Motovun is mall town on north south Istria in Croatia. It is on the road from Buje to Buzet and there is a kingdom of truffles.
New York Times describes Motovun as “Tuscany as it once was.” Although this tag may be a bit too often swinging, but this old town on the hill is really true pearl of Istria.
Under the Motovun on Mirna River sailed mythical Jason and the Argonauts, and the first residents who have left their marks are filled with this region between 3500 and 2,200 BC. Cr. The first mention of the town of Motovun is found in a document from the 804th year, and after a century of government Germans and Aquileia patriarch of Motovun asked Venice in 1278 to take Motovun under its authority and under which he remained until 1797. At the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in this area they were preparing special wood for shipbuilding.
Around 500 souls live in the place in the Istrian hinterland with a magnificent view of the surrounding vineyards, hills and the river Mirna. The old town walls of Motovun with narrow steep streets which is really not suitable for high heels, gives a town a special charm.
If the Motovun in Croatia was former fortress, then the residence of the Porec bishops and patriarchs of Aquileia, later known primarily as the best preserved medieval fortress of Istria, today his character is built on tourism and film festival, which begins here in 1999.
The Romanesque-Gothic bell tower of the 13th century dominates the Motovun. In the central square is the Romanesque Municipal Palace, the largest secular building in Istria of that period surrounded by many other historic buildings. Motovun has long been a very attractive and popular tourist destination. There are several apartments and guest houses and also Hotel Kastel is located in a former palace of the family Polesini.
Motovun forest, which stretches along the Mirna River valley, is especially rich in truffles, the underground fungus believed to be an aphrodisiac. Istrian white truffles, whose season lasts from September to December are said to be the finest beside Italian and French truffles.
Opposite Motovun stands the charming picturesque town of Oprtalj-Portole and Livade, famous for the Days of Truffles are held from September to November. Livade, which is known as the World’s truffle center, is organized each year a special festival with a selection of the largest truffle. If you are able to visit this event you want regret it.
Because of the value and attractiveness of medieval fortresses and favorable climate Motovun becomes more and more attractive tourist destination. Place combines a distinctive way of life but also an abundance of possibilities and activities for good holidays. The stunning and unique landscapes in the ecologically clean environment are encouraged to return to health and own pleasure. This is a paradise for lovers of nature and adventure. There are beautiful walking and cycling paths on the old railroad called Parenzana and the most unique and attractive paragliding over medieval town of Motovun in Croatia.
Honey is the food for healthy and the sick, in all periods of life and all seasons. It can be used to strengthen the body, or as a sweetener and a food supplement. It empowers, strengthens masculinity and contributes to fertility. It is believed that it is the aphrodisiac. It is found in the folk tradition in connection with the worship of gods and rulers celebration. Honey is produced by bees. They accumulate nectar from the plants.
Honey production, the most famous bee products, began in April when collecting fruit honey and dandelion honey. In May, beekeepers with their hives go in search of kilograms of sweet honey.
Istrian honey is thanks to the hard work of beekeepers, also known as a high quality product that you can buy at the original beekeeping households. They also offer you honey tasting to decide which honey is perfect for you.
Honey producers in Istria produce acacia, sage, chestnut and meadow honey, flavoured honey, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds in honey, honey sweets and honey brandy, known medica. But that’s not all, at honey points they will teach you about beekeeping and get you familiar with the production of propolis, royal jelly and wax. Honey has long been used in Istrian households as food and medicine that people are finding in nature.
It is known as beekeeping has always been present in all of Istria, especially in its central and northern part. It is after all written by travel writer Baron Valvasor IV at the end of the 17th century. He is describing Pazin region as centre of Istrian beekeeping. He also mentioned how in this picturesque area in Croatia has a variety of bee hives and hard working beekeepers who already jug substantial amounts of high-quality honey. We learned, however, that the first beekeeping society in Istria, according to official figures, founded in 1907 in the town of Pazin.
Istrian beekeeping is in spite of everything, still on the rise as regards the number of beekeepers and hives, and thus the quality of honey. Accounts that today in Istria there are about 400 active beekeepers that have about 13,500 hives and bee colonies.
