Welcome to Bale – the city of stone, untouched preserved natural beauties, cultural and architectural heritage where stone-paved streets resound with jazz. The district of Bale is located on the Western Istrian coast, between Rovinj and Pula. Like every small Istrian town, Bale’s old city core is made of stone, as it once was an ancient settlement called Castrum Vallis.
Today, the atmosphere of the well preserved old town perfectly portrays the calm and peaceful traditional Mediterranean life. What we love about Bale? It tends to avoid crowds, mass tourism and is keen on keeping the status of a peaceful jazzy summer oasis.
EXPLORE THE OLD TOWN
For all morning birds we recommend an early walk through the old town core and getting lost between narrow streets inside the city walls of Bale. Sleepy streets in the early morning followed by the light summer breeze will definitely reflect the Mediterranean lightness of being, and are a great chance for a solo morning contemplation session.
BEMBO – SOARDO PALACE
16th century palace
This beautiful palace in the old town will enchant you with its exterior – be sure to notice the gothic-renaissance façade. The palace emerged from two square defense towers connected by a bridge. It was built at the turn of 14th and 15th century among these two defense towers. It was completely renovated in 2012, and today is open for public visits. Once the residential palace of family Soardo-Bembo, today it is headquarters of the Italian community of Bale. Since it is open for public visits, check out the permanent exhibition of Venetian costumes on the first floor (collected by community members of Bale).
MEMORIES EMBROIDERED IN BALE
Bale-Valle, MMC Ulika, Exhibition of traditional handicrafts
From March until end of July you’ll have the exquisite chance to see 20th century private Bale families’ items that convey social values and cultural heritage of Istria. The exhibition is dedicated to women’s decoration of everyday textile items (from bed linen, towels, nightgowns to curtains and kitchen towels) reflecting culture, tradition and customs in different life situations from different family backgrounds. From birth, marriage to death – this exhibition is representing the circle of life and reflects on decoration of everyday textile items once used in Istrian culture when celebrating or honoring important life milestones or events.
HISTRIA AROMATICA – FROM SEED TO BRAND
Agricultural farm and theme park
Just a few kilometers away from Bale, on an exceptional location with views over the sea and surrounding hilltops, Histria Aromatica agrictultural farm and theme park was established. Histria Aromatica is best described as a ‘from seed to brand’ farm and is open for public visits!
Take a walk through this beautifully nurtured landscape and discover autochthonous aromatic herb plantations, olive trees with traditional native sorts, vineyards with varieties such as Malvasia and Teran, or an eco-garden with organic grown fruit and vegetables.
A particular point of interest in Histria Aromatica is the gigantic fig tree that grows from the centre of a 7 metre deep cave. The tree is estimated to be 120 years old and it is surrounded by a stone amphiteatre.
Don’t forget to shop locally – you can buy original products from Histria Aromatica in their souvenir shop!
“Histria Aromatica conforms their activities with the ideas of modern philosophy of sustainable development, such as optimal management of natural resources, eco-production, preserving tradition, culture and education, with particular emphasis on the study of ethnobotany as a scientific discipline. Respecting the configuration of the soil and its biodiversity with more than two hundred plant species.” (from http://www.histriaaromatica.hr/)
Trattoria / Jazz club
Tired of exploring natural beauties of Bale district, or exhausted of strolling through the old town? In the very heart of old town, you can rest at Kamene priče – a unique mix of a trattoria and a jazz club. Furbished in a cozy way, this place can be your morning coffee stop, early brunch station or evening glass of wine oasis.
Serving meals with fresh ingredients with just a touch of modern cuisine, you can expect homemade pasta, local seafood and meat. When it comes to wine, Kamene priče has a partnership with Damjanić wines – a renowned local wine producer from the area of Poreč, so you’ll be drinking local Malvasia or Teran. The specialty of this place is its events – during summers you often come across live jazz concerts or poetry nights.