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Croatia // Istria

Pazin

Istria

Thanks to its geographical position, on the coast of the Adriatic, and its natural environment of thick forests, Istria has an enjoyable climate all along the year, which makes of it a dream Croatian destination, suitable for all kind of voyages (familial, sportive, adventurous or historical).

The green meadows of Istria and its hills covered with olive trees and vineyards also attract the nature lovers. This region has a very good selection of wines, like 'Malvajiza', a renowned white wine. Istria is also renowned for its good vegetables, its pastry, its fish dishes and, most importantly, its truffles, white or black.

In Istria, heart-shaped peninsula also called the 'new Tuscany', it's worth taking the time to enjoy life.

Close to Pula, we can find the 14 islands which form theBrioni Archipelago, a national park with rare animal and vegetal species. This place inspired Marchal Tito who, after meeting the Egyptian and the Indian Presidents, Nasser and Nehru, built its summer residence here. The Natural Park of Učka (160 km2), with its peak, le Mount Učka (1401 m), the apex of Istria, which dominates the Kvarner Bay and offers, in good weather conditions, a panorama of 360°, including the Alpes and Venice.

From an historic point of view, during the Bronze Era the Illyriens came to this region. Among them, the Histriots gave the name of this peninsula. During the 15th century, the actual territory of Istria was divided between theRepublic of Venice (1420-1797), on the Coast, and the Habsburgs, with the hinterland. Included to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Istria became exclusively Austrian until 1918, Italian until 1945 and Yugoslavian until 1991, the year of Croatian independence.

On the coast, the main cities of Istria - historical meeting place between 3 people, Croatian, Itallian and Slovenian -, are Medulin, Novigrad, Porec, Rabac and Rovinj, also called the 'Croatian Venice'. Pula has its Roman amphitheater the second largest after the Colosseum in Rome. The Temple of Augustus, with marble columns and Corinthian capitols, its forum, dating from the 1st century BC and the ruins of its ancient theater.

In the hinterlands, we can find the cities and villages of Brtonigla, Liznjan, Pazin and also Labin, medieval city, mentioned under the name of Albona, since 285 and situated on a hill which overhangs Rabac, known for its entrance gates from the 15th century, its Renaissance Palace, its Baroque facades its museum, its classical music festival, its panorama (with a view over the islands of Cres), its enjoyable boutiques and terraces. For the archaeology lovers, the ruins of Kunci, dating from the Bronze Era, are to be found in the proximity of this city.