The sightseeing of Istria's hilltop towns begins with Motovun. Situated on a hill almost 900 ft above sea level with houses scattered all over the hill, it is a typical example of Venetian colonial architecture. In 13th century it fell under Venice and the solid walls were built around this little town to create a perfect defensive system. Walls are still intact today and used as a walkway with magnificent views of Ucka mountain and Mirna river valley. Motovun Forest that stretches along the Mirna River valley is a paradise for truffle hunters since they grow in the area in abundance.
Leaving Motuvun you will pass through Livade - the truffle center of the world and head to Oprtalj. It was mentioned for the first time in 12th century as a residence of feudal lords and artisans.Oprtalj and its' surroundings are very attractive for nature lovers, hikers, hunters and truffle collectors. In Oprtalj one can find many Renaissance and Middle Ages cultural heritage.
Next is the small town of Zavrsje. Its' historic center is a protected urban entity registered as Croatian cultural heritage. Among the preserved buildings are three churches, a castle, and the South Gate. Recognizable bell tower of the church is slightly leans towards the north, town's own version of the Leaning Tower. It was built during the Venetian rule as a tower and observation, and started to lean in 18th century, when it was studded with five metal rings.
Last on the tour comes Groznjan - the city of artists. In 1950's Groznjan was a ghost town when a group of painters, musicians and artists decided to renovate the houses and inhabit the place. Today most of the inhabitants are artists; nearly 200 of them. In the narrow, cobbled alleys you will find numerous galleries and art studios with handmade jewelry and other items. Musicians from all over the world meet in Groznjan and create a unique atmosphere. Its' location on the hill above Mirna valley features magnificent views of the sea on one side and Istrian inland and valley on the other side. At the end of the tour you will be dropped off at your hotel.
Sites Included: Motovun, Oprtalj, Zavrsje, Groznjan.
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