Thursday, 20 February 2020

Neglected Kanfanar - Rovinj Railway to be Given New Life as Hiking and Cycling Trail

February 20, 2020 - This conceptual design transforms the Kanafar - Rovinj railway into bicycle-pedestrian infrastructure of great potential, which should connect the coast and the interior and, among other things, offer innovative and modern tourist facilities, relieve road traffic from cyclists, preserve the route and add accompanying technical and construction facilities as valuable industrial heritage. 

Glas Istre reports that the conceptual design for the reconstruction and redevelopment of the old and abandoned Kanfanar - Rovinj railway line, which is 22 kilometers long, aroused great interest from those who had the opportunity to learn about the new project first-hand on Tuesday.

The authors of the preliminary design, landscape architect Marko Sošić, the head of the Studio "Kappo" and Dr. Ivana Venier, provided explanations and answers to the questions of those present.

According to Ivana Venier, the basic goal of the preliminary design was to remodel the former railway line into a bicycle and pedestrian path.

“It is an abandoned and neglected railway infrastructure of exceptional potential, which this conceptual solution is looking to transform into cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, also of exceptional potential, which should connect the coast and the continent, ie, Kanfanar and Rovinj. It will offer innovative and modern tourist facilities, unburden the road traffic from cyclists, preserve the route and add accompanying technical and construction facilities as a valuable heritage of industrial heritage, and encourage the broad development of the local community,” Venier said, and added that the solution presented covers the entire route from station to station in order to ensure continuity and preserve the historical memory of the area.

In addition, Venier added, rebuilding the railroad is one way of revitalizing an area that is of utmost importance to the locals.

“The main goal is to turn the abandoned and neglected track into an attractive space on a bicycle path that will affect the development of a wider area. Revitalizing the route and turning it into a bike path will give it various purposes: sports, recreational, cultural and traffic. In addition, the bike path will connect villages and settlements, and will be useful for promoting intermodality as a healthy and sustainable way of movement, preserving natural, cultural and industrial heritage as well as developing complementary activities such as cycling,” she explained.

Marko Sošić explained more about the conceptual design and explained that at the very beginning of the project, the biggest challenge was to identify and analyze the existing condition of the route, which again consists of different situations on the ground - large stone embankments, ravines, and bridges to parts where the majority of the railroad no longer exists. For this reason, the solution worked according to typical situations that included three main typologies: paths in the field, on the embankment and in the ravines,” said Sošić, who added that due to length, and because of the finances, the renovation and conversion of railways must be phased in order of importance.

“The first objective includes breaking up cycling tourism, followed by the local development of complementary activities, the preservation of natural, cultural and industrial heritage, and finally the development of intermodality and the promotion of sustainable mobility,” Sošić said.

Talking about the construction action plan, which will also go gradually and in stages, they would begin by cleaning the railway, which, as we learned from the Kanfanar Mayor Sandra Jurman, has already started. Then, they would construct a macadam road, pave the asphalt, create the lookouts and erect wooden sculptures.

Speaking about the attractions that could be found on the newly refurbished railway line, whose construction, in addition to the money from the budget of Kanfanar and Rovinj, will require EU funds, Sosic said they would construct a bridge over Ipsilon, erect a historic train as a sculpture, renovate three existing bridges, construct a resting place in Rovinj and Kanfanar with a bicycle stand and an electric charging station for them. In addition, the new path will provide space for new lookouts, parking lots, newly planned bridges, and horizontal signage as an opportunity to place installations and sculptures.

According to Jurman, it is a large and financially demanding investment that will ultimately connect Kanfanar and Rovinj even more significantly, enriching the lives of both the local population and the increasing number of cyclotourists and tourists in general.

“At this point, it is very difficult to talk about specific dates of project implementation. What follows is the creation of a survey that will be followed by the main project. In addition to money from the municipal and city budgets, we will also apply for funds from the EU Fund and the development of tourism infrastructure. In any case, I hope that by next season this route will be able to be used by pedestrians,” Jurman said.

