The town of Bale is special and unique, just like any other small town in Istria, but it is hard to tell exactly why. There is no paved square in front of the town church in the center of the city. Instead, there’s a lawn with drying laundry, surrounded by dilapidated houses and a sturdy tower sticking out of it. In late October, the old town wrapped around a small hill is empty. Three or maybe four souvenir shops-cum-art galleries selling some sort of applied arts are closed. Business cards taped on the entrance indicate that the owners are living somewhere else. The owner of the hidden, cozy tavern right behind the main city gates claims that he removed the sign from the entrance so he would not have too much custom.