Right in the middle of Europe. Comes in green and blue. The largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea is Istria - a region tucked away next to Italy and a reminder of old Tuscany. Before it was invaded by tourists and iPads.
In Istria the population is small and the food culture is everything. Travel to the center of the Istrian heart and you’ll find yourself on roads that present you with all the ingredients that contribute to a world-class gourmet destination. There are never-ending vineyards and intensive olive tree plantations. Friendly signs show you the way to the nearest Agroturizam (working farms that welcome tourists for a taste of traditional rural life), where the homemade pasta and truffle dishes guarantee you’ll never look at food the same way again.
Istria offers you sophisticated gastronomy in the simplest of kitchens where the ingredients are pure. Homemade, fresh, always with a side of olive oil. There are no preservatives here. Homemade njoki, freshly baked bread, steak tartar served table-side and spiced accordingly to your preference. There Is no tossing here. Everything is gently folded and served proudly. But don’t be fooled to think anything is backwards here. While the family nona waves from the kitchen, the waiter tells you about the restaurant’s latest mention on TripAdvisor and urges you to visit their Facebook page.
If you are a sports fan, you are guaranteed to find something to keep you active. The mild Istrian climate, fresh air and non-polluted sea allows athletes to practice nearly all events throughout the year, both indoors and outdoors. The region has many jogging and cross country tracks, as well as bike trails.
Everything mentioned here has been experienced. I promise. It is true. I’m the tourist with the iPad. Never heard of Istria before? That’s OK. Perhaps you know where Dubrovnik is? You’ll have to bring your eyes up a bit further on the map. 650 KM to be exact. Or most likely, you know of Venice, which is a 2.5 hour drive away.
Istrian Population: 244,000 (4.85% of Croatian population)