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Portal into a Timeless World


Grondali – A Revitalized Homestead with a Winery in Slovenian Istria

14. 8. 2014




Traditional architecture, Traditional food and eating

Geographical area



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Abitanti, typical village in Slovenian Istria hinterland, bordering Croatia, was abandoned for twenty years. Many houses stood empty for fifty years or more. The inhabitants were left to live and work in Slovenian or Italian coastal towns or migrated to foreign countries. Traditional homestead of Grondali in the middle of the settlement was the first to be revitalised: farm buildings and yards were reconstructed, traditional viniculture reintroduced and supporting activities for sustainable agro-tourism were defined.

 Guidelines for the stakeholders such as local residents were given as a part-result of the Project REVITAS – Revitalisation of the Istrian hinterland and tourism in the Istrian hinterland 2007-2013 (, co-financed by the EU. Besides viticulture, the Grondali also has an apiculture tradition. They produce oil from their olive grove. They have a plantation of cherry, fig, peach and nectarine trees. They plan to arrange some stables for the boškarini, an old autochthonous Istrian bovine, mainly for touristic purposes (as a tourist attraction). Revitalisation of the Grondali homestead was planned and is being realized by Gracijan Perič, a local who is returning to his home after over 40 years of living on the coast.

Locality The homestead of Grondali, Abitanti 10, Koper hinterland, Coastal–Karst region
Slovenian Littoral
Time All year round
History (cyclicality) Revitalisation after 2003
Organizer Gracijan Perič, the local inhabitant
Realisation team The Perič family
Target group Tourists and returning villagers
Traditional culture elements Istrian architecture, traditional products: wine – the refošk, the malvazija, spirits – the biska, olive oil, acacia honey (see photo); enabled sustainable rural managing
Ethnographic criterion Revitalisation of karstic home and homestead in traditional look. Traditionally renovated outer image (buildings, yards, and pavement) and up-to date inner arrangement.
Environmental criterion The homestead is an example of traditional Mediterranean architecture. Viticulture and apiculture are practised for many generations. Autochthon variety of crops (vines, olives, cherries, figs, peaches, nectarines) and animals (bees, the boškarin – Istrian bovine, which has been preserved in Croatian Istria).
Cultural-historical criterion Revitalisation of architectural elements in harmony with the traditional image (the baladur – outer staircase, the kaloni – vaulted passages, the škrle – natural stone for paving, façades, roofs and walls), and building with a traditional method of dry stone.
Aesthetic criterion Generally accepted as aesthetic object. Restored and renovated homestead is incorporated in an image of a karstic village from the end of 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
Ethical criterion No conflicts
Psychological criterion The homestead also contributes to the social life of the village and supports local identity through traditional architecture and activities.

Photos by © Stanka Drnovšek


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