Dates: May 2013
Route: Drove from Rovinj.
Perched on top of a hill in the middle of the Istrian countryside, Motovun is a quaint medieval village that is well worth the visit. It is about 28 miles (45 km) from Rovinj and allows you to explore the interior of the province. The main village is surrounded by the ancient walls of what was once a castle town and a beacon for the farming communities around. This region is known for its good wine and there are views of many vineyards from the old fort walls. Motovun is far enough away from the beach and seaside towns for it to remain relatively hidden. It is a very small town and you can leisurely walk from one end to the other in under an hour. But the real magic of the village is the completely chilled out feeling that permeates one’s body the minute you walk into the main street leading into the heart of the old fort. Birds chirping, clouds lazily floating by, and the general lack of people make this sun-kissed location all that much more peaceful.
There are a small number of shops with friendly locals selling all the gastronomic delights the area is known for. Truffles are harvested year around and as is or infused in oils, salts, and sauces. We sat in a small restaurant overlooking the landscape below and had a cheese plate with truffle tapenades and locally harvested olives. The olive oil is recognized as some of the best in the world and we found it to be excellent. The local wines fall into the Malvasian whites or the Teran reds, both of which pair very well with the local dishes. We unfortunately did not stay the night (definitely planned for a future visit) but we would go back to stay at the lovely Hotel Kaštel. Set inside an ancient walled square just inside the city gates, the charming hotel takes you back to the medieval times which Motovun resonates with. We are quite sure that it would be an incredibly romantic place to stay the night.
(Click on gallery images below for details)