Hum: The World's Smallest Town

Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Istria region, amidst the rolling hills of Croatia, lies Hum — a charming hamlet that proudly bears the title of the "World's Smallest Town." At a mere 5 square miles, this medieval town houses a stable population of only two dozen residents, all while preserving an atmosphere that seems to have stood still through the ages. Despite its petite size, Hum is a place that guards a rich cultural heritage and historical significance that are anything but small. The history of Hum, known as Colmo in Italian, dates back over a millennium when it was founded by the ancient Romans. During the Middle Ages, it became part of the mighty Duchy of Aquileia and has since remained a vital strategic point for the region. Hum, with its single gateway and only two cobblestone alleys lined with stone houses, boasts two 12th-century churches. The Church of St. Jerome, adorned with beautiful Romanesque frescoes, and the Church of St. James, featuring a majestic bell tower, are significant landmarks. Another key attraction is the "Loggia," a Gothic-style building that once served as a public meeting hall and now houses a small museum narrating the history of Hum and the surrounding region. Surrounded by lush green hills and vineyards producing high-quality wines, the "World's Smallest Town" is also renowned for a liqueur known as "biska," an alcoholic beverage crafted from local herbs. This secret recipe dates back an impressive 2,000 years and is carefully guarded by the owners of the town's sole inn. It's a unique Istrian brandy that can only be savored there. The atmosphere in Hum is tranquil and laid-back, with locals known for their warmth and hospitality welcoming visitors with open arms. A town that demonstrates that size doesn't always reflect the cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance of a place.