Friday, 9 April 2021

Four Schools Combating Period Poverty in Croatia

April 9, 2021 - Following Scotland's policy and relevant scientific research on period poverty in Croatia, four schools in Croatia want to help female pupils in their struggles of womanhood.

10% of women in Croatia can't afford menstrual pads and tampons – showed the results of the first big research on period poverty in the country. Following these results, as Srednja.hr reports, Machinery and Traffic School Varaždin was the first to secure free menstrual products for pupils, and three schools in Istria are on the same path.

As confirmed to Istra.In, Vladimir Gortan High School in Buje already secured free menstrual products, Pula Gymnasium's execution is coming soon, and Buzet High School is trying to find a way to implement it.

„Graduation pupils from 4.B, class of Hotel-tourist technicians came to the idea to place a pads dispenser in the girl's bathroom so that girls can take pads when needed“, said psychologist Petra Bošnjak for Istra.In.

She added that the pupils originally thought to finance this change by themselves, but the school decided they can cover the expenses, while the pupil's duty is to follow the development and fill the dispenser with new pads when needed.

„Their notion was immediately accepted and put in place“, concluded Bošnjak.

While Pula Gymnasium still hasn't put the free menstrual products scheme in practice, they announced it to start this Monday, April 12th. 

„Looking at the Varaždin school, we talked with the pedagogy service in school and decided to secure free menstrual products ourselves. I think it's a good approach to be more open towards women and as a school to send a message that we want a clear approach to topics we don't speak loud enough about and to more frequently talk about topics like equality which today is very very important“, said principal of Pula Gymnasium, Filip Zoričić. 

The school will finance menstrual products and which will be available to the pupils in the psychology and pedagogy office. 

As already mentioned, Buzet High School wants to implement the same help to girl pupils too, but the project is in the early stages, and the school vows to do everything in its power to make it a reality. Last week, they sent an inquiry to a drug store asking to sponsor free menstrual products for the girls at Buzet High School, but the drug store so far didn't respond.

„We still didn't get an answer, but we only sent it last week. We certainly want to make this idea a reality, and we won't give up until we find a sponsor for this action“, said principal Margareta Gumilar persistently.

With different stages of success in ensuring free menstrual products for their pupils, these schools are positioning themselves as champions of positive change for gender equality. They are fighting to remove one financial struggle for the pupils that certainly gives uneven position. The prices of menstrual products in Croatia range from 10 to over 20 kunas. 

For more about made in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

People Also Ask Google: How to Get to Istria, Croatia in 2021?

February 17, 2021 – In Google's "People also ask" feature, the hard questions are the ones that start with "how." It is not always easy to find answers how to do something or how to get somewhere. However, in this article, we will try to explain how to get to Istria, the biggest and famous Croatian peninsula.

Located in the most western part of Croatia, Istria is a peninsula known for its rich cultural heritage, as well as it's delicious gastro offer that includes world's best wine, olive oil, and truffles. Last year, Istria was named world's best olive oil region for the sixth consecutive year, which is one more reason why Istria is an unavoidable place to visit when in Croatia.

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Sources: Istria.hr, Pexels, Romulić and Stojčić

We will let you explore the charms of Istria for yourself, but first, we will try to help you how to get to Istria.

How to get to Istria Croatia by car?

Istria is one of the best, if not the best traffic-connected Croatian coastal region. Thanks to its geographical position, it achieves a record number of tourist arrivals and overnight stays every year, and the cities of Poreč and Rovinj are at the very top of Croatian tourist destinations.

The largest number of tourists come to Istria by land, by personal vehicles, from the close countries of Germany, Austria, and Italy. If you're coming to Istria from those countries, or from that direction, you must pass through Slovenia.

There are four main border crossings with Croatia and Slovenia in Istria. The first ones are Plovanija and Dragonja/Kaštel, from the direction of Koper, marked in red on the photo below.

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Screenshot Google Maps

The road to Plovanija goes along the Slovenian shore, and the border crossing Dragonja/Kaštel is on the road E751. After the Croatian border, that road connects with the most famous and most important road in Istria – the so-called Istrian Y, a Y-shaped highway, which connects all parts of Istria.

