When they built all the small towns in the Mirna River Valley, the giants built Hum from the leftover stones. Although the smallest town in the world, Hum is a centre of culture, history and gastronomy. ”The door does not close during the day, there is no night in this town.” is a message of welcome written on the Hum large copper door. Grab the handholds in the shape of ox horns and let yourselves in. Enter the wall-enclosed area – stone paved streets, small covered terraces leading to the house doors – a typical Istrian urban architecture at every step. Apart from being the smallest town in the world, Hum is also widely-known as the “Town of Biska” and the centre of Glagolism. Biska, a medicinal brandy with mistletoe is, after two thousand years, still made according to the Hum priest Josip Vidal’s recipe. In its honour, the Festival of Brandy is organised on the last Sunday of October, where brandy producers compete for the title of the best brandy.
On a hill above Buzet, giants built a fortified stone castle, Roč. The old Istrian place prides itself on its stone town gate, walls and its towers, Roman villas, Glagolitic inscriptions, carved in stone tablets, churches and frescoes and on what it is special for – the Glagolitic alphabet. The Glagolitic Alley begins at the foot of its hill – a memorial complex to the Glagolitic alphabet, which is best toured on foot. The walk along the Alley starts from the Column of the Chakavian People’s Assembly, continuing along a series of stone features dedicated to the Glagolitic alphabet, as far as Hum, where they end – at the Hum door.
When you reach Hum, then a visit to the hamlet called Kotli is also unavoidable. The fresh Mirna River waterfalls quietly dwell by the old watermills. Quiet and calm, cascading in falls, it has created cauldron-like ponds in rocks, after which this place was named. Left for time to take its toll, old mills and stone houses witness the times when more people lived here.
Legends and tales about the magic Istria are present still today – in dreamy small towns, Hum, Roč and Kotli – which wait for the dawn to come on small green hills, wrapped in a soft veil of mist.