Istrian honey is high quality. The best honey does not contain more than 18.6% water. The ratio between the sugars is depending on the types of honey, however also from the efficiency enzymes. Since is fructose in water better soluble as glucose, floral honey will crystallized a lot earlier than eg. Acacia honey. Crystallization of honey is namely completely natural phenomenon, which does not cause any chemical changes, also, however does not affect its quality. Crystallized honey we can liquify, in a water bath, but we need to watch, that his temperature does not exceed 40 ° C. Otherwise we will damage or even destroy some of its ingredients, such as enzymes, hormones, vitamins etc…
If we put honey in boiling water it will lost it’s biologically value but still, can be useful as a sweetener. Therefore we do not give it in the too hot tea. We add honey to various dishes (sauces, vegetables, and meat dishes), sweets, meat dishes, vegetable dishes and much more.
The use of honey:
- Strengthen the body, especially after illness
- It is a sweetener
- It is fast you energy
- Relieving everyday ailments,
- It promotes growth of bones and teeth in children and it has antibacterial properties and helps protect the body against various diseases.
Speaking with many beekeepers, we learned that in Istria is more or less all beekeeping products are eco-products, as part of various flowers and plants, and trees, and medicinal supplements bees. The relevant experts say it is still the most important characteristics of Istrian honey Istrian that their products are environmentally friendly.
Wild asparagus is one of the most reputed spring delicacies, which, moreover, has a real treasure trove of minerals and antioxidants.
If you never try and wild asparagus is now the right time to visit Istria and do a tour in which you can pick them and taste wild asparagus and you’ll also find out all about their beneficial health effects.
Wild asparagus are to the first spring vegetable. They grow only in an unspoiled environment with clean atmosphere. They pull out of the ground only the best nutrients that allows them to rapidly grow while the rest of the nature just waking up from hibernation.
Wild asparagus grow freely in nature, forest edges, among the bushes, where we found them. Their stems are much thinner than cultivated; it is because their nutrition value is much higher. Richer mainly with minerals and vitamins, they tend to grow on minerals richer soil than those cultivated.
Picking wild asparagus is not the easiest task, but for many torments crawling all over sludge and inept, with snakes inhabited terrain, where they usually grow is to be paid. It is an extremely healthy plant with a specific, slightly harsher flavor of asparagus.
Asparagus where known in the ancient Roman time. Experts like to recommend for a variety of diets, especially with urinary problems and kidney problems. They help with treatment and detoxification of our bodies, are excellent antioxidant, and also the route are valid for aphrodisiac
Wild asparagus, botanical A. acutifolius is an herbaceous perennial that each spring keeps the shoots, which people gather for food for thousands of years. Already at the time of the Romans was highly prized, very soon and there were already cultivated forms of asparagus. In the past, appreciate especially one trait – they were convinced that asparagus is due to the shape of the shoot very strong aphrodisiac. Nowadays, we know that the asparagus, especially wild is rich in phosphorus, sulfur, calcium, magnesium, as well as iron, copper, zinc, manganese, fluorine, iodine and vitamins; vitamin C, B complex and Vitamin A, and many antioxidants.
In folk tradition are especially important because it purifies the blood and help with urinary tract disease. The usefulness of the bladder and kidneys are asparagus attributed due to the unpleasant smell of urine that occurs when you eat asparagus. This smell does not detect all, but who knows how ignorant pretty flush. Scientists have proved that asparagus is really healing; in the opinion of some would even solvents kidney stones.
Picking wild asparagus, due to their sites can be quite frustrating task. It is best that evokes rubber boots, heavier pants; for picking are also useful gloves and stick with which drive away the snakes. Wild asparagus, usually found at the edge of forests and bushes. Often they rest well along the way.
The most common way of preparing wild asparagus is fritaja (omelette) with eggs that may have been added bacon, in soups or as an accompaniment. Asparagus is often put in vinegar, brine or olive oil.
Truffle hunter is a person who with the help of a dog or any other animal for finding truffles looking for truffles. Truffles grow underground, so to find them, you need to have an animal that has a very keen sense of smell. They are trained from a very early. The first meeting of a puppy dog to smell and taste of truffles is when they rubbed the chest of mother dog with truffle oil, where a puppy drinks milk from his mother.
In Croatia, where truffles are found in Istria, many locals earn some extra money in hunting truffles. A person who is professionally in the hunt for truffles or truffle hunter usually own one or more dogs. In the past, truffles were also searched by pigs, but today are rarely used because it is easier to train the dogs and also with them to go into the wood. As well as pigs find truffles rapidly they eaten them, which is not the objective of truffle hunter.
