Motovun is a city-monument, an ancient Istrian acropolis city situated on the top of a 277 meter-high hill whose current appearance originates from the Middle Ages, the 12th and 13th century. The longest Istrian stairway with 1052 stairs leads to the top of the Motovun hill and its Venetian city square. From the rich construction heritage of Motovun, we give special attention to the city door with a tower, the renaissance palace, the city lodge, the parish church of St. Stjepan, the smaller churches of Madonna dei Servi and Madonna delle porte, the medieval arrangement of the streets, the city tank and many emblems on the front of buildings. The position and landscape of Motovun make it one of the most beautiful older cities on the Mediterranean. Hotel Kaštel is located on the main town square, in a 17th century palace.
Vineyards are spread all around Motovun where the grapes for the famous Istrian wines Teran and Malvasia grow, while the Motovun forest, which spreads kilometres through the Mirna valley is the habitat for the famous underground mushroom called the truffle which is dug out in this area with the help of specially trained dogs. Summer and early autumn is the time the black truffles grow (Tuber Aestivium) and during late autumn and winter the tastiest and expensive white truffles are taken out (Tuber magnatum-Pico). In October the Days of Truffles are marked in several places in the Mirna valley, and meals with truffles are the pride and offer of Hotel Kaštel in Motovun.
Across from Motovun is the picturesque town of Oprtalj and the place called Livade, known for the Days of Truffles which are held there from September to November. In Livade, which is also called the international centre for truffles, a special festival is organized each year with a contest for the largest truffle.
Famous people from Motovun:
ANDREA ANTICO (1480-1539)
renaissance composer, the inventor of musical publishing, was born in Motovun
JOSEPH RESSEL (1793-1857)
the inventor of the boat drift pin, was the manager of the state forests in Motovun and here he developed his most famous inventions
MARIO ANDRETTI (1940)
famous world champion of Formula 1 and the winner of races in Indianapolis was born in Motovun and today lives in the U.S.A.