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Saturday, 18 January 2020

First Weekend Food Festival in Rovinj Announces Special Guest: Josean Alia

The team that's successfully organized the Weekend Media Festival in Rovinj for years, has now decided to organize a food festival in the same town, taking place on May 14th to 17th.

As the Weekend Media Festival is probably one of the most interesting media festivals in Europe, they've decided to maintain the brand, so their new food festival is called Weekend Food Festival, and they've been promoting it, attracting the attention of the Croatian and international gastro-scene.

One of the ways to do that is to announce some of the names of the people who are coming to Rovinj to present their skills to the guests, and one of the first names they presented was Josean Alija. He is one of the most well-known and established Spanish chefs of the younger generation, who has been active in the restaurant world since 2009 and has been given awards and recognition ever since. He was recognized as the best international chef by Identitá Golose, in 2011 he has received his first Michelin star and the title of Prix du Chef de L'Avenir(The Chef of the future) by the International Academy Of Gastronomy.

Kult plave kamenice writes about him and his restaurant Nerue, located within the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao (which is where chef Alija was born, and his work is greatly influenced by the great Basque culinary tradition), and in 2015 it has found itself on the prestigious list of World´s 50 Best Restaurants, and since 2019 it holds the 32nd place on that list.

Chef Alija is a strong believer in "less is more", which is obvious in the decoration of his restaurant, but also in every plate that comes out of his kitchen. He wants every guest to understand what is behind every bite they take, how the ingredients were produced and prepared. He prepares the new menus for his restaurant a year in advance, which allows him to fully control the ingredients which come to his restaurant, and ultimately, to the guests. He wants them to understand the effort it took to create his meals.

Weekend Food Festival will take place in the Old Tobacco Factory in Rovinj, bringing together world-class experts in gastronomy, hospitality, mixology as well as the world of wine, oil and coffee.

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Rovinj to Increase Amount of One-Off Cash Assistance to New Parents

The one-off cash sum for the birth of a second child has been increased in Rovinj, Istria, meaning that in the next year it will amount to 3000 kuna, and for each subsequent child, 4000 kuna will be paid out to parents.

As Glas Istre/Nina Orlovic Radic writes on the 22nd of December, 2019, the last session of the City Council of Rovinj, the decision on social welfare was financially ''fattened up'', meaning that the total amount allocated from the budget to certain categories of citizens rose to 4.7 million kuna in total. The implementation of this decision will commence on the first day of January 2020.

A major breakthrough was made for young parents, or future residents of St. Euphemia's coastal city. Specifically, the cash sums Rovinj will provide to new parents has been increased. When it comes to the 1,500 kuna the city provided parents for their first born children, this one-time financial assistance will be raised by 500 kuna. Furthermore, parents living in Rovinj who have a second child will receive 3,000 kuna, while for the third and each subsequent child after that, parents will receive 4,000 kuna each.

In regard to the new measures for families with children, the City of Rovinj will fully subsidise the cost of kindergarten and elementary school student meals when one parent exercises the right to work part-time in order to provide more enhanced child care or if they need to leave their job because of the need to care for a child with severe developmental disabilities.

Regardless of income, the cost of services for parents who have two or more children in Rovinj kindergartens will be more favourable as the cost of kindergarten will be subsidised at thirty percent for the second child, and for the third and at the next children - it will be subsidised by Rovinj by fifty percent.

The new measure in Rovinj also includes single-parent families and single parents, whose monthly income does not exceed 2,000 per person kuna, for whom the city's monthly subsidy will be fifty percent of the total cost of services. In addition, the amount refunded to parents who drive their children independently to Pula to the rehab centre in Veruda or the school in Pula has been increased from 70 kuna to 80 kuna. The new measure also introduces the right to cover the costs of assessing a child's development at the Rehabilitation Day Care Centre in Pula.

Along with the new (or) "reinforced" subsidies from Rovinj, it's worth recalling the well-known subsidies that continue to be awarded, such as the co-financing of the transportation of high school students, financing the transportation of children with disabilities who are transported in an organised manner to Pula.

