STA, 22 February 2021 - A predominantly Slovenian group of landowners in San Dorligo della Valle/Dolina municipality in Italy has reclaimed ownership of large tracts of lands under a landmark judgement recently handed down by an Italian court, a development seen as creating significant economic opportunities.
Based on new documents dated to the early 20th century, the Dolina "srenja", a kind of self-governing community of landowners, managed to reverse a 1931 court verdict under which the land had been made public property, the Trieste-based Primorski Dnevnik reports.
The srenja managed to prove that they were the rightful owners of the land, and not the municipality. The judgement affects 88 plots of land stretching over 233 hectares, some of it in the picturesque Glinščica Valley.
Over the years some of the land has been repurposed for infrastructure such as roads, which is why the srenja and the municipal authorities will now determine which of the plots will be assigned to the municipality and which will be left over for the landowners.
The two largest organisations representing the Slovenian minority in Italy, the Slovenian Cultural and Economic Union (SKGZ) and the Council of Slovenian Organisations (SSO) welcomed the decision in a joint statement.
They said it "opens a new chapter and has potentially positive effects" as the land may now be used for farming, forestry and tourism.
"But more than that, it returns the land to the original owners [...] who will now be able to manage it to the benefit of the home community."