On the southwestern part of Slovenia, between Istria and the native Karst, the Brkini stretch at an altitude of 800 m. These are flysch hills with many clustered villages. The highest point (817 m) is the hill Saint Socerb above the village Artviže (Orožen Adamič, Perko, Kladnik, 1995). Brkini have always been known for their fruit, especially apples and plums. For this purpose, the Brkini Fruit Road was established, which unites many fruit growers. Many of them still prepare the famous Brkini plum brandy according to traditional old recipes, as well as other types of fruit spirits and excellent apple juice, apple cider vinegar and dried fruit. The abundance of fruit in Brkini also marked traditional local dishes. The most famous are plum gnocchi, sweet dumplings made from potato dough.
Brkini, and especially the village of Rodik, are known for its chestnuts. For this purpose, in Rodik is every year organized a chestnut festival, where tradition, sports and cuisine come together. In 2021, Rodik has become richer for the Mythical Park, the result of the cross-border project of the Interreg Slovenia – Croatia Program, which will enrich the tourist offer of the village and the whole region.
Rodik lies at an altitude of between 540 and 620 m. Already in the past, this area was attractive for settlement, as evidenced by the archaeological site of Ajdovščina above Rodik, which is one of the best preserved prehistoric and ancient fortified highland outposts. In the area of Ajdovščina and other archeological sites, circular cycling and hiking trails (Lintver and Baba trails) are equipped with 28 stone sculptures that take the visitor into a mysterious mythical past.
One path takes you into the world of a terrible “lintver “snake that the locals feared as it sent them lightning, storms and floods. Through various ceremonies and processions, they tried to calm him down and drive him to their abode. On the other path, you are entering in the world of witches and witch pranks. Both routes begin at the visitor centre located in the village of Rodik, where an interactive exhibition Mythical and Other Realities is set up, based on the stories of the locals, which has been preserved up to this day.
The Rodik settlement is also part of the pilot area of the Adrionet project (Interreg Adrion), whose partner is Regional Development Center Koper and within which an action plan will be prepared for the Rodik and Beka area and some pilot activities will be carried out to help include the place in the association of authentic villages.
Tina Primožič & Larisa Kunst
Regional development centre Koper