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On the left: Center of Istrian Y in Kanfanar (Romulić and Stojčić) / On the right: the map of Istrian Y (Wikipedia)

That part of the Istrian Y, marked in red on the photo below, goes along the western shore, and it is a highway A9 from the Slovenian border to Pula. It connects Istrian cities of Umag, Novigrad, Poreč, Rovinj, and Pula. However, the highway itself is a little away from these cities, so you will have to turn to state roads to reach them.

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A9 highway, a part of Istrian Y, marked in red / Wikipedia

The second two important - and also the busiest - border crossings in Istria are Pasjak and Rupa, marked in blue on the first photo. Although they are located in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, they are a gate to Istria County.

As shown on the photo below, the highway E61 goes to Croatia via the Pasjak crossing border from the direction of Trieste in Italy. If coming from the direction of Ljubljana, you must cross the Rupa crossing border. Highway E61 (in Croatian: highway A7) from both Pasjak and Rupa end in Matulji (marked in red) near Rijeka, where it connects with the second part of Istrian Y – highway A8 that goes to Kanfanar, the center point of Istrian Y.

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Screenshot Google Maps

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A8 highway, a another part of Istrian Y, marked in blue / Wikipedia

Remember, once you reach Istrian Y, you can reach any part of Istria. Istrian Y is actually a system of two highways, A8 and A9 – learn more about the Istrian Y.

Other Slovenian-Croatian border crossings are Bregana near Zagreb and Macelj near Krapina, from where you can go to Istria via highways E59 and E65.

How to get to Istria by plane?

The only airport in Istria is the one in Pula, while the other close airports are in Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport in Trieste, Marco Polo Airport in Venice, and Treviso Airport in Italy, Jože Pučnik Airport in Ljubljana in Slovenia (also known as Brnik Airport or Fraport Slovenia), Zagreb Franjo Tuđman Airport and Rijeka Airport in Croatia.

Pula Airport welcomes both charter and scheduled flights. Before many flights were canceled due the pandemic, Pula Airport had a solid tourist traffic. One of the most popular airline in Pula was Ryanair, offering cheap flights to some of the biggest European cities. However, the traffic in Pula Airport dropped by 89.6 percent in 2020, compared to the record 2019.

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Pula Airport by Romulić and Stojčić

Airlines operating to Pula Airport in 2021 are Air Serbia, British Airways, Croatia Airlines, EasyJet, Eurowings, Finnair, Jet2.com, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Ryanair, S7 Airlines, TUI, Volotea, and Wizzair.

In 2021, it will be possible to come to Pula, Istria by flights from Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the UK.

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Screenshot Pula Airport

Follow TCN's dedicated page for the newest information about flights to Croatia.

How to get to Istria by bus?

If you come from neighboring countries, the bus may be a good option to get to Istria. Since northern and western Croatia is well-connected with northern Italy, you can get to Istria by bus from Trieste to Buje, Poreč, Rovinj, Pula, along with other places on the way. The bus from Trieste to the western part of Istria, as well as to Rijeka, operates throughout the year.

There are also bus lines from Venice to Pula by the Pula-based bus company FILS, operating the whole year. Another Pula-based bus company Brioni Pula provides bus services from Padova (with stops in Venice and Trieste) to Vodnjan, Rovinj, Buje, and Pula. All the bus lines from Italy to Croatia can be found here (in Croatian).

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Bus routes from Venice, Italy to Pula, Croatia / Buscroatia.com

Istrian bus companies Brioni Pula i FILS also provide bus lines from many Croatian cities, mostly from the capital of Zagreb. If you're coming from continental Croatia, Istria is the closest seaside region to visit. There are many bus lines, especially during summer. You can find them also on the Flixbus and Arriva bus companies' webpages.

How to get to Istria by ferry?

Since Croatia has a sea border with Italy, one way to get to Istria from Italy is ferry. There are two ferry providers from Italy to Istria – Adriatic Lines and Venezia Lines.

Adriatic Lines operates from Venice to Istrian cities of Pula, Rovinj, Poreč, and Umag. Catamaran lines from port San Basilio in Venice to Istrian cities last about two and half hours. One-way ticket price is 65 euros (or 500 kunas) for adults and 32.50 euros (250 kunas) for children. The schedule for 2021 is still unavailable.

Adriatic Lines' catamarans are quite famous, as they are recognizable in Istrian ports. "Prince of Venice," mostly seen in Poreč port, has an attractive and distinctive design, while "Adriatic Jet" is known for its speed and interesting appearance.