''I consider that the adoption of the proposal of the decision on social welfare was extremely important. The proposal seeks to further improve the care for the most vulnerable groups of citizens, beneficiaries of the guaranteed minimum benefit, persons with disabilities, and pensioners with lower pensions. It also seeks to financially facilitate and improve the status of families with more children,'' said Mayor Marko Paliaga, adding that by passing this decision, the City of Rovinj not only showed its social sensitivity and care towards its citizens, but also its leadership position in creating a better, more comfortable and secure future for its residents.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Friday, 13 December 2019

NYE Along Croatian Coast: How Will You Ring in 2020?

December 13, 2019 - Cities along the Croatian coast set out to create the most exciting and attractive parties to ring in the New Year. While some have already announced their programs, others are waiting to surprise their citizens. A look at the NYE concert program so far.

Dalmacija Danas writes that for the fourth year in a row, New Year's Eve in Rovinj will be celebrated with an outdoor party at Marshal Tito Square, and this time, Zlatan Stipišić Gibonni will be the main star of the evening.

The New Year's tour of Istria continues in Pula, where the town’s central event will be held at the Forum with Zabranjeno pušenje and Le Monde, and, of course, midnight fireworks. Everyone who finds themselves in Portarata will be able to have fun with the performance ofŠajeta.

Maja Šuput will help ring in 2020 in Umag, while Severina will entertain Trg Slobode in Poreč.

Thousands of people flock to Rijeka every year, where, in the early hours of the new year, the audience will enjoy Dubioza Kolektiv and Nina Badrić. Opatija's New Year's Eve at the central city market will revive some of the most popular hits of the 20th century with the Opatija Tribute to the Legends and the Abba Real Tribute bands. In Mali Lošinj, the New Year's Eve party will be held at the Republic Square, where Petar Grašo will perform. The town of Rab is all ready for its December fairytale, where Tony Cetinski will take the stage. 

New Year's Eve in Zadar will kick off at Petar Zoranić Square with Zaratino and TBF. Klapa Intrade and Tomislav Bralić will create a real New Year's atmosphere on the Split Riva, while Jelena Rozga will lead the crowd until the morning hours. The people of Makarska and their guests will look forward to New Year's Eve with Danijela Martinović.

New Year's Eve in Dubrovnik has been organized outdoors since 1995 on the most famous city street - Stradun. The program begins with the traditional children's party featuring Mia Dimšić, while the evening reception starts at 9 pm with Parni Valjak. 

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

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Rovinj First in Istria to Receive 3D Pedestrian Crossing

December 12, 2019 - The town of Rovinj is the first in Istria and among the first in Croatia to receive a spectacular 3D pedestrian crossing near the Juraj Dobrila Elementary School. 

Glas Istre reports that this additionally seeks to increase the safety of motorists, as well as the number of children and students in the area.

"In order to increase the safety of children in traffic, the city of Rovinj has invested in the construction of a new 3D pedestrian crossings at Juraj Dobrila Elementary School. It is a cleverly-designed optical illusion that catches the attention of drivers who will surely slow down after seeing a seemingly hovering zebra while entertaining pedestrians who have a 'sense of walking on air’,” said Rovinj Public Utilities Director Elvis Prenc.


Glas Istre

Many countries have already implemented these innovative 3D crossings, including India, Iceland, and cities in the US, Canada, England, China and Russia

Specifically, traffic experts have concluded that 3D pedestrian crossings can be a great tool to slow down traffic. Namely, a driver approaching a 3D pedestrian crossing is inclined to slow down more than it would in the case of a conventional pedestrian crossing.

According to the Westminster council, these optical illusion crossings have already proven to improve road safety.

"Trials of a similar scheme in New Delhi, India, are reported to show that average speeds where it was employed had dropped by as much as 40 per cent, from 30mph to 20mph,” reported the Westminster Council.

