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page 90 Of Interest & Things To SeePulaIstria's capital has important Roman origins and itsamphitheatre and forum are some of the bestpreserved monuments visible today. The amphitheatreis the largest ancient structure in Istria at a height of32 metres.Briuni islandsThis marvellous collection of islands off the coast ofPula was once the meeting place of the world's jet set.Tito made the islands his exclusive retreat andreceived the world's leaders in the luxuriant nature.On the main island can be found a zoo, safari park, agolf course, Roman ruins and a thousand year oldolive tree.Lim Canal and Romauld's caveThe Lim canal is a flooded karst valley with a long andnarrow inlet which is one of the most beautiful inIstria. Its overgrown canyon cliffs sit 150m above sealevel. Close to the Lim canal is an ancient cave withmany bones which belonged to prehistoric animals aswell as wall paintings and live bats.Istria's interiorAn excursion into the interior reveals fascinatingmedieval towns with narrow streets and delightfularchitecture: Visit Motovun, home of the Istrian filmfestival and also Hum - officially the smallest town inthe world. Try hunting down a typical farmhouse or"Konoba" for a traditional meal including local wines.PorecThe old Roman city known as Parenzo is a fascinatingport and tourist centre and in its Euphrasian Basilicait boasts Byzantine art entered into the Unesco worldheritage list in 1997. Stroll the old port area andindulge in a little shopping and people watching in apavement café.RovinjOne of Istria's most popular visitor centres, Rovinj hasarchitecture strongly influenced by the Venetianoccupation of the port. The old fisherman's quarterhas been adopted by artists and the climb up to StEuphemia's basilica gives a tremendous view of thecoast line.Fun For All The FamilyAquariums The sea life of Istria is world renowned and thecountry boasts several sea life centres: Umag, Porecand Pula each have exciting exhibits.Fish Picnic Sail from Rabac to the island of CresSwim in the crystal clear coves and work up a greatappetite for a fish lunch before exploring the islandand its historic centre.Baredine CaveDiscover an underground world which has evolvedover millions of years. This cave near Porec is full ofunderground sculptures, stalactites and stalagmites,rare miniature transparent crabs plus prehistoricceramics.Go-KartingBoth Porec and Pula have circuits for children andteenagers.Pazin Castle and Cave Pazin castle is the largest in Istria. Its dramaticsituation inspired Jules Verne to base a large part ofhis novel Mathias Sandorf here. The miraculous caveof Pazin nearby is also well worth a visit.Things To Do & Natural SitesPlitvice LakesThe collection of lakes which are connected bycascading waterfalls and flanked by rich green forestsare recognised as a natural wonder of Croatia. Plitviceis a day's drive from Istria so better to factor in a hotelstop to best appreciate the nature.Slovenia and Lake BledSlovenia is Istria's nearest neighbour and boats thedelightful Lake Bled, stunning snow cappedmountains, Postojna caves and the famous stud farmof Lipica where the famous stallions of Vienna aretrained.VeniceThe romantic city of Venice with its canals, gondolas,Bridge of Sighs, Rialto Bridge and St Mark's Squarecan be reached by boat and enjoyed in a dayexcursion. MedulinTour the southern tip of Istria with its myriad covesand islands. This is the best area to taste crab, anIstrian speciality.Local Specialities. Seafood deserves a special place on the Istriantable. Fish stew, seafood risotto and scampi nabuzaru are popular dishes.. Olive oil - Istria has long mastered the techniquesof fine olive oil production and its gastronomy leansheavily on it. Tour the olive groves of the region andstop at a cellar to taste and buy direct from theproducer.. Prosciutto ham prepared gira-volta, fried in olive oil. Manestra - thick and rich soups with meat andvegetables. Fennel - often used in its own manestra soup. Fritaja - try scrambled eggs with asparagus as wellas prosciutto and mushrooms.. Truffles - recent discoveries of white and blacktruffles are rapidly establishing Istria as a newmecca for truffle lovers.. Istrian wines - typical local wines are Malvasia andTeran but producers also favour Merlot, Chardonnayand Muscat.PulaRegional Information - Croatia