STA, 29 August 2022 - After receiving notable quantities of rain in the last ten days, the Slovenian coast, where water use restrictions were introduced in early July, will again be able to use water also for non-essential purposes. The supply of water from the Postojna area will end tomorrow.
Representatives of the Rižana water utility from the coast and Civil Protection held a regular weekly meeting this morning to determine that water levels after the rain in the last ten days have improved to the point where restrictions may be lifted.
"Everything has improved somewhat ... so we decided to finally start lifting all these measures that were in force in the last days," said Martin Pregelj, the head of the Rižana water utility.
"We can again use water in agriculture, we can wash the yard or the car. Utility companies can turn on showers at the beach again," he said. But he was quick to point out that there is still not enough water to waste it.
The Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Administration, which has organised truck transport of water from the river Unica, north of Postojna, to a water works facility near Dekani during the drought, will end this campaign tomorrow.
According to Pregelj, a solution needs to be found by next summer so as to avoid having water transported to the coast by trucks.
Water restrictions were introduced in all four coastal municipalities at the beginning of July, when the use of water for non-urgent purposes was banned and cuts for businesses introduced.
STA, 27 July 2022 - A campaign has started to transport drinking water to the Slovenian coast, where restrictions have been introduced due to water shortages. The water is extracted from the Unica river, north of Postojna, and taken by trucks to a water works facility near Dekani. The project was launched at about the same time as the region finally got see some rainfall.
The water is being extracted as of Tuesday morning to water trucks of the Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) and the firefighting service. It takes about two hours and a half for one such truck to take the water to the facility and return.
Five trucks have been secured by fire brigades, and four 10,000-litre tankers of the SAF, the authorities announced at a press conference at the site where the water is being extracted from the Unica, under the bridge in the village of Planina.
"Firefighters always want to help, even though we are looking back at a difficult week in Kras," said Franci Petek, the commander of the Firefighting Association of Slovenia, referring to the huge fire in western Slovenia that has recently been contained.
Darko But, the head of the Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Administration, added that the government had make it possible to hire private contractors with larger water trucks to help out in the effort.
But he noted that the extraction of the water by no means impacted the water supply for the nearby towns of Postojna and Pivka, while Martin Pregelj, the head of the the Rižana water utility noted that "it is a national project".
The measure to alleviate the water shortage in Slovenian Istria was confirmed by the government last Thursday, and will be in force until the end of August.
In the meantime, all restrictions remain in place. After the use of water for non-urgent purposes was banned and cuts for businesses was introduced, the total consumption decreased to 30,000 m3 a day, the local water utility said.
As the area has seen some rainfall in recent days, the utility has detected a slight rise in the level of the groundwater, but said it was not enough to revive the main natural spring of the Rižana river, which remains dry.
A total of 700 m3 of potable water was brought on Tuesday to the Cepki water works facility, and it has been estimated that under the current pace, the situation could be brought back to normal in ten days.
Some 20 litres of water per square metre fell on Tuesday in the nearby area of Brkini, and some of the water entered the Rižana system, while the water level in aquifers above the source of Rižana has also increased slightly.
While the main source is still dry, the Rižana flow at the downstream measuring point has increased to 115 litres per second, the water utility said, also noting that the consumption had also decreased compared to Monday figures.
STA, 24 May 2022 - A procedure has been launched for the coastal town Lucija (Lucy) in the Piran municipality to be given back its original name Sveta Lucija (Saint Lucy), which was changed in the 1950s as part of postwar efforts to remove religious elements from toponyms.
Piran municipal councillors tasked at Monday's session Mayor Đenio Zadković to start activities to rename the town after several initiatives had been filed, including by municipal councillors of the Italian community, Democrats' (SDS) councillor Vojko Jevševar and the council of the Lucija local community.
The Piran mayor had also commissioned a survey, which pollster Mediana conducted among 135 locals. It turned out that they are in favour of the name change and are very familiar with the history of the town's name and initiatives for the name change.
However, things did not go smoothly at yesterday's session, as Gabrijel Franca from the Movement for the Piran Municipality proposed the issue be removed from the agenda and discussed after the financial consequences of the move are assessed.
Italian community councillor Manuela Rojec explained that, as the procedure was launched, all the documents, including the assessment Franca demanded, would be presented.
Another councillor representing the Italian community, Andrea Bartole, said this was no whim and that the cost of the name change would be minimal.
"This is not a name change but restoring of the historical name," he said, noting that the name Sveta Lucija had been documented as early as in the 13th century and that the town had been renamed Lucija after the Second World War by the regime.
Restoring the original name of the town would be a sign of reconciliation with history, he said.
Davorin Petaros from the Movement for the Piran Municipality said Bartole was forging history, while calls for a referendum on the issue could also be heard.
Eventually it was decided that a consultative referendum will be held along with the upcoming local election in the Lucija area, while activities for the name change which the councillors agreed on will meanwhile be under way.
STA, 18 June 2021 - The cross-border project Crossmoby will set up a ferry service this summer again, connecting four Slovenian coastal towns - Ankaran, Koper, Izola and Piran. Last year, the service was only available at weekends, now it will run every day except Mondays. The ferry will be available for a symbolic fare between one and three euros.
