For just less than a year, a Slovenian who grew up in Sevnica has been America’s First Lady. Interest in the town where Melania Trump grew up was particularly intense when Donald Trump became President. This year, the number of visitors to Sevnica has increased, mostly thanks to people interested in Melania Trump’s hometown.
It’s a beautiful, sunny morning when we meet tour guide Janez Levstik in front of the Sevnica Elementary School. This is the first stop of the Wise First Lady Tour. “Melania went to school here, and graduated with honors,” he starts the tour.
The trail proceeds from the school to the pastry shop, where the now-famous Melania Cake is served. “It’s excellent; made specifically to carry her name.” We move from one delicacy to another: pie. “Pie originates in the United States, but this one has a Sevnica flavor because it’s made with a local variety of apples.”
We proceed past the apartment building where Melania lived as a child and head to the shoemaking factory, the home of White House slippers. “We made the silver ones first and gave them to Melania as a present.” Finally, we head up to Sevnica Castle, an imposing building from the 12th century. A souvenir shop here sells First Lady-branded items: chocolate, wine, creams, tea, and so on. “This year, the number of curiosity-seekers who came here to learn about Sevnica, the home of the First Lady, has doubled.”
The prediction made by the Mayor of Sevnica that Melania will put the town on the world map, is apparently slowly coming true. “It’s obvious that Melania has helped to promote Slovenian tourism on the world stage and that we are well-represented in all of the world’s media. The increase in visitors is noticeable here in Sevnica,” said the town’s Mayor Srečko Ocvirk.
When Trump was elected, the famous Sevnica native was invited to visit her place of birth, but she has yet to make the visit.
Source: RTVSLO.si | Barbara Štor, TV Slovenia; translated by J. B.