Istrian Maneštra

December 20, 2013

A sort of pork and beans, this quintessential Istrian soup, is a meal in itself. Made in every Istrian restaurant and home, everyone has their own family recipe which varies according to what’s in season. Any restaurant’s recipes are a well-guarded secret. This isn’t quite Katica’s maneštra recipe but it’s very close. She says you...
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Aquarium Pula – an introduction to Istria’s undersea world

December 15, 2013
Adriatic tank at Aquarium Pula, Istria

As a small peninsula, the sea’s a vital part of Istria. We come on holiday to sit by it, swim in it and take boat trips across it: but how much do we know about the watery world, hidden beneath?  Opened in 2002, Aquarium Pula is a fascinating place, where education is as important...
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Damjanic – award-winning wines

December 11, 2013
Ivan Damjanic and his vines in Istria

Looking for good wine in the Porec area? Why not follow my footsteps and visit the Damjanic winery in Fuškulin, where Ivan Damjanic is producing six award-winning wines: four white and two red. Professionally-trained and with a passion for wine, Ivan is a classic example of why Istria is beginning to make a name...
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Discover the stars at Višnjan Observatory

December 5, 2013
Višnjan Observatory, Istria

One of the more unusual things you can do in Istria is visit Višnjan Observatory, near Porec. For the scientifically-minded, it’s a chance to look behind the scenes in some hot topics in astronomy, while for the rest of us, it is an unusual and entertainingly educational experience – even the building itself is...
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Discovering Istria’s inland gems

December 1, 2013
Draguc in Autumn - just one of Istria's inland gems

Top of my list of things to do in Istria is explore its beautiful inland villages, with their old stone houses. Most are still unspoilt by tourism: you’ll often have them almost to yourselves, and visiting is like stepping back in time to a sleepier world and a slower pace of life. There are...
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Sveti Nikola – slow-dining at its best?

November 6, 2013
Sv Nikola, Porec, Istria

Situated on the seafront in Porec, facing its island namesake, Sv. Nikola is a wonderful restaurant, my favourite place for a treat. It’s where we go to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries (and when we need a touch of luxury), so it was one of the restaurants I was most looking forward to reviewing for...
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Grabbing an adventure at Glavani Park

November 5, 2013
Nicky crossing a wobbly walk way at Glavani Park, Istria

Trip Adviser’s top Istrian attraction is Glavani Park. Opened in 2011, it is listed ahead of standard tourist attractions like Rovinj old town and Pula amphitheatre. We wanted to see what all the excitement was about and if it lived up to its billing, so went for a day of high-wires and zip-lines.  ...
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A tale of two poles?

November 4, 2013
Blank poles outside village

In my hectic expat life in Istria a quiet, relatively uneventful week makes a nice change: I managed to spend quite a bit of it in bed. When I finally got moving, I pottered in the garden, clattered at the typeface and pondered ‘The Arrival of the Two Poles’.   Monday 14 November The...
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Is Istria for you? Let’s have a look at the Istrian property market

October 15, 2013
Beautiful Istria - Draguc in autumn

Looking for a property in Istria? Buying property abroad is far harder than buying at home. You don’t know the area, you don’t know the ‘rules’ and local customs, and you’re heavily dependent on, probably biased, outside advice. I can’t cover everything about the Istrian property market in one article, so here’s an overview, to...
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Mushrooming knowledge

October 14, 2013
Basket with Istrian wild mushroom selection

Istria is famous for its truffles, but this is only a tiny fraction of its fungi offering. In autumn, when conditions are right, Istria’s woods are full of wild mushrooms: the weird and the wonderful, the tiny and the tremendous, the delicious and the deadly. And as the fungi appear, so do the mushroom...
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Buying a house in Istria – the paperwork

September 8, 2013
3 key property documents in Croatia

Thinking of buying a property in Istria – here’s some information about the key documentation needed here and throughout Croatia. When you buy a house in Croatia, the key documents you need fall broadly into the three categories listed below. Usually, they should all be provided by your estate agent as proof the property...
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Snapshots of history

August 30, 2013
Narrator at Mare the Witch, Svetvincenat, Istria

Far more than just an attractive seaside destination, Istria is full of gorgeous old towns and villages. These atmospheric places come with local tales and legends, brought to life each summer through a series of outdoor performances. Held in nine different locations across the whole of Istria, the stories are all different and specific...
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Fig scrumping

August 29, 2013
Marija picking figs

Istria’s dotted with fig trees and  all summer long they’ve been steadily growing, soaking up the Istrian sun. Come early September, they’re fat and juicy and ready for harvest.  With none yet of my own, I went fig scrumping with Marija and we picked loads! (OK, I admit that in fact we had permission to...
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What happened to my lazy week?

August 21, 2013
P&S in pool, Istria

Revisiting one from the archives, with a trip back two years which shows very little has changed! Tired after our UK trip and, with a few guest-free days, our plan was for a lazy week. As usual, played ‘catch-up’ instead. But did get time for dinner with friends, the Porec ‘end-of-season’ party and a...
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Dinopark – a fun-packed day out!

August 16, 2013
dinosaur at Dinopark, Istria

Here’s an idea for the ‘little ‘uns’: Dinopark, a theme park aimed squarely at the junior market, based around dinosaurs. While obviously not intended for me, I thought it sounded rather horrendous (plastic dinosaurs in what looks like a concrete jungle?). So I was stunned when mother-of-two, Petra, said it was the best day...
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