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Prince of Venice in Poreč port / Adriatic Lines

During summer, namely from April to October, Venezia Lines have catamaran lines from Venice to Piran, Poreč, Pula, Rovinj, and Umag. Ticket prices range from 59 to 69 euros per person (450 to 520 kunas per person). It takes about three hours and 15-30 minutes to get in one direction, depending on the route. However, the schedule for 2021 has not yet been published.

Ferries from Istria to Italy also allow the transport of pets and bikes.

To find more ferries from Italy to Croatia, check the Istrian Sun webpage.

How to get to Istria by train?

If you decide to come to Istria by train, you can arrive very quickly using the lines from Ljubljana or Zagreb.

The line from Ljubljana can take you to Buzet or Pula every day and it takes four hours. There are no more trains going from Italy to Croatia.

If traveling from the Croatian capital, there are no direct train lines to Istria. However, you can take the train to Rijeka, but then travel by bus from Rijeka to Lupoglav, from where you can continue your train journey through Istria, to Pazin and Pula. The whole journey take four hours. You can book the train tickets on the Croatian Railways webpage.

Six railway stations in Istria are in Pula, Kanfanar (mentioned above as the center of Istrian Y), Vodnjan, Pazin, Buzet, and Lupoglav. Pula and Pazin are the main railway stations in Istria, from where you can quicky come to western Istrian cities of Poreč, Rovinj, and Novigrad.

Fun fact about travelling by train in Istria?

Did you know that Istria is home to the only island on the Adriatic coast connected by train? Its name is Uljanik and is one of the six islands in the Pula bay.

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Pula and Uljanik island seen from above / Wikipedia

The name Uljanik, after which the nearby Pula shipyard was also named, comes from olive trees or, in Croatian, "ulike" that grew on it. Of all the olive trees, only one remained in the center of the island, surrounded by the Uljanik shipyard facilities, whose central plants are located on the island.

Interestingly, the industrial track for the shipyard Uljanik that goes from Pula railway station continues over the bridge, all over to the island of Uljanik. The bridge thus connects the island of Uljanik with the coast, making Uljanik the only Croatian island connected to the mainland by rail.

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Uljanik shipyard's main plants on the island of Uljanik / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

To follow the People Also Ask Google about Croatia series, click here

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Buzet Celebrates 88 Years as Truffle Center of Istria

December 4, 2019 - It has been 88 years since scientist Massimo Sella discovered the capital of truffles in the heart of Buzet.

And thanks to his diary and records, the history of Istrian truffles and Buzet as a truffle town is written, reports Glas Istre.

"Just 220 meters from the Albergo alla Fontana Hotel, between December 9 and 11, 1931, a half-kilo truffle was found. This is the center of truffles today! Thanks to the record of Istrian scientist Massimo Sella from Rovinj, an avid photographer and nature lover, there are clues to the history of Istrian truffles, as well as the history of Buzet as a truffle town. When the councilors declared it a truffle town 20 years ago on the eve of Subotina in September, it was because of tourism branding, and we have a historical stronghold that this is the case. Buzet justifiably bears the name of truffle town,” says Buzet native Robert Marusic.

Marusic is from a truffle family traditionally engaged in the truffle hunt in Sovišće, and actively involved in the promotion of Buzet as the town of truffles.

Massimo Sella was born in 1886 in Biella. He completed his natural sciences in Rome to become director of the Rovinj Institute for Marine Research in 1924, where he left behind an extensive archive. Today, a special foundation takes care of this. What is especially important for the Istrian truffle zone is that Sella determined the development cycle of the Istrian white truffle, an expensive underground fungus of the Latin name Tuber magnatum pico and marked the sites of Istrian truffles.

“Sella, with friends, including Clara Ida Countess Barbara Elisabeth, daughter of Johann George Hutterotta, the owner of St. Andrew island in Rovinj, today's Red Island, and truffle adventurers Carlo Testoni and Pietro Giovannelli, both from Pula, but a native of the Emilie region, stayed in the northern Istria region from December 9 to 11, 1931, and recorded something of great importance. Not far from the Fontana Hotel in Buzet, they pulled out a half-kilo heavy white truffle with the help of a lagotto dog, one named Dora. They later founded a truffle trade and export company in Livade, but that's another story. The subject is Buzet here,” Marusic says.

