As one of the more serious attempts of creating a tourist product based on cultural content a project Poreč historical festival – Giostra is being developed. It started in 2007 as project with an aim to protect immaterial cultural heritage and enrich cultural and tourist offer in the town of Poreč. It started as cooperation of Studio 053 and Poreč Tourist Board and under the sponsorship of the town of Poreč. Elena Uljančić-Vekić, director of Poreč Heritage Museum has been consulted throughout the project.
What is actually Giostra? It is known that on 8th May, St. Michael’s day a festivity Fiera franca triduana accompanied by a crossbow competition and dances and popular games was held in Poreč. The main event was a knight tournament Giostra. The first document where Giostra is described in detail, the very source of this Festival, comes from 1745. In the days of the Festival, as if transported by a time machine, the whole town travels back into the 18th century evoking economic, demographical, social and socio-political rise of Poreč in the period.
For its very beginnings Giostra has gathered a great number of enthusiasts from Poreč, who are interested in history and culture of Poreč. This led to establishment of Društva prijatelja Giostre (Association of Friends of Giostra) by Poreč Heritage Museum in 2008.
Members of Association take part in the work ofdifferent sections where through lectures, workshops, courses in dance, historical etiquette, gastronomy and drama they are given a chance to learn more about history of their town at the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century. Moreover, members of Association, once again based on historical documents, have been given roles, so every member has his or her historical name, relatives, properties, possessions, clothes and jewellery according to historical sources. Different sections dealing with dance, acting, equestrian sports, fashion, gastronomy and music are parts of the Association. The idea behind the project is for the Association to offer its members activities throughout a year, the final aim being participation at the Poreč historical festival, where educated citizens consistently present different aspects of the rich cultural heritage of the baroque Poreč.
All activities of the Association, as well as ideas connected to establishment of the Festival, are based on original historical documents which are kept in Poreč Heritage Museum and other numerous local and foreign archives, as well on the knowledge of modern era history of Poreč. Culture of life and habitation, dress culture, music and dance culture, gastronomy and etiquette – they are all placed in a historical context of an era that is enlivened in the days of the Festival.