The concept originally comes from India, while Iceland is responsible for bringing the idea to Europe. DiverCityMag writes that although the effect is striking, 3D crossings can only work in one direction, so they can only be used in one-way streets. 

You can see how the 3D pedestrian crossings work in the video below.

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Thursday, 21 November 2019

Batana Ecomuseum in Rovinj Moves into 21st Century, to be Fully Digitized Next Summer

November 21, 2019 - The Batana Ecomuseum in Rovinj is moving into a more modern direction, which should be ready for visitors to experience by next summer. 

In 2016, the Batana Ecomuseum project was included in the UNESCO Register, and just a few months ago, it was decorated with the exceptional European Destination of Cultural Tourism in the category of intangible cultural heritage, taking first place. Today, however, the museum is under construction. But we promise they have a good reason. Glas Istre tells us more. 

“In particular, in the same dimensions, the old setup is changing one hundred percent, which will not only be different and modern by the next tourist season, but also be fully digitized,” Batana Association President Nives Giuricin revealed.

Namely, the Batana Ecomuseum, which, fifteen years ago, was and remained one of the exemplary examples of the appearance and function of smaller museums, for which it has received numerous Croatian and foreign awards over the past decade, is transforming into a 21st-century museum. For example, visitors will have the opportunity to "jump" from the cliff of Katarina into the sea with the help of 3D glasses, or go night fishing with a batana boat. All this, just like in the first museum exhibition, was designed by the architect Alexander Paris, and financially supported by numerous local and foreign investors.

The whole project is worth more than HRK 1.5 million, and, in addition to the funds from the Association and the City of Rovinj, the money was also obtained from the Ministry of Culture, as well as EU funds, explains Giuricin, who added that the previous exhibitions could still be seen at various locations. 

“As for the new museum exhibit, the deadline is by the next tourist season, or June,”  the president of the Association said, who added that in parallel, work is also being done on a ‘spacio’, or local tavern, on Švalbina Street.

“With the transformation of the Museum, at the end of this or the beginning of next year, we will also enter Švalbina Street, in which we have rented eighty square meters necessary for the spacio. It is an ideal space which, in addition to its size, has another attractive advantage - the possibility to access the batana boats via the outdoor and open terrace,” revealed the new president of the Batana House Association, Nives Giuricin.

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

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Rovinj Will Achieve More Than 4,000,000 Overnight Stays by End of 2019

As Glas Istre/Nina Orlovic Radic writes on the 20th of November, 2019, during the upcoming December Christmas holidays, about three thousand guests are expected to realise ten thousand overnights in the popular Istrian city of Rovinj. The hotels "Park", "Lone", "Amarin" and "Adriatic" will all remain open for New Year's Eve.

Celebrating with cake and other desserts, this Thursday, the Rovinj Tourist Board will mark the significance of Rovinj's recently awarded title of "Best Tourist Destination of the Year".

With the highest possible tourism ''recognition'', it should be borne in mind that Rovinj, for the second year in a row now, is growing unstoppably closer to the fantastic figure of over four million overnight stays. This recognition and the impressive number are the reason for the festivities held at Marshal Tito Square, which will start tomorrow at 10:00 with music from Duo Kristijan and Davor Terzić, while the sweet-savory delicacies and selected wines will be provided by the Eugen Kumičić school and the local AgroRovinj Association.

This will be an open manifestation in its own right, as well as an introduction to numerous upcoming Christmas-oriented events.

''Celebrating the 2019 Best Croatian Tourist Destination title, which will be celebrated at Marshal Tito Square, kicks off the festive events in this celebrated city, which by the end of the year should exceed last year's exceptional results, and generate about 4,060,000 overnight stays,'' said the director of the Rovinj Tourist Board, Odeta Sapač.

The upcoming December festivities will also put an extra spring back into Rovinj's step owing to the desired results, and will be accompanied by a concert from Croatian singer-songwriter Zlatan Stipišić Gibonni, with whom the citizens of Rovinj and many guests will enter the new year.

