While the car rental was a bit of an extravagance it has worked out very well. We have been able to go into the old town a few times and explore the surrounding area.
Motovun was on our list. About forty minutes north of Rovinj we had visited a couple of times before and experienced some outstanding truffle meals. We were looking forward to our culinary experience. Just a few minutes outside the village we drove past a temporary tent city crowded with young people. We ventured further on and discovered the nearest parking was a significant walk from the village perched poetically on the hill and streams of people were headed in that direction. At first, we were mystified but then John realised it was the right time of the year for the very famous Motovun Film Festival and sure enough he was right. We decided there were other treasures we could discover. We headed to Groznjan.
Groznjan… John remembers the most bizarre things. Apparently, we had visited this village many years ago when it was an ‘artists’ colony’ and was quite derelict. He said that it developed significantly in recent years and fostered its artists and had become quite a musical village. We were following the GPS on John’s phone when we were directed on to a gravel road. We persevered. It was reassuring when after a few minutes we came across a couple of cars coming from the other direction. We could also see the village perched on the hill some kilometres away.
Suddenly we found ourselves in the middle of the village and scored a carpark metres away from a collectors’ market. Bonus!!! The wares for sale were interesting and varied- from beautiful oversized blown bottles to homemade textiles, antique knives and various bric-a-brac. We found unique stores and outlets for the famed Ziggante truffles and their product offshoots. Our hunger was rising. Then we spotted Bastia.
Perched above the small open-air theatre and adjacent to a medieval house was the restaurant terrace. In the heart of the Istrian truffle area we indulged. John had steak with white truffle and I had the truffle pasta accompanied by a delicious fresh salad and a hearty red wine. Just to add to our experience the sounds of an accomplished jazz pianist, a drummer and double base emanated from the windows above as they practised for the evenings jazz performance. We had arrived in the middle of a jazz festival.
John continues to surprise me. On our way to Groznjan we had come up the side of the hill by gravel road. John said he remembered doing the same thing years ago. It would have been about nine years ago. He also remembered that on leaving the village we travelled on a sealed road. Yeah sure John! We left the car park and saw a sign indicating the way out and towards Motavun. It was sealed. He was right.