Taking a walk along the magical paths of the rich and tempestuous past, you will arrive at a noble interchange of civilizations on a piece of land whose cultural arboretum has been settled from the time of the Histrians, Celts, Romans and Lombards, over Byzantine, the Slavs and Venetians, to Franks and the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. With its autochthonous gods, its magical world of Glagolitsa, its unique musical scale, Istria is a land whose authenticity simply lures you. It is still a home of a fantastic world of kind giants sleeping on hillocks, mermaids singing in mild coves and diligent fairies who come out at night… What makes Istria so special? To begin with, let us recall the myth of the Argonauts. Chasing Jason and the golden fleece, the Colchians sailed to the coasts of Istria. Once they arrived, they never wished to return home again. There is something in its magic, like nowhere else in the Mediterranean.
Here you will find a town that, like Rome, lies on seven hills and boasts about its famous Arena. On one of its hills a tired Hungarian king wished to replace his lustrous attire for a simple monastic garment and die in holiness. The immortal Dante, inspired by its belvedere, wrote his verses. This is truly a land of wonders, thought Jules Werne as he wrote about the subterranean Pazin Pit in his novel “Matthias Sandorf”.
Be sure to look into the churches of Istria, enjoy the lively medieval frescos and the world of the amazing Glagolitic alphabet. Visit the place from which the fraile ballerina Carlotta Grisi started her career. Discover the window from which James Joyce, without truly comprehending the extent of his literary fame, daydreamed about the career of a tenor.
And then you might see why it is so special. Istria is an enchantress with thousand faces who has been seducing its visitors for many centuries.
Anyone who tastes even a small part of its joys will get the urge to visit it again!