Oprtalj – Portole: “Town of 72 man of letters”
Oprtalj is located on the northern side of Istria. It is a charming and picturesque little town located on the hilltop above the Mirna river valley, opposite to Motovun. This pretty Istrian medieval town on the picture below recall medieval towns in Tuscany. Historically was named "Town of 72 man of letters" and today the area is famous for truffles.
- located 72 kilometres from Smrikve
- dominant is the Venetian architecture
- is on the Parenzana biking trail
- the area is famous for truffles
- not to be missed: the visit of the old town, the Venetian loggia, the Parish Church of St. George and the froscoes in the Church of the Little Virgin Mary
- events not to be missed: Tuberfest (Truffles Festival) in Livade traditionaly held at the beginning of October every year.
- Istria from Smrikve aims to promote Istrian cultural heritage... Slow Travel, Slow Food and Sustainable Living... and in this section dedicated to Oprtalj-Portole’s heritage you may note the permament virtual “Slow Travel Exhibition” of selected families and events worth visiting... you will find recommended accommodations, restaurants, wine and olive oil to taste, event to attend... :)
Oprtalj is located not far away from the road Buje – Buzet. You need to take the road towards north passing trough the village of Livade, and after about 7 kilometres on this road with nice views of the surrounding countryside you will arrive to Oprtalj. There are several spots on the road where the views towards Motovun are magnificent.
Livade is the collection and distribution centre for truffles. Every October the “Days of Truffles” are held in Livade.
In the past Oprtalj was connected to Trieste and Porec with the old railway “Parenzana” like Groznjan and Zavrsje. Parenzana was the 123 kilometres long railroad between Trieste and Porec from 1902 until 1935. The railroad was passing through the north-western part of Istria through: Kopar, Piran, Buje, Groznjan, Zavrsje, Livade, Motovun and Vizinada. Parenzana had in total 35 stations and was built with an aim to develop the continental part of Istria.
In 1935 the Italian Government decided to move this railroad to Africa but the railroad never arrived to its destination. Today the European Union, together with Croatia, Slovenia and Italy, is trying to use this old railroad for the tourism.
Parenzana goes for 78 kilometres through Croatia, 32 kilometres through Slovenia and 13 kilometres through Italy and thanks to the combined efforts of the three above mentioned countries and the EU you can ride the bike in several parts of Parenzana.
Oprtalj is surrounded by hilly terrain, above the right bank of the river Mirna, and is located on a 380 meters high hilltop. There are several historic buildings that testify its glorious past but there are also many old buildings that are in need of modernisation. Many people left Oprtalj after the Second World War but the recent developments in Istria offer bright future for this lovely town. People from Buje and Motovun used to call Oprtalj the “town of 72 man of letters“.
OPRTALJ – HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
Like many other Istrian towns and villages, Oprtalj was also built on the site of a prehistoric hill fort settlement and during the Roman period a military base was situated here.