Close to Motovun and a reasonable drive from Poreč, Novigrad, or Umag, Grožnjan is also among Istria's preeminent hill towns, with a Renaissance loggia adjoining the town gate. Much visited by busloads of summer tourists, it is quite empty the rest of the year. 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 painting and sculpture galleries you will encounter in this otherwise unassuming village. During the summer, an international federation of young musicians meets for training and workshops, presenting concerts beneath the stars through July and August.


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