The region of Istria is home of many myths and legends.
One of the most famous ones has it that long time ago Istria was inhabited by giants, but after they got poisoned by the dwarves, only one giant per city survived. The giants served humans and performed the hardest jobs. Veli Joze was the giant of Motovun town. Once he was travelling to Venice on a boat and met Elijah the galleyman, who taught him the idea of freedom. The galley wrecked in a storm, but the giant survived and decided to encourage other giants to rebel against their cruel human owners. Once again, the sneaky dwarves tricked the giants and bribed them with wine and gold. All the other giants went back to their owners and remained their slaves. Veli Joze hid in the hill near the Mirna river valley and is still waiting for a moment to return.
Another old legend originated in 2nd century BC, when Istria was inhabited by one of the Illyrian Greek tribes, Histrians. The Romans tried to conquer their land, but to no success. Finally they sent a very big army and the Histrians led by king Epulon had to retreat to Nesactium city at the southern edge of the peninsula. Histrians successfully defended for months, but the Romans diverted the flow of the river leaving the city without any water. Proud King Epulon, his soldiers and his family decided to stab themselves with swords on the city walls.