When strolling through Istria's towns
and villages, you will surely find one or the other sales booth or shop with souvenirs
and buy either a souvenir for yourself or for those at home.
But do you also know the story behind the small stone houses
? Do you know why the case is decorated with just this pattern? Do you know what wood the watch or beautifully decorated picture frame
is made of? What is the pleasantly scented soap
made of and what does the pretty candle smell like?
What you will encounter everywhere are the so-called "Kazuni
". The small round stone houses without windows with conical roofs are drywall
, mostly built between the 18th and 19th century and used by shepherds
and farmers to protect themselves from heat and rain when working in the field. These ecological structures were built without binders - stone on stone
. The associated stone walls marked the property boundaries. Today you can find them rather rarely, but if you are interested in the Kazuni
or would like to try building one yourself, we recommend a visit to the Kazuni Park near Vodnjan
Whether this are bags, purses or kitchen towels
... on the textile products in the souvenir shops you will often see the traditional Istrian colours and patterns
. In the past, women usually wore a fabric belt around their waist - the so-called “Istarska Kanica
”. This had the appropriate colour depending on the marital status
. Red was the colour for young single women, red with green or blue decoration was the belt for young married women. Blue was worn by older women or those in mourning for a deceased family member. When the mourning period was over, green ornamentation was added. In some parts of Istria, a distinction was made between young and old: bright and strong red stood for the young girls, dark and muted red tones for the older ones. The meaning of these colours and patterns can vary slightly from region to region. But maybe when you buy a bag you will pay a little more attention to the colour you choose.
What will also catch your eye are e.g. the clocks, frames and wooden chopping boards
. Most of them are still decorated with stone, sand or shells, printed or engraved ...
The wood craft
is still very widespread in the north and inland of Croatia and Istria is over 40% forested - mainly oak, beech, ash and chestnut. Smaller businesses produce everything that can be made from wood by hand: pieces of furniture, kitchen utensils and decoration or toys ... and each piece is unique
If you are more into fragrances
, you will not be able to resist the handmade soaps, candles and essential oils
. The natural soaps are mostly made from local olive oil or almond oil
and refined with various ingredients: honey, orange, lemon, lavender, rosemary, mint, cinnamon or even beer! The handmade candles with forest scent, salty sea smell or orange and lemon aroma and essential oils with rosemary and peppermint will remind you when at home of a vacation in one of our villas in Istria
Whatever you choose as a souvenir ... it will surely be something special for those who receive it - as long as it comes from the heart and from Istria. :)