The shuttle ferry service will start on 26 June and run until 3 October, according to the project manager Heidi Olenik from the Regional Development Centre (RDC) Koper, who spoke at Friday's presentation.
She added that they will be using a boat with a capacity of 71 passengers, but due to Covid-19 prevention measures, it will be limited to a maximum of 21 people, slightly more in the event of a group. There will be 16 spaces for transporting bicycles as well.
Reservations will not be possible. In case of bad weather, the shuttle ferry will be cancelled, which will be announced on their website and social media.
The ferry service is a pilot initiative of the Crossmoby project, which is a part of the Interreg V-A Italy-Slovenia 2014-2020 programme and promotes sustainable mobility by launching intermodal passenger transport options.
According to the director of RDC Koper, Giuliano Nemarnik, the ferry will operate in the mornings and afternoons. Due to the increased frequency of trips, they have decided to introduce a symbolic fare between one and three euros.
He also admitted that they had some problems last year, as some passengers did not use the shuttle ferry as a way to get from point A to point B, but rather as a sort of a round trip.
Nemarnik expressed his wish for the ferry to continue operating after the end of the project. He estimated that the cost would not be sustainable, so they will try to reach an agreement with other Istrian municipalities regarding the funds for co-financing the ferry.
He also pointed out that in addition to the shuttle ferry, the bicycle bus (Kolobus) service is set to continue running free of charge on Fridays and weekends on the Koper - Štanjel route. A daily beach shuttle service between Brkini and Koper will also be operating in July and August.
Although sunny weather and a swim in the sea are good enough reasons to travel to the coast this weekend, a stroll down the beach to the Homemade from Istria festival this Friday afternoon will make the trip even more worthwhile.
The event will take place in the long building of the former salt warehouse Monfort situated right at the beginning of Portorož/Portorose beach. From 3pm to 8pm this Friday visitors will be offered best of the Istrian cuisine, which includes the country’s best olive oils and wines.
After the Istrian delicacy warm up, the visitors will also be invited to explore some of the local traditional crafts and traditions, as in addition to various local producers the event is also held by several local museums and performance groups including the Association for cultural and natural heritage Anbot Piran, Folk dance group Šaltin Sv. Peter, Men choir Pergula Sv. Peter, Maritime museum Piran, Institute Mediteranum with the Piran Shells Museum and Soline d.o.o..
STA, 20 August 2020 - The 19th Tartini Festival will get under way tonight as part of more than 60 events dedicated to the 250th anniversary of the death of Piran-born Italian Baroque composer and violinist Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770).
The opening concert will be given at St George's Church in the coastal town of Piran by the Venice Baroque Orchestra and acclaimed violinist Giuliano Carmignola.
The festival's series of 13 concerts connecting Piran and Koper will then wrap up in Ljubljana on 3 December at the Slovenian Philharmonic Hall.
The concert will feature Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss am Rhein, a German chamber orchestra, and its artistic director, Dutch violinist Isabelle van Keulen.
Apart from Tartini, it will feature Beethoven as part of Beethoven's Year, as well as Dvoržak, Bartok and Slovenia's contemporary composer Aldo Kumar.
To make the anniversary especially festive, some of the greatest European violinists specialising in Tartini have been invited to the festival.
Artistic director Jasna Nadles highlighted Giuliano Carmignola and Giorgio Fava from Italy, David Plantier from France and Laszlo Paulik from Hungary.
Music lovers will also get a chance to hear the sound of Tartini's violin which was made by Italian master luthier Nicolo Amati and is kept at Piran's Maritime Museum.
It will be played at the 29 August concert given by I Solisti Veneti, the festival's regular guest from Italy, which has prepared a special tribute to the composer.
Several young musicians will meanwhile play jazz arrangements of Tartini music at two concerts as part of a Tartini Junior series.
With the exception of the opening and closing concerts, all concerts will be held in the open air.
One of the highlights of Tartini 250, organised by the Piran municipality and partners throughout Tartini's Year, meanwhile took place before the festival.
On 2 August Portorož hosted the Roma Philharmonics (I Filarmonici di Roma) with acclaimed soloist Uto Ughi, who played a Tartini violin.
The concert coincided with the day 124 years ago when the Tartini monument was unveiled in Piran's square bearing the composer's name.
Tartini, the most famous Piran resident, was christened on 8 April 1692 at St George's Church, which is considered his birthday. He died in Padua on 26 February 1770.
Check out the website or Facebook page, with the full programme here, and find another great reason to visit the small but perfectly formed Slovenian coast.
STA, 17 August 2020 - A study has shown that an endangered subspecies of the common dolphin visited the Gulf of Trieste, which includes the bulk of Slovenian territorial waters, between 2009 and 2012, after a long period of absence due to systematic culling and lack of food.
The marine mammal association Morigenos, which conducted the study, notes that the appearances of the subspecies in the Adriatic Sea and the Mediterranean used to be something completely usual.
But since the 1970s, it has become so rare that it was labelled as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
According to the association, this was most probably owing to deliberate and systematic killing of the animal in the mid-1950s.
