Close to Motovun and a reasonable drive from Poreč, Novigrad, Rovinj, or Umag, Grožnjan is among Istria's preeminent and most beautiful hilltop towns. A Renaissance loggia adjoining the ancient town gate are must-see historical sites, but wandering through the narrow rustic stone streets, perusing the many boutiques, galleries, and ateliers makes this town a favorite for locals and visitors In 1358, after at least 250 years in existence as a walled city, Grožnjan came under Venetian rule and remained so for more than 400 years. Though most of its population left after World War II, when decades of Italian rule came to an end and it officially became part of Yugoslavia, from the mid-1960s the government encouraged artists and musicians to settle here. This explains the number of art studios, painting and ceramic ateliers, and sculpture galleries you will encounter as well as charming cafés with views of the sea or Mirna River Valley. Many art, antique, and music festivals take place, including an international federation of young musicians that meets for training and workshops, presenting concerts beneath the stars throughout July and August.
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