019, amounts to 187 million kuna.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle and business pages for much more.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Paleo Park at Mon Perin Camping near Bale to Open in June 2019

One of the most attractive new additions to the Istrian tourist offering is nearing completion: Paleo Park, Bale's answer to the world-famous Jurrasic Park is set to open in four months!

Paleo Park will be a part of the new, much improved camping Mon Perin, which currently undergoes a major enlargement, creation of the whole new tourist complex that will include the park dominated by the swimming pool shaped like a dinosaur. The dino-shaped pool will have the surface area of over a thousand square meters of water surface, and almost three times as much area for sunbathing.

Why the dinosaur? In 1992, an incredible discovery in the seabed of the cove near Bale uncovered that the dinosaurs once lived in the region. While it has been known that the dinosaurs have lived in Istria, this is still the only location in the world where dino fossils were found on the seabed. (Scientific geeky content: the most important remains found were of the Histriasaurus (get it? Histria-saurus, Istrian lizard!) boscarollii, one of the oldest species of the genus Rebbachisauridae, supposedly living more than 130 million years ago.)

In addition to the water park complex, the Mon Perin Camping will promote other content related to the prehistorical beasts that remain popular among the children (and adults!) today, such as the educational paths with posters about the history and characteristics of the largest animals ever to have walked the Earth, and models made in their natural size!

After more than six months of heavy machinery work, the pool complex has been almost completed, and now need to be completely finalised, Ivan Maričić, board member of the Mon Perin told Novi list. Now they need to finish the landscaping around the pool, as well as all 16 thousand square meters of the camping site. Of course, the paths need to be created and new objects need to be furnished as planned. Since they've had no major hold-ups or delays during the worst phases of the project when various factors could've impacted the project's progress to a much greater degree, they are confident that all the work will be finished by late May or early June, so just in time for the new tourist season! 

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Fort Forno: Bale in Istria to Get New Spectacular Open-Air Theatre

Actors from New York, Osijek and Vienna will stage an attractive play in Bale, meant to introduce the audience to the history and culture of this charming Istrian town

Monday, 29 January 2018

Meneghetti and Kanajt, Pearls of Croatian Tourism

Renovated and polished old buildings, modernized and put to specific use, surrounded by nature and relax zones, are veritable pearls in the Croatian tourism portfolio

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Innovative Congress Tourism: Bale Town Occupied by IT Experts

The Tourism Board of Bale is developing a new approach to tourism