Believe it or not, Amal Clooney and Melania Trump have at least one thing in common: they’re women who seem to be beloved by the public more than their agurably more famous husbands. Just consider the latest the ode to Melania.
In the small town of Sevnica, Slovenia, population 5,000, its citizens are busy capitalizing on its most famous former resident. That denizen of whom we speak? The First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump. The former model grew up in these parts, and since she’s taken the American throne, its townspeople are charging $45 for walking tours to explore “cultural monuments” that greatly “impacted” her (or whatever). “Yes, she’s President Trump’s wife, and that’s what she’s known for, but we want to focus only on her,” Mayor Srecko Ocvirk remarked of their burgeoning tourism.
Demand for the walking tours has risen 30 percent since the beginning of the year, according to the municipality. Prior to Donald Trump’s presidency, the town was best known for its underwear factory and salami.
According to one NPR reporter who recently went on one of these tours, Melania maniacs will be taken to the factory where her mother designed children’s clothes. They’ll also visit her elementary school, the “Communist-era apartment block” where she grew up and the neighborhood where her parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, still own a sizeable two-story home.
Tourists are also taken to various bakeries and cafés around town, many of which have created menu items that too capitalize on the fame of Melania, who fled the country to pursue a modeling career. One of those edible items is the Melanija torte, a pastry made of white chocolate mousse, nuts and edible gold. Another, the “First Lady Apple Pie,” is a mix of Americana and Sevnicana. One castle in Sevnica even sells a First Lady-themed red wine.
NPR’s reporter also notes that citizens of Sevnica are careful not to criticize the First Lady—or her husband. The closest thing to an insult Joanna Kakissis experienced was one restaurant’s “President’s Burger,” which has fried yellow cheese on top of the bun to represent Donald’s hair and fiery pickles tucked inside—a metaphor for his “hot statements.”
Is this tour dumb? Yes, but this dumb tour is feeding Slovenia’s economy. Not to mention, you know Donald is fuming that he doesn’t have his own walking tour in Manhattan. So no judgement here—that’s just capitalism. The tour does seem silly though when you consider one fact: Melania herself hasn’t visited Sevnica in more than a decade.