To search for truffle, truffle hunter uses a variety of breeds of dogs. The only breed of dog that is declared as a breed to search for truffles Lagotto Romagnolo is. Lagotto Romagnolo breed comes from the Italian Romagna (today Emillia-Romagna). The name means “Lake Dog” and derives from the word “interpretation”, which means lake. At first he was Lagotto hunting dog, pointer; in particular, has proven to be the bearer of feathered shot out of the water. Today’s breed Lagotto Romagnolo dogs are due to targeted selection and breeding ideal for finding truffles on a variety of terrain and conditions all year. During the search with truffle hunter, the scent of wild animals and other dogs generally do not distract. He is loyal, helpful, loving, strongly attached to his master and family and very receptive to learning. Properly socialized dog coexists nicely with other dogs and pets.
Truffles grow in symbiosis with seven or eight tree species, especially the oaks, poplars, white and black beech, and hazelnuts. If no one picks them up, they are eaten by worms, flies, mice or wild pigs. In particular, the latter like sweetened with them, because they are full of protein. Some are just below the surface, grow, five or seven inches deep, and could be dug with a hoe.
Truffle hunters, as they say searchers in Istria, do not do this because it would destroy the mycelium and at this point would no longer grow new truffles. As already mentioned in Istria in Croatia, there are a lot of people who are truffle hunter, which can be a very lucrative business. Some truffles reach the price of several thousand Euros. However, these are relatively rare truffles.
Work of truffle hunter is very fluctuating. If the season is good and there are also favorable weather conditions, then it is also a good income. However, if the weather is bad, if too much or too little moisture, then it may be the season is very bad and therefore also benefit is bad. For the truffle hunting is the most appropriate morning when in the air is enough humidity.
Truffle hunter tends to sell its daily collected truffles for further processing or sell the whole truffle to truffle lovers and particularly to restaurants, whose specialties then pamper their guests. Of course, the best taste and smell has fresh truffles, which are used as soon as it is obtained from the truffle hunter.
In Croatia, Istria in detail, it should be around 1300 truffle hunter looking for different types of truffles throughout the year. The most important part of the season is from May onwards. White truffle, which is more expensive than black they grow especially in autumn, when the Istrian forests is full of truffle hunter. In Croatia, with its businesses truffle industry has mastered by Giancarlo Zigante, who excavated the largest truffle in the world, weighing 1310 grams and with this came in the Book of Records.
Istria tours are one of the best experiences that you will ever try. You have a lot of different activities which are included in Istria tours such as: wine tasting, truffle hunting, cycling, hiking, olive oil tasting, and honey tasting and so on. If you are planning to visit beautiful Istria it is not important if it is winter or summer time. You will always find a plenty of things to do.
For those who are wine lovers should try one of Istria tours which offer wine tasting in beautiful Istria inland. You will be surprised how many vineyards and wine cellars have Istria. Istria is home of delicious wines like malvasia, muscat, teran, merlot and many others. Many wine cellars are open for tourists and wine tasting. And you can also buy bottle of best Istria wine to bring it home with you.
Istria is also very good for food lovers who enjoy fresh homemade food from typical Istria kitchen. If you recognize yourself in this sentence you should try one of gourmet Istria tours. You will enjoy in tasting typical Istria food like truffles, wild asparagus, boskarin (meat) and sea food. You can also try olive oil tasting from local producer in Istria which is famous by one of the best olive oil producer.
Istria has a lot of historical sites which dates in Roman and Greek times and also in other parts of our history. There are several historical sites like towns, villages, monuments and I am pretty sure that history lovers will love one of that kind Istria tours. Towns like Motovun, Grožnjan and Visnjan are very well preserved and you will also enjoy amazing views over the Istria valleys and vineyards from top hills.
If you like sport there are plenty of activities in Istria that you can try. One of the best is cycling in Istria Inland where you will enjoy your recreation between vineyards, forests, hills, medieval towns and many other amazing things that Istria can offer you. You can try this by your own or you can pick up one of the organized cycling Istria tours.
Hiking is also one of very popular things to do in Istria. Narrow hills, valleys and never-ending roads and paths will take you to most beautiful experience in Istria. You will meet friendly local people who will offer you their own wine to drink. So on one of hiking Istria tours you will get right impression of Istria and how people live in that part of the world.
Istria has a lot of offer. There are so activities that you will only have the possibility to try it on few places in the world. In Istria there is one of those activities. It is truffle hunting. You will hunt truffles with local people and their dogs which are trained to find truffle hidden under the surface. This is unique experience and you want regret if you try it. There are some people who offer this experience but only few of them are good. Some of those who offer truffle hunting will put truffles under the ground before you will start to hunt and the experience will not be real. So if you decide to go for it contacts us to help you to get real experience in one of the best Istria tours.