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

  • Due to smoke reducing visibility on the A1 motorway 126th-128th km between Žuta Lokva and Otočac junctions the speed has to be reduced to 60 km/h. Weather conditions are mostly favourable. During the day difficulties can be expected in roadwork areas. Drivers are invited to keep distance and to adjust the speed to road conditions. The headlights have to be on during the day as well. One lane is free only/traffic is flowing in reduced lanes on the following motorways:-A2 Zagreb-Macelj between Zaprešić and Zabok junctions 20th-18th km in both directions; -A3 Bregana-Lipovac between Kutina and Novska junctions 106th-108th km, 118th-121st km in both directions; -A4 Zagreb-Goričan in Hrastovec tunnel in both directions; -A6 Rijeka-Zagreb at Svilno viaduct 78th-80th km between Orehovica and Čavle junctions in each direction till 1 June; -A8 in Istria on the section Lupoglav-Učka tunnel. Roadworks on the A4 Zagreb-Goričan motorway (Zagreb detour road): - 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; - till 26 April traffic is suspended in the exit lane of Popovec junction from direction Goričan towards Popovec, detour for direction Vrbovec-Popovec: Sveta Helena junction (A4)-Sveta Helena-DC3 Goričica-Belovar-Žerjavinec-Soblinec-Popovec junction, for direction Goričan (A4)-Sveta Helena: Komin junction (A4)-DC3-Sveti Ivan Zelina-Donja Zelina-Žerjavinec-Soblinec-Popovec. Lepenica rest area (at 57th km) on the A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorway is closed till 15 June, the previous rest area and petrol station is the one Ravna Gora (at 30th km), the next one Cernik-Čavle (17,8 km away from Lepenica). Due to roadworks traffic is suspended: -on the DC1 state road in Lučko and Stupnik (Zagreb); -on the DC8 Adriatic road at Posedarje till 10 April; -on the DC6 state road, section Glina-Dvor border crossing, detour: Glina (DC37)-Petrinja-Hrvatska Kostajnica-Dvor; -on the DC25 Lički Osik-Karlobag state road (at 40th km) 8am-3pm till 24 March. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only:-on the DC1 state road at Tušilović and Mostanje; -on the DC1 Sinj-Klis Grlo state road at Dicmo; -on the DC8 Adriatic road at Poličnik, on the section Kaštel Stari-Kaštel Gomilica, at Podstrana, on the section Zaton Doli-Bistrina, at Srebreno; -on the DC66 Pula-Most Raša state road; -on the DC75 Poreč detour road, section Vrvari-Bijela; -on the DC62 Veliki Prolog-Metković state road at Most Metković. 15 November 2016-15 April 2017 winter equipment is mandatory on the winter sections of the state roads in Croatia (it includes four winter tyres or four summer tyres with chains ready for use).
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  • In both directions passenger traffic is dense at Slavonski Brod. In outbound freight traffic there are delays at Bajakovo - the queue is 3 km long. 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 according to timetable.
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