The hamlet of Sevnica, population 5,000, sits right in the middle of the small, alpine nation of Slovenia, in a green valley along the Sava River, surrounded by pine-forested hills.
“It’s really an amazing climate,” chirps Lidija Ogorevc, a cheerleader-peppy tour guide here. “You should try our wine, our salami.”
She stops in front of a fenced-in building — not unattractive, but clearly closed.
“A cultural monument,” she declares.
This used to be the factory where Amalija Knavs, the mother of Melania Trump, designed children’s clothes decades ago, when Slovenia was still part of Yugoslavia.
The first lady, born Melanija Knavs, is a native of Slovenia — which, to many Slovenians’ frustration, is often confused with Slovakia, another tiny European country.
In Sevnica, where the first lady was raised, Ogorevc leads a tour that includes the first lady’s elementary school, the Communist-era apartment block where she first lived and the neighborhood where her parents still own a handsome, two-story, black-roofed white house. (Viktor and Amalija Knavs are often in the U.S.)
The five-hour walking tour, which costs about $90 for two, is one of several Melania-themed tours offered by the Sevnica municipality
Photos: Joanna Kakissis for NPR