Small town of Istria hills - OprtaljOprtalj, located on the hill (378 meters above the sea) accessible from Mirna valley by the side of the narrow southward upland is one of the most charming villages of the northern Istria.
Oprtalj or Portole on Italian was in times past a fortification surrounded by protective walls on that homes were made among barely protruding former town gates. In overlook of todays gates, stay a Venetian loggia with the set of stone monuments. From the windows of loggia is a great view to the surrounding country. In serene days you can see also the blue line of the sea.
About town Oprtalj was originaly talked yet in year 1115. In the Middle Ages the town was a centre of the economies belonging to different feudal masters and to the church.
The parish church of St. George which is an remarkable building of the town, was built in year 1526. Its bell tower top isn't shaped as a pyramid what is usual in Istria, but remained in its original form as a tower.
In the colorful canyon of the river Mirna, below the giant, steep, 86 meter high rock, there is a spring of thermal an mineral healing water.
Here ist also the well known contemporary health resort Sveti Stjepan-Istraske Toplice (St.Stephen-Istrian Spa) whose sulfurous water, thermal baths and mud baths are used in the healingof rheumatic diseases, neuralgia and endocrine gland system. Ancient tradition in the preparation of typical dishes prepared from the fruits of this land has been preserved until today.
Only few kilometres to the west is positioned village Livade, a world centre of truffles mushroom. In the middle of the village Livade, stands truffle shop, which was opened by Giancarlo Zigante. Empty square of Livade village is often filled with buses and cars of tourists who would like taking home a souvenir from a holiday in Istria.
The Motovun Wood and the valley of the river Mirna are the habitat of these extremely rare and highly appreciated species of mushroom. Many of locals gather truffles in this area of Istria penninsula. Most of them gathered to make improving income and sell truffels to Zigante which then offer it to visitors and other customers, or processed into oil, sheep's milk cheese with truffles and spreads - tartufate.