Even the sparrows on the branch know that Istria is rich in beautiful beaches, untouched nature, superb gastronomy and a rich historical heritage. In the last few years, Istria has become a popular tourist destination, and a lot is known about it. But there are still many interesting things that are unknown to most.

In order to get to know Istria even better and learn its secrets, below we list some of the lesser-known interesting things that we bet you didn’t know about.


The son of the German emperor Barbossa and the Venetians clashed in a naval battle on the waters of Savudrija during the 12th century. After the defeat, the son of the German emperor tried to hide in a cistern and escape. Savudrija got its name precisely from that event because “Salvo re" means “saved king" in Italian.


Oaks from the Motovun Forest that grew in the area near the Mirna River were used for the construction of Venice.


In the past, Istria was home to dinosaurs, as evidenced by dinosaur footprints found throughout the region. The most famous such prints are found on Brijuni, Cape Kamenjak and on the small island of Fenoliga.

Also, the only dinosaur bones found in the Mediterranean were found in Istria.


It isn’t common knowledge that world-famous authors were once residents of Istria.

James Joyce lived and taught English in Pula in the 20th century. Therefore, even today, as a tribute to the magnificent writer, his statue stands in the cafe “Uliks" just a few steps from the building where he used to teach English in the very center of the city.

Jules Verne – the author of the famous novel “20,000 miles under the sea", also spent some time in beautiful Istria. He stayed in Pazin and even mentioned the Pazin pit in one of his novels.


In ancient times, before the flourishing of tourism as we know it today and before Istria gained popularity among foreign visitors, Umag was a popular summer destination of the Roman aristocracy. This is evidenced by the many Roman villas that have been excavated in the area of Umag.


Everyone knows about the Leaning Tower of Pisa. But did you know that Istria also has its own leaning tower? In Zavrsje, a small town in Istria, there is a bell tower 22 m high and tilted 40 cm to the north.