At a glance
Close your eyes and think of Tuscany: the atmospheric hilltop hamlets, the sorbet-hued mansions and sombre stone forts, the sunkissed slopes laced with vines and the silvered orchards of olive groves. Now imagine the whole idyllic scene gently enfolded into a small, heart-shaped land surrounded on three sides by crystalline seas, gloriously wild promontories and secret sandy bays.
Pluck the Colosseum from Rome, scale it down just a fraction, and set it on the northwestern coast of this peninsula, and then, just for fun, pop Venice and Dubrovnik – and, why not, Mont St Michel – into a shaker, mix well, and pour out into one perfect pastel peak of island-city encircled by sea. Then scatter a string of emerald isles along the coastline, and, as a final touch, bury an assortment of the most fragrant culinary treasures known to mankind just beneath the surface of the lush meadows and woods of the hinterland. Ready? Welcome to Istria.
Pronunciation guide: Poreč is pronounced “porech”, and Rovinj “roveen”, with the soft ‘j’ at the end making a gentle “nyuh” soun.