North of Motovun on the other side of the Mirna valley, Grožnjan (Grisignana) is an ancient hill village that was severely depopulated during the Italian exodus after World War II and given a new lease of life in the 1970s when many of its properties were offered to artists and musicians as studios. There’s also a summer school for young musicians, many of whom take part in outdoor concerts organized as part of the Grožnjan Musical Summer (Grožnjansko glazbeno ljeto; w hgm.hr), which takes place every August. Indeed high summer is the best time to come, when most of the artists are in residence and a smattering of galleries open their doors. Outside this time, Grožnjan can be exceedingly quiet, but it’s an undeniably attractive spot, with its jumble of shuttered houses made from honey-brown stone, covered in creeping plants. The town’s battlements command superb views of the surrounding countryside, with Motovun perched on its hilltop to the southeast, and the ridge of Mount Učka dominating the horizon beyond it.

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