"At the time, Italy and the former Yugoslavia were paying rewards for each dolphin killed, because they were treated as pests who compete for fish with the fisheries sector," Morigenos said in a press release on Monday.
An additional possible cause for the decline of its population was the lack of food due to over-fishing and overall degradation of the marine environment.
While the last large groups of the common dolphin were seen in the Gulf of Trieste in the 1940s, Morigenos has come up with some new findings based on direct observations and found carcasses.
The association has established by means of photo identification of the dorsal fin that at least four specimens appeared in Slovenian territorial waters between 2009 and 2012.
While the common bottlenose dolphin is constantly present in the Gulf of Trieste, the common dolphin remains a rare species in the Northern Adriatic and chances for its return in large numbers are rather slim.
"Researchers record no increase in the number or sightings anywhere in the Mediterranean," said Morigenos, which hopes the study will encourage reporting on future cases to get better insight in the occurrence of the common dolphin in the Adriatic Sea.
"Large marine predators are important for healthy ecosystems and in the long run they are beneficial for the fisheries sector and not harmful," the association concluded.
You can learn more about the work of Morigenos here, and also read the full study, Occurrence of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) in the Gulf of Trieste and the northern Adriatic Sea, by Tilen Genov, Polona Kotnjek and Tina Centrih
This year marks the 250th anniversary of the death of Giuseppe Tartini, the Piran-born violinist and composer whose namesake square is the focus of much activity in the town. The 19th Tartini Festival is thus a special one, with a program that stretches from the man himself to the present day, from Slovenia to beyond. What’s more, Tartini’s original violin will be taken out of the Maritime Museum and played – although note this is not the Stradivarius the Piran composer was the first owner of, which has gone down in history as the Lipinski.
Tartini Square was once part of the sea, as in this photo from sometime in the late 19th century (source: Wikipedia). More old photos of the square.
With the exception of the opening night on August 20 – which is in St. George's Church in Piran – all the concerts will take place outdoors. The historical ambiance of the Slovenian coast, with its Venetian style, thus provides the backdrop to the performances at Piran’s Minorite Monastery (Minoritski samostan sv. Frančiška v Piranu) and Koper’s Praetorian Palace (Atrij Pretorske palace), the beautiful architecture just the most visible aspect of the area’s rich cultural heritage.
Since Tartini’s instrument was the violin the program features outstanding European violinists performing in various ensembles. The opening concert, on August 20, 2020, will feature the Venice Baroque Orchestra and violinist Giuliano Carmignola.
The program then continues with performances from artists such as Isabelle van Keulen, Giorgio Fava, I Solisti Veneti, Paolo Perrone, David Plantier, and László Paulik – with the full schedule and tickets on the Tartini Festival 2020 website.
Moreover, the Tartini Festival’s own ensemble, Il Terzo Suono, will once again be performing baroque music on period instruments and aiming for historically correct interpretations, as seen and heard in the videos accompanying this story.
In addition to established artists, the festival also supports the future of Slovenian music with workshops, masterclasses and the opportunity to gain experience of playing live. The Tartini Junior is supported by the Municipality of Koper.
Check out the website or Facebook page, and find another great reason to visit the small but perfectly formed Slovenian coast.
STA, 15 July 2020 - After reaching above-average levels in early July, the sea temperature has been significantly below average in recent days, hydrologist Mojca Robič of the Environment Agency told the STA on Wednesday. Lower temperatures are mostly a result of a strong bora wind pushing through the coast.
At the start of July, the sea temperature reached 27 degrees Celsius, whereas in recent days it was hardly above 20 degrees.
This month has not been extremely hot, said Robič, adding that a two-day period of a fierce bora and thunderstorms has contributed the most to the cold spell.
"The bora swirls the water, which is why it gets colder," said the expert.
The average July sea temperature stands between 23 and 25 degrees, according to the agency. Usually, the sea enters a warmer phase by the end of the month; this year's trend hence departs from the normal course.
The bathing season, which officially begun this week, will be somewhat different to what we’ve been used to. Last Tuesday the National Institute of Public Health finally announced the new preventive measures that managers of pools, beaches and seawater areas will have to implement. Concerns have been raised that the requirements for social distancing will be difficult to put into practice.
According to the new pandemic prevention regulations, 1.5m social distance should be kept among visitors on shore, and 2m in water. Only members of the same household can sunbathe or swim in groups.
Some of the measures taken to ensure social distancing on the central beach of Portorož are floor markings, warning signs and greater distance between umbrellas, explained Jana Pines from Piran Environment for RTV Slovenia. Furthermore, she explained, contact surfaces such as toilets will be regularly disinfected, for which they will need more staff than they planned. Most difficulties, however, are expected with regard to keeping visitors at the requested social distance, especially in the sea, “where it is practically impossible to verify whether swimmers come from the same household or not”.
Duško Madžarović, the director of the Koper Public Sports Institute, which manages the swimming pool in Žusterna, also pointed to this problem. In a statement for RTV Slovenia he emphasized that staff do not have the authority to ask for the guests’ identity to find out whether they are from the same household or not.