Situated in the direct proximity of the Western European civilization on one side and on the border of a different cultural milieu on the other, Istria has an enviable history, written at the crossroads of three large European cultures- Slavic, Roman, and German. Millennial political claims, incessant tensions, and the division of this small area among various states and political influences of dominant European powers decisively influenced the specificity of life and variety of cultural influences on the Istrian peninsula. Through the peninsula, since the ancient times, roads went from the Mediterranean to mid-Europe, or the area of Pannonia and the other way round. Through the tumultuous Istrian history, we mark frequent changes of rulers - from the Roman Empire and Byzantium, through the Frank State, the Aquileian Patriarchy, Venetian Republic, the Pazin County, Illyric Provinces, Austria, Italy, to Yugoslavia. On this turbulent area, historic events were caused by frequent migrations and refugees, which also causes the changes of population, traditions, and cultures. Numerous nations left their traces in this area: the Liburni, the Histri (after whom the peninsula was named), the Greeks, the Celts, the Romans, the Ostrogoths, the Byzantines, the Langobards, the Croats, the Franks, the Venetians, the Austrians, the Italians ...
Despite numerous historic difficulties, three nations survived until present times: the Croats, the Slovenes, and the Italians. Living in the area, together, and often against each other, their common destiny influenced the mutual tolerance, thus developing a harmonious co-existence.
Istria was able to successfully reconcile millennial confrontations of opposing cultural influences, thus confirming its own maturity, which is the best entrance ticket into the united Europe.