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In the northern part of Istria, overlooking the Mirna River valley, lies surely the most famous and attractive Istrian medieval town of Motovun - Montona. Motovun is the best-preserved medieval fortress in Istria. Especially impressive is its location on a hill 277 meters high, from which you can enjoy a magnificent view of the picturesque landscape. The location was settled since Celtic times, but the town we know today was mostly built under Venetian rule in the Middle Age. Yet Motovun is more than its quaint architecture and the breathtaking view. It is the Croatian capital of truffles and hosts a famous Motovun Film Festival.

This captivating hilltop town is one of the characteristic symbols of the Istrian interior. The Romanesque-Gothic bell tower with a crenellated crown from the 13th century, standing next to the Parish Church of St. Stephen from the 17th century, dominates the town's historic core. In the central square is the Romanesque Municipal Palace, the largest secular building in Istria of that period surrounded by many other historic buildings.

Local legends say that a long time ago giants dwelled in Istria, and built a number of old Istrian towns, including Motovun. This inspired famous Croatian writer Vladimir Nazor for one of his most popular novels, whose title character is kind-hearted giant Veli Jože. He works as a serf for the citizens of Motovun, who exploit and mistreat him, leading him to pursue freedom.

For a while, Motouvun was the residence of Austrian forester and inventor Josef Ressel, known for the invention of ship propeller. A story claims he got the idea for it by watching propeller-shaped maple seeds flying in the Motovun forest. Be it true or not, Ressel is the reason Motovun Film Festival adopted propeller as its main symbol and the name of its main award.


Hum is a city-monument, one of the rare examples of urban development within the preserved city walls and two small streets with three rows of houses. It is situated in the center of Istria with barely 20 inhabitants.

According to the legend, Hum was built with the stones left over when giants were building towns in the river Mirna valley, an area in central Istria that includes wonderful hill towns such as Motovun, Roc and Bale. Despite its small number of residents Hum has preserved the old ritual 'Election of the prefect for a year' when all the men from the parish gather at the Municipal Loggia (town hall) to elect the village superior by carving their votes into a wooden stick.

Apart from being famous for being the smallest city in the world, recently Hum became popular for biska, a brandy spiced with mistletoe and made according to an old recipe originating from Hum. Every year at the end of October, the Grappa festival takes place here, presenting brandy producers from all over Istria.

Glagolitic Lane

A significant and exceptional monument complex commemorating Glagolitic heritage was erected in 1977 along the road from Roč to Hum. The Glagolitic Lane is a project of the Chakavian Parliament (Čakavski sabor). The author of the entire concept is Zvane Črnja, and it was realized through the work of prof. dr. Josip Bratulić and sculptor Želimir Janeš.

The beginning of the Lane is at the foot of Roč hill with the first monument – Pillar of the Chakavian Parliament. This monument in the form of the Glagolitic letter S symbolizes the first Slavic script and the beginnings of Slavic literacy. The remaining ten memorial sites are: Table of Cyril and Methodius, Chair of Kliment of Ohrid, Belvedere of Gregory of Nin, Glagolitic Lapidarium, Gorge of the Croatian Lucidar, Gradient of the Survey of Istrian Land Boundaries, Wall of Croatian Protestants and Heretics, Resting-area of Juri the Deacon, Monument of Resistance and Freedom and Hum Gates.

Museum of Hum Aura

The Museum of Hum Aura is a museum of old crafts that show Istria's past, customs and tradition. The permanent exhibition of the Museum of Hum Aura consists of almost 1500 exhibits, carefully arranged in 11 themed rooms: old pharmacy, school, post office, shop, distillery, shoemakers, carpentry and tailoring shop, Glagolitic and frescoes rooms.


Combine a day-trip to Hum with visits to the small picturesque village of Kotli, which has experienced a new revival after being completely desolated, and is known for its charming water-mills and waterfall.

Although it consists of only fifteen or so house, the old village of Kotli is one of the most attractive vacation resorts in central Istria. It is located east of Buzet in the valley of the River Rečina, which after connecting with the rivulet Draga, continues to flow as the River Mirna, the longest and most known Istrian river. Rečina is the official name of the river, by which it is marked on most maps, but the people who live in the valley call it Mirna. In spring, when the snow starts to melt on Učka and Ćićarija, and after the rains, it fills with water, and during the summer, after long droughts, it can completely disappear.

In past centuries, Kotli was the biggest and wealthiest village in the Hum area – Humstina, with more than hundred inhabitants. Today, Kotli is alive only "on paper" – in the last census in 2001, it was recorded that there is only one inhabitant.

The village of Kotli is a green oasis, in the former kingdom of mills. There were 60 mills in function, of which only one is still working today. Once upon a time, this village was one of the strongest economical regions in the Hum municipality, known for its tailors and millers. Even today, visitors can see the old mill that defies time.


