Multicultural journey between Italy and Slovenia through the prism of minorities

The PRIMIS project, entitled "multicultural journey between Italy and Slovenia through the prism of minorities ", financed by Interreg Italy-Slovenia program, aims to enhance the linguistic, cultural and natural heritage of the communities of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto and Slovenia as excellence for the development of a new sustainable tourism. This area is by nature multicultural and multilingual, due to the presence of Slovenian and Italian national minorities and other language communities (Cimbrians, Ladins, Friulians) making it unique compared to other territories in Italy and Slovenia.

The Italian presence in Istria dates back to Roman times, evidenced by the presence of archaeological sites and finds, and subsequently from the peculiar development of Venetian architecture and urban structure, from the artistic and cultural heritage.

In the 1900s the Istrian peninsula experienced tragic historical events that produced a massive exodus of the largest part of its members (exiles) and reduced the Italian presence to a minority. Since 1991, 51 Communities of Italians (CI) belonging to the Italian Union have been present in Slovenia and Croatia. Italians in Slovenia live mainly along the coast and in the immediate hinterland of the Slovenian coast.

The Slovenian minority in Italy is present in three provinces of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region along a strip that extends from Muggia to Tarvisio. The origins date back to Slavic populations settled in the area at the end of the 6th century, coming from the Danubian-Balkan area. Formally, the administrative area of the territory in which the protection provisions of the law for the Slovenian minority apply includes 32 municipalities. The Slovenian national community has as its reference organizations the SKGZ (Slovenian Cultural Economic Union) and the SSO (Confederation of Slovenian Organizations) with over 300 companies associated.

The project will bring about a new perception of the multicultural and multilingual identity of the project area for both tourists and residents. The main outputs are the creation of 4 Multimedia Centres for the dissemination of the specificities and peculiarities of the indigenous language communities; a multimedia platform and a digital guide; the enhancement and promotion of cultural events in the project area; information and training activities for specific target groups. The beneficiaries are tourists, residents, young people. The intended approach is to transfer the multicultural and multilingual peculiarities of the indigenous communities to the tourism sector and the promotion of the cross-border territory using innovative, interactive and multimedia tools with immersive and virtual reality in the Multimedia Centres.

The project is also carrying out an important architectural recovery, the renovation and recovery works concern the Gravisi-Buttorai Palace, one of the most vivid examples of Baroque architecture in Koper-Capodistria. It is a building of great architectural value, now in need of renovation, located in the city center. The planned works include construction work, craftsmanship and installation of systems. All the necessary interventions will be carried out with a view to adapting to the state of the art, in this sense ensuring a high level of quality - also aesthetic - of the property and full compliance with all the provisions regarding heritage conservation cultural heritage. Once the work will be completed, the Italian Multimedia Center in Slovenia (CMI) will find its location in the Palace, which will have new museum, educational and training contents. Thanks to the support provided by the most modern digital technologies, they will be functional to present and promote the indigenous Italian national community in Slovenia and Croatia.

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