5 Great Things in Istria Most Tourists Miss

By , 17 Mar 2017, 13:12 PM Travel

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Being a tourist in Istria usually means visiting the Arena in Pula or the historic centre of Rovinj, then having a good meal and a glass of wine on a terrace overlooking the sea. Since you've probably heard a lot about Istrian coastal cities, this list is here to turn your attention to central Istria and a couple of its landmarks that are really worth seeing.

1. Glagolitic Alley

Do you ever stop to think about the origins of the written word? A memorial called Glagolitic Alley serves as a beautiful testament to literacy spreading among the local population from the 12th century onwards. It's located between the towns of Roč and Hum and composed of eleven monuments that represent glagolitic letters; all the stops along the road provide information about the first printed books and related key figures in Istrian history.

2. Medieval graffiti

Whether you consider graffiti a type of urban art or a form of vandalism, they are widely thought to be a product of modern times. A rich array of frescoes in medieval chapels of central Istria proves otherwise – in some places, you'll find short notes scratched into the walls by priests and worshipers. Written in glagolitic alphabet, the inscriptions bear witness to historical events and often inspire a smile. A local favorite is UDRI MIHO (Get him, Mike!), a 500-year-old comment left on a painted scene of St. Michael attacking the devil in the church of St. Mary at Škriline in Beram.

3. Corpi Santi (Sacred Bodies) in Vodnjan

The parish church of St. Blaise in the city of Vodnjan boasts a famous collection of mysteriously preserved bodies of supposed saints. Neither embalmed nor hermetically encased, the relics have long been an interest of researchers who remain perplexed about their creation. This might be questionable territory considering that every other church in Europe claims to hold the sacred remains of the same people, but look at it this way – they are mummies. When your annoying colleague starts to brag about his visit to Egypt for a hundredth time, shut him down with this story about a fascinating local phenomenon.

4. Labin Art Republic

One of the magnificent hilltop towns in Istria, the historic Labin, turns into a whirlwind of colour, music and all-around joy during the summer. The manifestation is called Art Republic and usually takes place between July and September each year; the streets are packed with movie screenings, music shows, theatre plays and exhibitions. All events have free admission, resident artists open their studios to the public, and there's even a guided night tour around the centre if you're interested in myths and legends that constitute the history of this gorgeous place.

5. Boškarin

It would be nonsensical to delve into the topic of local food in general – instead, let us recommend something specific. Boškarin, also known as Istrian cattle, is a peaceful white giant that got dangerously close to extinction back in the 90s. Due to extensive farming projects, their number has been augmented in recent years and they are now raised mostly for production of meat. Gourmet shops throughout the region offer a range of products made from this particular type of beef, but if you really want to make your taste buds happy, walk into a restaurant and order boškarin steak, rare. Come back to thank us later.

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Croatia Traffic Info

  • Traffic is dense in cities and on their detour roads. During the day delays can be expected in roadwork areas. Drivers are invited to keep distance and to adjust the speed to road conditions. Tonight (29 May) 9pm-6am on the DC33 Šibenik-Drniš state road at Ploča tunnel one lane is free only. Till 2 June at 6am traffic is suspended on the A7 motorway on the section Hreljin-Šmrika in direction Krk and on the part Šmrika-Križišće in direction Zagreb. 30 May at 9am traffic is suspended for 15 minutes on Rijeka detour road at the exit of Rujevica junction. One lane is free only/traffic is flowing in reduced lanes on the following motorways:-A1 Zagreb-Split-Ploče in Brinje and Mala Kapela tunnels in both directions till 10 June; -A2 Zagreb-Macelj between Jankomir and Zaprešić junctions 1st-4th km, between Sveti Križ Začretje and Krapina junctions 38th-41st km in both directions; -A3 Bregana-Lipovac at Kutina-Ilova bridge (106th km), between Kutina and Novska (117th-120th km) in both directions, between Popovača and Križ junctions (79th-78th km) in direction Zagreb; -A4 Zagreb-Goričan - till 9 June traffic is suspended in the entrance lane of Kraljevečki Novaki from direction Sesvete and Dugo Selo towards Ivanja Reka junction, there is a local detour; in the roadwork area traffic is flowing in reduced lanes; -A6 Rijeka-Zagreb at Svilno viaduct 78th-80th km between Orehovica and Čavle junctions in each direction till 1 June. Due to roadworks traffic is suspended: -on the DC1 state road in Lučko (Zagreb); -on the DC8 Adriatic road at Posedarje; -on the DC6 state road, section Glina-Dvor border crossing, detour: Glina (DC37)-Petrinja-Hrvatska Kostajnica-Dvor; -on the DC47 Lipik-Novska state road at Jagma 7am-7pm. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only:-on the DC1 state road in Knin until 14 July; -on the DC1 state road at Klinča Sela, Tušilović and Mostanje; -on the DC8 Adriatic road on the section Kaštel Stari-Kaštel Gomilica, at Podstrana, on the section Zaton Doli-Bistrina; -on the DC66 Pula-Most Raša state road; -on the DC62 Veliki Prolog-Metković state road at Most Metković.
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  • Due to traffic density and occasional additional controls, during the day difficulties are possible at the border crossings with Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary. In outbound freight traffic there are delays at Macelj, Bregana (2 km, an hour) and Pasjak (40 minutes), in the inbound at Županja (30 minutes). Due to roadworks at Županja and Slavonski Brod border crossings delays can be expected. At Harmica border crossing traffic is allowed for vehicles up to 7,5 tonnes only.
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  • Ferries operate regularly.
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