The medieval town of Grožnjan - Grisignana, a small Istrian town of great cultural significance not only in Croatia but also internationally, lives its summer months very intensely. A hillock surrounded by terraced olive groves and vineyards is actually a sandstone elevation formed by the down-cutting action of two streams, Kanistran and Pistion, on the ground. Grožnjan offers a view of twenty or so surrounding Istrian villages, the valley of the river of Mirna and the sea from Novigrad to Umag. Small closely built houses and the castle are a clear testimonial to its medieval past and almost every doorway has a story to tell about the ancient Graeciniana.

Grožnjan is at its most exciting in early May, when this otherwise sleeping town is metamorphosed into a noisy stage paced by actors, musicians, painters, sculptors and art lovers. During summer, Grožnjan lives and breathes music, the labyrinth of its streets pervaded by the sounds of jazz and classical music, guitars and pianos, violins and violoncellos, children and adults. Its artistic revival began in 1965, when artists from all over the world inhabited the empty houses abandoned by Italians after WWII.

Owing to this somewhat "hippy" project, Grožnjan is now home to some twenty galleries and art studios, known as the "town of artists" both among the locals and the tourists. Valuable works of art can be found, from wonderful antique furniture to works of young painters. The doors of all galleries are open almost non-stop. Artists, owners and tourists, all sit together on stone benches or on the street, with a glass of good homemade brandy, talking about some other world. A world in which life seems simple, easygoing and calm, almost like in an utopian dream, with people dancing and smiling while the music plays, enjoying sunsets and sunrises.


Višnjan is scenic and picturesque small town and municipality in the western part of Istria. It is located on top of a small hill, 244 m above sea level, surrounded by meadows, fields, and forests of oak and hornbeam. Višnjan name derives from the Latin word Vicinianus, which means near. In the past Višnjan was the closest town to Poreč. It was first mentioned in the 11th century and until the 18th century was surrounded by walls, which were built during the rule of the Venetian Republic. Today, the municipality of Višnjan has as many as 46 smaller settlements in which lives 2,187 inhabitants. The population is mostly engaged in agriculture and cultivation of olive trees, grapevines, fruit, and cattle breeding (famous Istrian cattle Boškarin).

Tourism is developing recently, thanks to the rich cultural and musical events, colorful cuisine, unspoiled nature and vicinity to the western coast of Istria. Višnjan is best known at home and abroad by Višnjan observatory, famous for the discovery of many asteroids. Near Višnjan is attractive cave Baredine, a phenomenon of this region which is suited for tourist visits. The ideal way to discover surroundings of Višnjan and its natural beauty are bike trails, such as the famous Star trek in the length of 29 kilometers.

Walking from the sun-dial in the Antun Korlević Park towards the old part of Višnjan you can experience the spirit of the rich historical heritage of this town. Every stone, every town corner will speak about its history and every family can tell you a legend or a true story about this small town. Passing along the cobblestone street at the foot of the hill, you will see the Gothic chapel of St. Anthony the Abbot (Sv. Anton) from the 15th century. This street leads you to the town gate decorated with a relief of the Venetian lion from 1517 with the town’s pride hiding behind it - the old town square. Partly surrounded by town walls built in the 13th and 14th century the square is adorned by a 27 meter high bell-tower, 18th century Municipal loggia, water-well and the Parish church of SS. Quiricus and Julita (Sv. Kvirik i Julita) dating from the 19th century.


Chiavalon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Chiavalon is the most awarded Istrian and Croatian EVOO. From grandfather to grandson, tradition and technology combined to produce something great. Years of sacrifice of the whole Chiavalon family, hard work, and above all, a passion for the Istrian red soil and olive trees has led them to become one of the best producers of “liquid gold” in the world.

Buža, Bianchera (Istrian Bjelica), Carbonazza (Crnica), Moražola and Rožinjola (Rosulja) are olive varieties that have been planted in Istria and the area of Vodnjan for centuries. Chiavalon family has continued this tradition in order to show everyone the richness of this area.

Currently, Chiavalon has altogether 9,000 olive trees on their estate, mostly autochthonous olive sorts, and there are also several contracted cultivators for an additional 5,000 trees.

The entire production is under certified ecological supervision. The extra virgin olive oil bears the Organic Label, as well as the Protected Designation of Origin, which both guarantee and ensure that this is certified 100% organic extra virgin olive oil from Istria.

B10 Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Family Galić stands behind the brand B10 First Night. B stands for Biloslavi, their village near Parenzana, and 10 stands for the year 2010 when they had the first harvest in restored old olive groves. The family produces monocultivar oils and the blend B10 Fusion.

Family Galić is particularly proud of the restored old trees, which have been lost and forgotten in forests, and now again produce fine olive oil, like 100 years ago. They grove traditional varieties like Istarska bjelica, Karbonaca or Rosinjola, as well as international varieties like Leccino, Frantoio or Ascolana Tenera.

They firmly believe that natural, organic cultivation results in healthy food, including olive oil. The olive groves are settled on southeastern and southwestern slopes, surrounded by forests and meadows, at altitude between 100 and 300 m above sea level. The olive oil is produced in the best mills in the surroundings in line with organic standards and can be sampled in the Oleoteque, with a fantastic view on lstria and the Adriatic Sea.