HISTORY OF PARENZANA
20 September 1876 – Inauguration of the Istrian Railway. The railway was expected to contribute to the effective connecting of the Pula Military Port with the hinterland of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Population of the northwestern Istria, the most densely populated part of the peninsula, was disappointed because the new railway completely avoided their region.
1887 – After a long search for the solution to transport problems in the northwestern Istria, Count Pietro Walderstein got the approval of the Ministry to prepare a study on the economic viability of the Trieste-Buje-Poreč railway.
March 1893 – Istrian deputies, Bertolla and Rizzi, demanded the construction of the railway from Trieste to Poreč in the Parliament in Vienna.
February 1894 – Provincial Assembly of Istria almost unanimously adopted a law on the construction of the Trieste-Poreč railway line with a possible extension to Kanfanar.
Summer 1895 – Preparation of studies for the construction of the railway.
10 May 1900 – Official start of works. The majority of local craftsmen and farmers, also with the help of many boys, participated in the construction of the railway, working from five in the morning to seven in the evening. The railway was completed in a record two years
1 April 1902 – The section from Trieste to Buje officially opened for traffic.
15 December 1902 – The section from Buje to Poreč opened for traffic.
15 April 1904 – Opening of the railway station at Portorož to encourage as much as possible the visits to the new bathing and spa centre.
19 July 1906 – Opening of the new St. Andrea Railway Station in Trieste.
31 March 1910 –The worst accident in the history of Parenzana. A strong bora wind overturned a train at Milje, past the bridge at Osp in Slovenia, in which three people died. Despite previous warnings, protection against the bora wind at critical points was constructed only after the accident.
1911 – Three locomotives of the P (P1, P2 and P3) series were bought for Parenzana, which replaced three locomotives of the U (U37, U38 and U40), transferred to other Austrian lines.
22 June 1917 – Accident in the section between Triban and Grožnjan due to the derailment of a heavy military train. The cause of the accident was never officially confirmed, but the talk was that it was provoked by Russian prisoners of war who unloosened the nuts on rail ties during the maintenance works.
24 May 1923 – Accident in the section between Livade and Oprtalj due to the non-compliance with speed limits. The engine driver Servolo Bonetti from Buje lost his life in the accident.
1 July 1924 – The line was included in the Italian rail network.
12 December 1934 – Last accident on the Parenzana. A large landslide overturned the train and pushed it down a rocky slope into the valley. The accident looked spectacular, but fortunately there were no casualties.
31 August 1935 – Last run of the train. Already in March, the Ministry of Communications announced that the railway line would be closed after the arrival of the last train to Trieste on 31 August 1935.
1 September 1935 – Road transport service with four lines started to operate, covering the area where until then transport was unthinkable without the Parenzana railway.
Today, the route of Parenzana runs through the territory of three countries. Italy – 13 km, Slovenia – 32 km and Croatia – 78 km.
The Slovenian part of Parenzana is fully paved and included in the network of cycle routes as the D8 cycle path. On the most attractive sections, such as the one between Koper and Izola, which runs along the embankment next to the shore, it is always congested with recreational cyclists, skaters, walkers and runners. The present route of the D8 cycling path has been changed slightly, since between Lucija and Seča, it runs along a bit longer but a more favourable route by the sea.
The Croatian part of the route is almost completely preserved and arranged in the entire length as a gravelled recreational trail, ideal for walking or riding a mountain bike. In the section between Buje and Vižinada there are seven shady tunnels and six viaducts, numerous resting places and lookout points. A small Parenzana museum has been opened at Livade.
Note: Due to rough surface in some places, the trail is suitable for mountain bikes, but not for road and trekking bikes.
Bike riding on Parenzana is at your own risk.