Pula is about three thousand years old. It is a city with pre-ancient traces collected in the legend of the seafarers Argonauts who arrived here from the distant shores of the Black Sea carrying with them the stolen Golden Fleece. The people of Colchis, wearied by their pursuit and hopeless because of the unreturned Golden Fleece decided to found Pula.
The greatest number of preserved monuments in Pula date from the Roman times, such as the magnificent Gate of Hercules, Temple of Augustus, Triumphal Arch of the Sergi (Golden Gate), Twin Gate… The most imposing monument – sixth by size, and by shape certainly the most beautiful in the world – is the Pula amphitheater, popularly called the Arena, dating from the 1st century BC. The Arena, which was once the site of gladiator fights, place where the first Christians were tortured, among them St. German, today is the venue for concerts and programs of the Pula Film Festival.
Brijuni National Park is an oasis of the magnificent harmony between man, animal and plant life. There are almost 700 plant species and about 250 bird species on the islands, whereas the mild Mediterranean climate makes it a pleasant health resort. After leaving Fažana, the line of green islands viewed from the boat, transforms into Veliki Brijun, the largest of the 14 islands.
Rovinj, the town whose beauty dominates above the sea, is surely one of the most famous “nests of stone” in the Adriatic. It is also referred to as the town of St. Euphemia, saint and martyr, whose body appeared on the Rovinj shores in 800. Today it is kept in a stone sarcophagus in the parish church of SS. George and Euphemia, whereas the church bell tower is topped by a bronze statue of St. Euphemia. Until 1763 the historic core was an islet, which was then connected to the mainland. Rovinj has a very long fishing tradition, so it has the Museum of “batane” boats, dedicated to the traditional and characteristic flat-bottomed square-sterned fishing boats.
Motovun forest is also part of the mentioned story, but many natural beauties as well. This region is especially known for the subterranean tuberous mushrooms, and the key to a successful truffle hunt are Istrian truffle-hunting dogs known as truffle-trackers. Truffles are a true delicacy in the gastronomic offer of Istria. During the traditional event “Truffle Days” the largest and most impressive truffle is chosen in the village Livade. There is also a truffle-hunting demonstration organized for visitors.
Heading from Livade along hairpin bends that offer a breathtaking view of the surroundings we arrive in the old town Oprtalj, and then further on to Grožnjan, the town of music and the International Cultural Center of Jeunesses Musicales Croatia. This entire area is famous for its fine wines, wine trails and gastronomic offer of agritourism, inns and taverns.
Just like it was in the past, today Poreč is the see of the Poreč-Pula diocese. It has one of the oldest Bishop’s Palaces in the world, which houses the Diocesan museum of sacral art. However, one of the most famous religious structures in Croatia and the entire Adriatic is the magnificent Basilica of Euphrasius, called Euphrasiana. Its mosaics from the 6th century have inspired generations and generations over the centuries with their striking beauty of motifs and splendid harmony.