''During the upcoming golidays, we expect the arrival of three thousand guests, which, according to our previous experiences, should realise about ten thousand nights in total. Maistra's hotels - Lone, Park, Amarin and Adriatic - will have their doors open to them, with the smaller, private hotels as well as a large proportion of private renters working alongside them. It's also worth mentioning that the Stell club will be open during the holidays, which will host parties,'' Sapač noted.

''By the way, when speaking in terms of numbers, Rovinj realised 708,659 tourist arrivals from the beginning of the year up until November the 19th, and those guests realised 3,995,542 overnight stays in total, which, as we know from the director of the Rovinj Tourist Board, represents an increase of three percent in arrivals, while the overnight stays have remained at the same level as those realised last year.

Make sure to follow our dedicated travel page for much more.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Fantazija Quarry to Become Newest Tourist Attraction in Rovinj

November 12, 2019 - Last weekend, Parks and Greenery employees pulled out three truckloads of vegetation from inside the Fantazija Quarry in Rovinj, a natural geological monument that has been overrun by branches, deep roots, and leaves over the years.

Namely, Glas Istre explains that Fantazija Quarry is a unique example of the sedimentology of carbonate rocks in the world. Fifteen green workers extracted three rounds of wild plants or 36 cubic meters from the quarry itself during the two-day operation, thus clearing the surrounding green areas and inaccessible terrain, confirmed the manager of Parks and Greenery, Barbara Matošović Talajić.

This horticultural cleanup kicked off the ”geoIST3A" project, worth HRK 5,346,052 (of which more than HRK 6.8 million is in grants from the European Union Fund), financed by the Operational Program on Competitiveness and Cohesion and the call "Promoting the Sustainable Development of Natural Heritage", which includes the City of Rovinj, its Tourist Board and Natura Histrica.

This is one of the most important quarries in the world, as well as a unique example of carbonate rocks from which layers of genetically different types of dolomites can be seen or read. Not only the texture but also the structure of the diagenetic and genetic characteristics are visible from the rock section, with which scientists read the processes of blue-green algae activity, the chronology of petiole, the oscillation of the sea level, the change of the tide, and the successive wetting and drying of seawater.

In short, these rocks from the Rovinj quarry serve to scientifically explain the origin of similar rocks in the world, which, unlike Fantazija, contain only some of the evidence and indications of this type of origin. For the same reason, Fantazija itself has become even more significant and a standard for all other rock sites of this type of origin. The Rovinj Tourist Board explained that the rocks in this quarry are older than 130 million years.

All the advantages and attributes of this natural geological monument have been used by the City of Rovinj as another worthy tourist attraction near the city center, only a few kilometers away.

By cleaning the quarry, the plan is not only to preserve and enrich the natural heritage, but also to brand the tourism product for what it really is, which is a geological phenomenon on a global scale.

"After the horticultural cleanup,  we will remove and clean the graphite from the interior of the quarry, and then submit the project for technical documentation, which is in its final phase, i.e., the preparation of a preliminary museological program, a museological concept with a detailed interior design and content development with the implementation of the quarry layout, announced the head of the Management Department for Economy, Public Procurement and European Funds, Martina Čekić Hek. Hek also revealed that Fantazija should receive its first visitors at the end of next year.

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Saturday, 9 November 2019

Rovinj Designers Continue to Win Big at Prestigious International Competitions

November 9, 2019 - Rovinj studios Tumpic/Prenc and Delta Reality have taken home prestigious international work for their design work in Croatia. 

Glas Istre reports that at the prestigious Red Dot Design Awards held on November 1st in the luxurious space of the Konzerthaus Berlin, Studio Tumpic/Prenc of Rovinj took home the trophy for their bottle design of Istrian olive oil "Latini". Shortly afterwards, on November 4, during one of the world's largest travel fairs, the World Travel Market, Digital Reality Studio "Delta Reality" was crowned the gold for the “Witch Mare's House” project at the International Travel & Tourism Awards 2019, and in the category of most innovative use of technology.

