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Sleepy Pazin in the center of Istria is the antithesis of the touristy coast. While it doesn’t have glitzy resorts or hordes of tourists, it does have historic sites worth visiting. Pazin is not a huge transportation hub, but regular bus service connects it to other parts of the country; buses from the west coast pass through on their way to Rijeka and Zagreb. Pazin’s main attractions are a medieval castle with a deep chasm that inspired author Jules Verne while he was writing “Mathias Sandorf,” and the amazing frescoes at St. Mary of the Rock in the nearby village of Beram. Pazin’s personality is actually similar to that of any small town in America: It’s in the middle of nowhere, with a strong agricultural base, a little industry, and a neutral location that was a factor in its choice as a regional seat of government. It makes a fine day trip, but it’s not somewhere you’d choose to linger much longer.