Motovun is one of the most beautiful and best-preserved old medieval hill settlements in Istria whose history dates back to the 12th century. Although today it is quite a small town with only 500 inhabitants, it has retained its original shape and traditional lifestyle that gives you a real experience of the original Istrian atmosphere. What makes Motovun and the surrounding area unique in the world and very well known among gourmets, is the fact that the nearby forests are full of hidden treasures: black and white truffles. The largest truffle in the world was found in the forests of Motovun Istria back in 1999. The white truffle found was 19.5 cm long, 12.4 cm wide, 13.5 cm high and weighed 1.31 kg.
In Motovun, you will also find several sights, a souvenir shop with homemade traditional products (grappa and truffles), several excellent coffee bars and restaurants, and a hotel.
It is best known for its film festival, which turns this otherwise sleepy town into a cultural and party center for a week every summer, and is something between Sundance and Glastonbury.
Below we bring you interesting places that you should not miss:
EXPERIENCE THE HISTORY OF THE MEDIEVAL CITY
1. The Church of St. Stephen - The Church of St. Stephen as we see it today was built from 1580 to 1614, while it took its final form in the 18th century. Precisely because of its recognizable shape, it is believed to have been designed according to the designs of one famous Venetian architect, Andrea Palladio.
2. Motovun Bell Tower - Motovun bell tower is the most recognizable part around the river Mirna and is in a way a symbol of this beautiful landscape. It is 27 meters high and was built in the 13th century. It served as the main watchtower.
3. Motovun City Walls - In the 11th and 12th centuries, the construction of walls and fortifications around the town of Motovun began. In the 13th century, the main rampart was further strengthened, so in the 15th century, Motovun was already formed into a solid, Gothic fortress as we see it today.
4. Communal Palace - Motovun Communal Palace is a romantic example of the architecture of one of the best-preserved public buildings of this type in all of Croatia.
5. Motovun Tower - Motovun Tower is also called the New Gate. As can be concluded, the tower has had a defensive function throughout history. Interestingly, the Motovun Tower is also connected to the adjacent lavish communal palace.
6. Two City Gates - Two city gates are a well-preserved example of medieval city walls. They are double because they form two defensive belts on the west side of the wall. The exterior has a lapidarium with ancient and medieval inscriptions and reliefs, while the interior is interesting due to its early Gothic style features.
RECREATION IN MOTOVUN AND ITS SURROUNDINGS:
1. Parenzana - Motovun Station - Parenzana is an old railway from 1902, that stretches for an incredible 123 kilometers, and in the past had the function of connecting the city of Trieste with Porec. Today, some of the most important places through which this railway passed have been transformed into well-kept bicycle and pedestrian trails, very popular among locals and tourists.
2. Motovun Tunnel Parenzana - The town of Motovun and its surroundings are full of natural beauty, so it is recommended that you enjoy exploring the area by walking or cycling on various landscaped and macadam roads. Motovun Tunnel is literally a tunnel through which you pass following the old railway Parenzana.
3. Paragliding Airfield in Motovun - Paragliding is one of the tourist activities for those full of adrenaline and eager for adventure. Namely, in 2012, a paragliding airfield was built in Motovun, which more and more people enjoy, because it gives unforgettable memories of experiencing Motovun and its surroundings from the air.
NATURAL BEAUTY AROUND MOTOVUN:
1. Lake Butoniga - This artificial reservoir - Butoniga, was built in 1988 to supply the surrounding area (all the way to Pula) with drinking water. Due to the characteristics of the lake, swimming and similar activities, as well as fishing are not allowed, except in early December, when there is an international competition in freshwater fishing.
2. Motovun Forest - Dense and large Motovun forest stretches through the fertile valley of the river Mirna. Here in the Motovun forests, in addition to enjoying beautiful walks, you can also embark on an adventure of searching for an expensive and unique white truffle, of course, accompanied by educated guides and trained search dogs.
3. Rakotule - Rakotule is a common name for several smaller villages and hamlets - a total of 12, near Motovun. Today, these picturesque settlements surrounded by greenery are idyllic for a vacation in nature, and recreation, the most popular of which are walking or cycling activities. In this way, you will see the beauties of Istria first hand, and you can find refreshments in one of the local taverns that will surprise you with indigenous recipes and excellent wine.