london1967: (knocker)
On the Monday we picked up our rental car at the airport and drove up eastern Istria to Rovinj.
We stopped at 3 places on the way.

The first town was Vodnjan (or Dignano in Italian).
The town looks in parts very Venetian and it's no surprise as most of Istria was ruled by Venice for a few centuries.

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We visited the church of St. Blaise, famous for the "holy" mummies which were moved here from Venice after the Napoleonic occupation. Apart from these, there are 370 relics belonging to 250 saints!
The mummies of Saint Nicolosa Bursa and Leon Bembo are allegedly the best preserved mummies in Europe: their skin is still elastic!
(And according to one of the guidebooks, the body of St. Nicolosa emanates a sphere of healing energy.)
The book warned the reader that the eccentric parish priest would turn away underdressed people, and we witnessed just that with a couple.
He had no problem with us and we had a private tour of the mummies and the museum. It was all a bit weird, I must say. I'm not sure that he was actually the parish priest (he was dressed all in black and had a big cross around his neck) but whoever he was, he was friendly and... very camp. We learned that his favourite singers are Elton John and Adele (I don't think that I'll ever be able to listen to "Hello. It's me" without thinking of him from now on!).

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Next stop was the hamlet of Svetvinčenat, with the Grimani castle

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and more Venetian-looking buildings (especially this church):

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Here we had a spot of lunch and set off for Rovinj.
On the way we stopped to have a look at the ruins of Dvigrad (Due Castelli, in Italian), a medieval town that was deserted about 300 years ago (it survived numerous sacks and the plague, but apparently the location was very prone to malaria).

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In Rovinj, we stayed at the Angelo d'Oro hotel, a historic palazzo in the old town. As it was for Adrian's birthday, I had booked a suite with sea view on the top floor

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After settling in, we had a walk around
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and then went for cocktails (Negroni for Adrian, Shirley Temple for me) at a bar near the harbour to watch the sunset

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We then had a rather uninspiring dinner at the restaurant next to the bar, and we walked back to the hotel, up the steep and slippy streets/alleyways getting lost a couple of times.
But we made it eventually, and we deserved a night cap for making it back in one piece!

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london1967

October 2016

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