Off the Beaten Path – Vrsar


Which was it: lovely beaches, picturesque art-inspiring streets or excellent red wine, that made Giacomo Casanova, the great Italian lover, fall in love with Vrsar?

This small gem of western Istrian coast, called ‘the city of sculpture’ is located right between Rovinj, and Poreč, in the close vicinity of Lim Fjord. Rich with beaches, coastline and a miniature old city, Vrsar is a plethora of corners ideal for romantics, painters, and sculptors, or any admirers of all mentioned. 

Here’s a list of your to-do things in Vrsar:

L’Angélique café

They say the view is worth the climb, so we highly suggest climbing up the hill of Vrsar and exploring the old town. Narrow stone-paved streets will lead you right to the top to St. Martin’s church and its belfry. Just around the corner you’ll find L’ Angélique café. Perfect to hide from the crowds, especially if you’re visiting at season’s peak. With small, but cozy exterior this café offers home-made cakes, cold drinks, coffees and teas. Morning and evening place to enjoy views of Vrsar coast.

Vrsar has always attracted individuals and intellectuals fond of cultural and artistic expression. The oldest creative expression has found a distinctive trace in Vrsar stone throughout history, that’s why they call it ‘the city of sculpture’.

Apart from being an oasis for Giacomo Casanova, Vrsar was an inspiration to Edo Murtić, one of the greatest Croatian painters, and Dušan Džamonja, one of the most distinguished artists in Europe.

Atelier studio of Edo Murtić

Vrsar landscapes were a great inspiration for Edo Murtić – one of the greatest Croatian painters, and his greatest inspiration was Montraker stone-pit.

This painter used to spend a great part of the year in his summer house in the most beautiful part of the old town. Unfortunately closed for public visits, the valuable collection of Edo Murtić’s work is available in his atelier studio, and can be seen on request, which has to be approved by his wife.

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Dušan Džamonja Sculpture Park

In the close vicinity of Vrsar there is one of famous and cultural tourist attractions: Dušan Džamonja’s Park of Sculptures. On the hills overlooking the sea, over more than 10 hectares of meadows, you can visit the artist’s atelier, workshop and park of sculptures. Visit this picturesque place in Istria where the sculptures themselves are incorporated into the natural ambience of the Džamonja’s home-studio where he lived and created most of his life. The artist experiments in his work by combining various materials such as glass, iron and wood, and wire mesh that fills with concrete. The specialty of his excerpt is the technique by which iron nails are embedded in wooden core sculptures. Sculptures take on a new look in space at different times of the day, and in every season they shine with a different shine.

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With no intention to make this post purely about artists, it is inevitable to mention Giacomo Casanova, the world’s most famous artist of love, and his visits to Vrsar at the time of the Vrsar County period. If you want to take a step back in the past, you have a great opportunity of experiencing Casanova Tour – organized by Istra Inspirit.

Casanova Tour

From 12th of June to 21st August you have the chance to take a walk through romantic Vrsar, discover the unexplored parts of the old town and discover love à la Casanova. This interactive tour, guided by artists, starts on the waterfront and follows the viewpoints in the town’s historic core, offering you an unforgettable journey through the love story of Casanova. The tour finishes in Casanova’s Shelter, where he stayed when he first visited Vrsar in 1743.

At last, if any of you get inspired by Casanova they say ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and it’s the same way with women’ —

Restaurant Trošt

Featured in The Golden Veronelli’s guide „Guida oro – i ristoranti di Veronelli“  as one of the best Istrian restaurants and in Gastronauts „One hundred leading Croatian restaurants“ this restaurant’s story is about family, tradition, experience and first class service in an unforgettable ambience of the marina, with a view to the Casanova town of Vrsar. Trošt’s mission is, as they say on their website, to make your visit to the restaurant a gastronomic exploration and voyage through a sea of tastes – fish, mussels, home-made pasta, home-grown vegetables, Istrian ox – boškarin meat, the most fragrant prosciutto ham, extra-virgin olive oil…

Have you fallen in love yet?

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Author: Annamaria Gržetić
*Founded in 2015, we are solely focused on contributing to sustainable tourism development. Therefore we are keen on building a travel brand to connect travelers with locals and the destination. Agora Off The Beaten Path is a movement that embraces tourism development in a respectful manner, while preserving nature and encouraging the locals to involve themselves in a much meaningful, deeper connecting between the guests and the destination. 
Want to work with us, be featured in our interview or simply have a story to tell? Reach us:
A. Coane 6, 52210 Rovinj
+385 91 600 4278

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