“These awards are a great indicator that Croatian companies are creating projects that can not only compete on the international stage but also be winners. We have proved this in Berlin and London, to which we are very grateful to them for recognizing our work. This is a confirmation that we are heading in the right direction, that we are innovative, creative and above all - an excellent team,” said Anselmo Tumpic, director and co-founder of the Rovinj studio.



The team, including creative director Anselmo Tumpic, account director Sara Prenc Opacic, and Anton Licul Grk, received the Red Dot Award in front of about 1,400 guests from around the world.

The gala evening program was led by the founder and CEO of the Red Dot Awards, Peter Zec, while the award was presented by the commission member, Sylvia Vitale Rotta, who has previously served as design chair of the Eurobest jury, the Cannes Lions, and was a member of the jury in Dubai Lynx.

It is an award that recognizes the high quality of design and the creative achievements of designers and their companies, and a jury of 24 international experts awarded only 0.8 percent of applicants. Among the best was the Latini olive oil bottle, boasting a plaid shirt motif on the packaging as a sort of homage to their ancestors, and a pocket in which a piece of paper with a centuries-old family story was sealed.

This year's winning works were then exhibited for only one evening, so that the guests could be convinced of the quality of the awarded brands and their works. The exhibition will be moved to the Berlin "Communication Museum" where it will be open to the public until January 12, 2020.

A few days later and about 1,000 kilometers away, the creative studio Tumpic/Prenc and the Digital Reality Studio "Delta Reality" surpassed the tourist superpower of Spain with their project of the small Istrian town, Svetvincenat. Not only did they make it to the finals, but they introduced themselves in front of the key stakeholders of the international tourism and travel sectors.

“Receiving an international award in the ‘Most Innovative Use of Technology’ category is a huge recognition of the continued effort and persistence that Delta Reality's young team invests every day. Since we have worked at many international visitor centers and museums over the past year, we are especially proud to have won with the Croatian project, representing Croatia on multiple levels,” said Delta Reality Director and co-founder Darian Skarica.

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Sunday, 20 October 2019

Rovinj Succeeds in Winning Case and Removing ATM from Old Town

For a while now, numerous historic Croatian cities have been fighting with no less than cash machines. The unsightly ATMs have been being placed in old towns and have caused quite the stir. Dubrovnik was one city with a battle on its hands, but it is far from the only one, and Rovinj has experienced a significant ''win''.

As Novac writes on the 19th of October, 2019, an ATM has been successfully removed from the facade of the House of Culture building in Rovinj, more specifically from the ground floor used by Konzum. It might seem like a small feat, but this successful ATM removal in the Istrian city of Rovinj is in actual fact quite impressive, as the ATM was installed in a window from which the view looks directly out at a cultural monument - Balbi's arch, otherwise, the busiest entrance and exit from the old town of Rovinj, writes Glas Istre.

The removal of ATMs is the result of the Decision on the municipal order of the City of Rovinj and the Directorate for the protection of cultural heritage of the Ministry of Culture concerning the general criteria for the installation of ATMs in protected historic centres in Croatia.

Otherwise, there are fifty such ATMs registered in the cultural and historical centre of Rovinj alone, and 39 of them have seen requests submitted for site approval, ie, for the proper permission to set them up.

The problem of "too many" ATMs in their cumbersome metal boxes has escalated this past tourist season not only because of their abundance, but also because of the locations in which they have been placed - from windows and doors, to facades and windows on various old buildings.

When it comes to ATMs on private property, and depending on the agreement between the property's owner and the owner of the ATM, the monthly "rent" for an ATM to be placed there was from two to ten thousand kuna.

The City of Rovinj was among the first on the coast to attempt to deal with all those who do not have a permit for the placement of an ATM, that is, explicit written approval from the city's municipal utility department and the consent of the conservator, to set it up. Therefore, the criteria by which an ATM permit can be obtained is clearly stated, and anyone not adhering to it will likely see their machines removed, as has been the case with this one.

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