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6 Ways To Discover Istria, Croatia

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For the past decade, Istria has been labeled "the next Tuscany." True, the triangle-shaped peninsula across the Adriatic Sea from Venice is studded with hill towns and is claimed partially by Italy. (Most of the region is now in Croatia). But raw-fish restaurants, hip hotels, and quirky festivals are attracting attention for being, well, Istrian.
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Ul. Luje Adamovića 31, 52210, Rovinj, Croatia
A contemporary take on a classic 1970s Adriatic resort, Hotel Lone is Croatia’s first and only member of the Design Hotels network. The gleaming-white, Y-shaped building may sit amid the forests of Zlatni Rt Park (a 10-minute seafront stroll...
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Novigrad, Croatia
There’s a budding movement in Istria to serve raw fish parts traditionally eaten in fishermen’s homes. At Batelina (Cimulje 25, Banjole, 385/ (0) 52-573-767), chef David Skoko prepares mostly raw dishes from seafood caught each morning. The menu...
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52429, Grožnjan, Croatia
Every July and August, the artsy town of Groznjan swells with visitors who come for classical music concerts and the annual Jazz Is Back festival, held July 13 through August 3 this year. This appeared in the August/September 2013 issue. Image:...
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Setaliste Vladimira Gortana 7, 52420, Buzet, Croatia
Another one of Istria’s hilltop highlights, this stylish boutique hotel is perched in the medieval town of Buzet, known for being Istria’s center of truffles—and decidedly less crowded than Motovun. It features just 19 rooms,...
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Motovun, Croatia
A 13th-century campanile crowns Motovun. Time your visit with the Motovun Film Festival (July 2731, 2013), which screens international films outdoors and in historic theaters. This appeared in the August/September 2013 issue. Image: Nina Đurđević...
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52420, Buzet, Croatia
The Subotina Festival in Buzet (held September 7–8 this year) revolves around white and black truffles, but there’s also abundant local olive oil, prosciutto, and herb-infused rakija, homemade brandy popular throughout the Balkans. The weekend’s...