This was our first taste of the beautiful region of Istria in the northwest corner of Croatia along the Adriatic. It’s a romantic place, with a stunning coastline and pretty seaside villages, rolling hills, vineyards, forests with the delicious truffles growing naturally within them, and hilltop towns.
Moscenice is a tiny medieval town on the southern coast that we saw up in the hills, and followed a winding road up hoping to explore and find lunch. Stone homes with pretty turquoise shutters and vines are pressed next to each other, butted up to the encircling stone wall with narrow cobblestone streets winding throughout. We admired the little passageways and courtyards, stone walls, olive trees and incredible view of the coast from the quiet center as the church bells rang. You can see and feel the strong influences from Istria’s history throughout the region: it was once part of the Roman Empire, later the Venetian Republic, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Italy. Our waiter, a native of Istria, spoke to Cam in Croatian and to me in Italian (I am soo terribly rusty but it was a lot of fun!!) which was his first language. We loved talking with him (and with every Croatian, we have so much to learn) and I honestly kept thinking, wait, where are we…? Croatia? Or Italy?
Haha, making himself right at home…
Handmade Istrian fuzi pasta with truffles… they were AMAZING. As were the fresh mussels, grilled calamari and fish of the day cooked with white wine, vegetables and capers. Cam and I were in heaven. We ate at Restoran Perun, on the terrace overlooking the Adriatic. We went after lunchtime and before dinner so for most of the afternoon, we were literally the only people in the whole restaurant and were able to relax while John Shea ran wild around the terrace.