Sunday, February 7, 2010

Motovun, in the heart of Istria

 Recently I stumbled upon some older photos taken almost 20 years ago, when my husband and I still lived in Croatia. It was June 1991, and the seeds of a bloody war that would sweep my country were already planted. We just got married and went for our honeymoon to the town Poreč
at the northern part of the Adriatic coast. On our way back we stopped at the heart of the Istria peninsula and spent a day at Motovun, a very old, Medieval picturesque small town placed on a steep hill, overlooking the lush green fields, vineyards and hills of this area known as the "Croatian Tuscany". There are many mythical stories of this area, many about the giants that lived here long ago. The Croatian writer Vladimir Nazor wrote the novel "The tale of  Veli Jože": it features a helpful and good-natured giant
 named Jože, living in the area around the town of Motovun and helping people. I remember reading it as a kid and imagining a giant roaming around the lands.
There is so much history packed in this tiny place, that every stone has a story to tell. It's a great inspirational place for artists and writers and there is a plenty of them at any time of the year. It's so peaceful and such a quiet place, packed with calming energy.
Since '99 there is an International Film festival organized there
I can only imagine how it looks when thousands of people occupy the towns streets and main square.
I would still opt to visit in more quiet time, wander around and take a zillion photographs,  hoping I can catch a image of a giant somewhere in the valleys below.
When the night falls I would indulge in some famous Istrian truffles,  and after a glass or two of Malvasia vine, visit some old tales in my dreams.