by the seaside with its beneficial climate, the sun and the soft sea breeze
invites you to explore and make new experiences. During spring you can explore
the idyllic Istrian villages in Piran’s hinterland. One of the loveliest is
undoubtedly Padna, where in April you can also visit the Festival of olive oil
and chard and try the genuine local gastronomy of enchanting Istria.
Padna is an old Istrian village where the stone houses are huddled close
together around the church of St. Blaise. Next to the church is the bell tower,
which measures 26 metres in height and was built by the inhabitants in 1885. In
the renovated building of Padna’s former school you can find the Božidar Jakac
gallery, where a collection of graphics and drawings is exhibited. One of the
greatest Slovenian painters of the 20th century lived in Padna in
his childhood. Padna also has a special charm thanks to its locals, who gladly
prepare homemade delicacies.
Traditional Istrian festival: Festival of olive oil and chard
charming festival of the village takes place in the end of April and this year
you can save the dates of 27th and 28th April. You’ll be
delighted by the market with local varieties of olive oil, healthy produce and
traditional Istrian dishes. During the day you can join the guided tour of
Padna or cheer for your favourite chef in the culinary duel of master chefs
Sara Rutar and Darko Klemen. In the evening the musical band Prifarski
muzikanti will make sure you have a good time.
Where can you find excellent extra virgin olive oil?
Padna is nestled amongst olive groves, where some trees are over 300
years old. Thanks to the specific climate, the olive oil from Slovenian Istria
is recognisable for its characteristic aroma and appreciated for the
composition of fatty acids. The olive
oil from Padna is of the highest quality and belongs among the world’s best, which
is also confirmed by the awards it won on national and international olive oil
evaluations. The most know and widely present variety is the Istrian white, which gives the oil its characteristic freshness and a
slightly spicy note. Don’t forget to try the autochthonous štorta, which is ideal for table olives and is pickled in brine so
it loses its bitterness.
Have you heard of chard?
gladly explain the importance of chard. It’s a vegetable similar to spinach and
it is rich with potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, folic acid and vitamins B
and C. Chard was very important in the livelihoods of Istrian inhabitants in
the past. In 1885 it helped the inhabitants of Padna build the bell tower next
to the church of St. Blaise, who is the patron of
the village. The earnings they made by selling the winter and summer chard
harvest were used in the construction of the bell tower. This traditional
Istrian vegetable is used by locals to prepare numerous tasty dishes such as
sausages with chard and rice (known as mulce)or cuttlefish with chard and polenta.
Relaxing views of the hills and the sea
hinterland offers infinite views of the hills and the bay of Piran. Padna is
also an ideal destination for all hikers, cyclists and anyone who enjoys
pristine nature. More serious hikers can venture on Boškarin’s path around
Padna, which takes 3 hours. Cyclists can
venture on the cycling path towards Koštabona and Pomjan. For an easier uphill
journey the Tourist information office in the centre of Padna rents electric
All this and
many other delicacies await at the Festival of olive oil and chard, organized
every year in Arpil and May.