Istria, The New Tuscany, Croatia

Istria is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Kvarner Gulf. It is shared by three countries: Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy. The geographical features of Istria include the Učka mountain ridge, which is the highest portion of the Cicarija mountain range; the rivers Dragonja, Mirna, Pazinčica, and Raša; and the Lim bay and valley. By far the largest portion (89%) lies in Croatia. Discussions about Istrian ethnicity often use the words “Italian,” “Croatian” and “Slovene” to describe the character of Istrian people. However, these terms are best understood as “national affiliations” that may exist in combination with or independently of linguistic, cultural and historical attributes. Similarly, national powers claim Istrian Croats according to the local language. According to the 2011 Croatian census data for the Istria County, 68.33% of the inhabitants were Croats, 6.03% were Italians, 3.46% were Serbs, 2.95% were Bosniaks, 1.15% were Albanians, and 1.96% did not state their nationality. The small town of Peroj has had a unique history which exemplifies the multi-ethnic complexity of the history of the region, as do some towns on both sides of the Cicarija mountains that are still identified with the Istro-Romanian people which the UNESCO Redbook of Endangered Languages calls “the smallest ethnic group in Europe.” Credit: Wikipedia.

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https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/nov/03/istria-affordable-croatia-the-new-tuscany