356: bike route The Amazing Green
Vodnjan, a small ordinary Mediterranean town with an exception – some of the best olive oils in the world are produced here.
Our first stop after departure is Pula. The slight rise towards Galižana begins just after leaving the Pula seafront. Further on the road you will start seeing olive trees. The area around Vodnjan is a real treasury of numerous types of olives. Top olive oils which often received prestigious awards are produced out of these types.
At the entrance in Vodnjan we come upon the restaurant “Vodnjanka” which is quite popular for its delicious food. They prepare mainly typical Istrian dishes and you can try different types of olive oil.
The town of Vodnjan will reveal views on small stone streets formed on the traces of prehistoric forts. If you walk through Vodnjan, you will notice numerous buildings from different historic periods. There are six churches in Vodnjan and the most attractive one is the cathedral with it 62 meter bell tower, the highest in Istria. There are also three mummies kept in this church. They have been there for centuries even though none of the three bodies were mummified. The Vodnjan mummies are the best preserved mummies in the whole of Europe. There is the collection of sacral art in the church with 730 exhibits, 370 relicts of 250 saints.
The road takes us further to Milan Brušić prosciutto production where you can try, beside the prosciutto, other typical Istrian products made of dried pork – homemade sausages, bacon etc. Be sure to ask hand sliced prosciutto – it is supposed to be best this way.
We go back to the town center to visit three olive oil tasting rooms. First, we will visit the Belci family. The family will offer you various types of olive oil and prove they can really taste differently. We will then stop by the olive oil factory San Lorenzo which was opened only 4 years ago but their oils received numerous awards both in the country and abroad. At the end, we will visit the Chiavalon family, probably the most awarded oil producers in Istria. Their oil Ex Albis has been declared one of the 15 best olive oils in the world, which is surely a reason to try it.
From Vodnjan, taking the Pula bypass, we ride back to Medulin Riviera.