When we lived back in Didsbury, we often used to eat out on a Sunday – and no Sunday lunch was ever really the same, such is the variety of restaurant types in the locality. Here in Istria, we have a lot of excellent restaurants near the house, but the closest are of the agristurismo variety. Whilst there are menu differences, what tends to dominate are truffles, cheese, pasta and meat. We have been longing for one of these restaurants to start serving up wood fired pizzas but it’s not going to happen as they are Istrian restaurants, not Italian.

So, we are now delighted that yesterday we finally investigated Pizzeria Alto, located in the small town of Karojba, just outside the beautiful medieval hilltop town of Motovun. Nowhere here is really quite as convenient as it used to be in West Didsbury – although we do have four restaurants very close by, and two are are definitely in walking distance. This pizzeria is a 20 minute drive away, but we’re now used to this and when drives are as scenic as the ones we now do, it’s not a problem at all.

Alto is pretty basic and rustic and clearly a much loved place for locals – there was a steady stream of diners when we visited. It looks as if it’ll be very popular in the summer too, with additional outdoor seating and grassed areas for children. The menu isn’t massive, but there’s plenty of choice, especially if all you want is a pizza or an Italian style pasta dish. We had two medium pizzas which were delicious – thin crust, very generous portions of very fresh toppings and not overloaded with cheese. They were medium and looked enormous, but were just right because the crusts were nice and thin. Just like they should be…

Best thing of all though was the bill. As well as the pizzas we had a large beer and half a litre of very tasty local Istrian wine, and it came to 120 kunas. That’s £14.01! And, as much we liked a trip to Pizza Express (and will probably still do it on visits back home), it is a bit of a surprise that this whole meal came in less than one pizza, from PE…