The second-largest town in the Istrian interior is BUZET, whose original old hilltop settlement quietly decays on the heights above the River Mirna while the bulk of the population lives in the new town below. Though it’s not as pretty as Motovun or Grožnjan, Buzet has good accommodation, good food and is an excellent base from which to explore the region. The town’s importance as a truffle-hunting centre is celebrated by the Buzetska Subotina festival (“Buzet Saturday”; usually the second weekend of September), when an enormous truffle omelette is cooked on the main square and shared out among thousands of visitors, and local pop-rock bands play on a pair of outdoor stages in the town centre – the tourist office will have details.
Reached by a winding road or a step flight of stairs, old Buzet’s cobbled streets seem a world away from the largely concrete new quarter down on the valley floor. The remaining ramparts of Buzet’s medieval fortifications provide expansive views, with the Mirna valley below and the imposing grey ridge of the Ćićarija to the east.