June 11, 2016
After a morning visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park and a late breakfast, we followed the Google Map suggested route to Rovinj. The route follows narrow backroads through scenic countryside scarred by war before hitting faster roads near Ostarije.
This WWII war memorial pockmarked with bullet holes for example
and this intersection in small town nowhere where a war damaged building sits on every corner.
I imagine it rains a lot as the region is very green.
The expressway goes through many tunnels. I guess that is what you do in a narrow coastal country with lots of mountains.
It was rainy with heavy thunderstorms predicted for the next day, so we decided to make a detour through the Istrian inland stopping at Motovun for lunch.
We parked at the lot below the hilltop town but you may be able to park further up, especially if you arrive early or late in the day. As we were leaving, we noticed that there were spots up top available. There is also a shuttle that runs pretty often at busier times.
The walk up takes about 15-20 minutes at a pretty good pace. Having started the day rather early we were tired and stopped for lunch at the first reasonable place with a view.
Restaurant Podnapun with a pretty terrace hit the spot. We had to try the truffles the area is known for.
We started with a vegetable salad and toast topped with sardines and truffle paste and garnished with an anchovy, a heavenly pungent combination.
For seconds we had the polenta with black truffle. Although a rich cream sauce, which I normally try to avoid, this was pungent, earthy and everything you want in a truffle dish. The polenta was fresh and nicely done. Don’s homemade pasta with anchovy and olive oil was simple and well executed.
We then took a walk through the small hill town -a nice after lunch stroll, nothing spectacular except maybe the views on a clearer day. This day was overcast with some dramatic views but became more humid with heavy white skies as the day wore on.
Driving towards Rovinj from Motovun there are some great views looking back up at the hill town. You then pass through sections of pretty vineyards before the drive becomes more ordinary as you head towards the coast.