Marusic says he had heard about Sella's truffle discovery in Buzet before, and when looking for a photo of said truffle, the director of the Istria County Tourist Board, Denis Ivosevic, recommended that he go to Rovinj, where documentation about Massimo Sella and his works should be stored. Through Mirko Cetinski, he contacted the Rovinj Museum, in which the Sella Family Foundation set up an exhibition of photographs titled "Massimo Sella (1886-1959), Other Countries, the Second Sea”, a retrospective of valuable photo records of Rovinj, back in 2016. Tajana Ujcic gave him the contact address of the Sella Foundation in Italy, which operates under the name "Testimonianze per Massimo Sella". The Sella family today inherits the work of Massimo Sella.

“Through her assistant, Ellene Gallo, his daughter Selina Sella-Marsoni informed me that she was very pleased with my interest in the historical position of Buzet on the topic of Istrian truffle production and that she would relay to her coworkers to view the large archive Sella had left to her successors. She approved the submission of documentation that could assist me in my search. So I studied various records that, normally, given Massimo Sella's status, are more research-scientific than travel-tourism. We could not find a photo of this truffle, but Gallo sent me a copy of a key document entitled "Il truffle bianco in Istria" by Professor Massimo Sella, Istituto italo-germanico di Biologia marina di Rovigno d 'Istria. It was published by the Italian publisher Societa botanica Italiana, in Florence in 1932, and in the new botanical Italian magazine printed by Tipografia Mariano Ricci also from Florence,” Marusic concludes. 

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

Friday, 23 November 2018

Istria: Employees in Buzet Town Institutions, Firefighters Consider Strike?

While the strike that took place owing to Uljanik's failings towards its employees might have taken up a large part of media coverage, strikes in other parts of the country are also occurring, or at the very least being considered by numerous dissatisfied members of staff. Namely, in a certain picturesque town in Istria, the decision to initiate a strike procedure has not been issued officially for now, but the consideration of such a move is continuing.

It's not new information to state that a great number of employees, particularly those working in various positions in public institutions and city administrations up and down the country find themselves increasingly dissatisfied with the way things are being done. Often with very little real room to maneuver, and with complaints usually going either unheard or simply being swept under the rug and brushed off, many find themselves with little choice other than to either go on strike, or at the very least to threaten it.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of November, 2018, members of the Union of Istria, Kvarner and Dalmatia, as well as other employees in institutions of which the founder is the Town of Buzet; includng the Grdelin kindergarten, the home for the elderly and the public firefighters unit, came to the decision to initiate a strike procedure. As previously stated, in Buzet's city administration itself, the decision to initiate a strike procedure has not officially been issued for the time being, but the consideration of such a move remains at the forefront of the minds of those involved, with the potential of a strike occurring as soon as next month.

''During the upcoming week, conciliation will be the most likely outcome, followed by a public protest to give warning that a strike might really occur in early December,'' stated the head of the trade union office, Darko Vidmar.

Make sure to follow our news page for more information from across the country.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Buzet is Top Croatian Town for Withdrawing EU Funds

While Šibenik is often classed as a shining example of the proper use of European Union Funds, one Istrian gem hiding below the radar is making even better use of the cash...

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

From Stinky Potatoes to World Records: Istrian Truffle's Rise to Fame

Istrian white truffles have quite an interesting origin story: they used to be fed to the pigs at first, then exported and passed off as Italian, until a major fateful discovery turned things around. A look at the history of the renowned feature of Croatian gastronomy on January 10, 2018

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Truffles Galore! Istrian Truffle Weekend Festival to Take Place in Buzet

The truffle frenzy in Istria is reaching its peak

Friday, 24 February 2017

KulTourSpirit: A Project to Revitalize Istrian Heritage

The KulTourSpirit project, which was recently introduced in Pazin, is a joint product of the cities and municipalities of central Istria which aims to integrate and revitalize certain cultural goods to their areas.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Spectacular Nikola Tesla EV Rally: Day 1 from Porec to Opatija

An electric car invasion of Croatia, as the Nikola Tesla EV Rally 2016 gets underway in Porec on June 2, 2016, including the star attraction, Rimac Concept One, with a guest appearance from the man himself. 

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