Livade – the Istrian truffle capital
Livade proudly bear the flattering title of Center of the Truffle World. The small Istrian village is located on the edge of the Motovun Forest, at the intersection of state roads Ponte Porton – Buzet and Oprtalj – Motovun. It was created only about a hundred years ago thanks to hydrotechnical and land reclamation projects in the Mirna River valley and the passage of the Parenzana narrow-gauge railway. In its place there formerly existed a station for boatmen who used rafts and batons on the Mirna River to transport wood from the Motovun Forest to the mouth of the river and the Bastija port.
This small but dynamic community was very developed at that time, and it included an automated oil mill, a distillery, and a gas station. However, Livade was also an important commercial center because the Parenzana railway allowed for distribution of autochthonous Istrian products, including truffles, which made it the central place for trading with this noble mushroom.
With the closure of Parenzana, the village gradually lost its economic importance, only to experience a kind of renaissance in the early nineties when, thanks to the re-establishment of the independent municipality of Oprtalj and the visionary work of Giancarlo Zigante, it became known all over the world, reclaiming its rightful place as the truffle capital.
Every year, especially during the autumn months, numerous events and fairs are held here, with Zigante Truffle Days being the most important among them. It is an event that brings together excellent producers of autochthonous Istrian products and tourists from all over the world.