This year I spent my vacation in Istria, Croatia. As I’m not the biggest fan of the seaside, I decided to explore the inland. Earlier this year I also visited Tuscany, and after reading many articles comparing inland Istria to Tuscany I had to check it out for myself. And let me tell you, it’s true. It reminded me so much of Tuscany, which I fell in love with. Only our Istria (yes, I’m Croatian) is a bit more colorful – everything is covered with greenery and forests. Then like a needle in a haystack there’s a hill with a cute little town on top. Impressive!
World’s Smallest Town, Hum
Situated in the heart of Istria is a small town considered as the smallest town in the world – Hum. Hearing this fact throughout my whole education, it was only reasonable for Hum to be my first stop in exploring this part of Istria.
Hum is a town with only two streets and three rows of houses. The legend says that giants built Hum when they were building other hilltop towns in Mirna valley. Unfortunately, they ran out of the stones, so Hum turned out so miniaturistic. Little did they know that this is going to make this town so famous in the world.
My first impression of the smallest town in the world was: ‘Wow, it indeed is small!’. But it had its charm. Even though it has only two streets, they have a lot of cute corners all around. This one corner was my favorite one; colorful bikes, green plants in combination with an old stone house – perfect.
I was done with sightseeing very fast. It took me only 30 minutes, and that’s just because I wanted to see every corner of it and didn’t want to rush through. It was just before sunset, and I wanted to enjoy sun rays playing with the town.
My boyfriend and I were the only tourists there at the time. Everything was so peaceful. The only sound I could hear were my footsteps and a light breeze. The town was empty. There was no one on the streets.
Hum now has less than 20 inhabitants, but it is the smallest town in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records. People there are known for maintaining their tradition, so the old ritual called ‘Election of the prefect for a year’ is still held every year on the 11th of June – the day of Hum. All the men gather at the Municipal Loggia, town hall, to elect the village superior by carving their votes into a wooden stick.
Inside the Walls
I like the history behind this town. It was entirely enclosed by walls in the 11th century. The interesting fact about Hum is that to this day, almost everything is built inside the walls. The town is developing entirely within its walls, which is a rare practice in the world.
I also found my favorite spot! At the end of the town, there is a viewpoint with a bench. The only thing you can see is forest as far away as the eye can see. Quiet, greenery, breeze playing with my hair – there’s nothing else I need. Sitting there, in that small hilltop town, I felt so little in comparison.
I recommend everyone to visit this town, especially outside the peak season. Although there was not much to explore, Hum showed special charm that no other towns had. And more importantly – sitting at my favorite spot and enjoying that priceless view, it gave peace to my soul. That’s the reason I’ll always prefer small towns over the big ones.
Written by: Arijana Tkalčec
I’m a 24-year-old journalist and adventurer. I love to travel, meet new people, explore different cultures, and capture the best moments of my travels. That’s why I’m currently working on becoming a full-time traveler. Since I was a kid, I wanted to travel the world and share my experiences through written word. Today I can proudly say that my dream is slowly coming true with starting my travel blog shippedaway.com.