„The palace of the poor“


As of the thirteenth century, Venetians ruled the city of Rovinj. They recognized that the hilly inhabited island of northern Istria, just across the sea from their home, could be of huge strategic importance. Soon the tower of the St. Euphemia basilica became the most important landmark for their sailors and the port became the safe harbor for their fleet.

The Massatto family was well-known for generations, as skillful fishermen. So, the hard work made them earn a beautiful, though modest palace overlooking the port of Rovinj, as well as the name of the street where their home was.

The devastating consequences of the second World war made the Massatto family leave Rovinj and Istria. As the new owners entered the property in the early 1950’s, they encountered only the oldest palace inhabitant, the city barber. As he didn’t like the idea of the change of ownership, he tried to persuade the new owners that the house was worthless: “ TUTTO ROTTO”, he was shouting (“all is rotten”). The newcomers, however recognized the importance of the building.

Soon the new owners started refurbishing this palace of the poor, and made the old barber happy.       

It is only ten years ago that the owners of this unique villa decided to open its doors to the public, and thus, began to share it’s history with guests anxious to stay behind the medieval city walls, while witnessing the crypts where the inhabitants were once hiding the food and salt from the pirates.

As you come to visit us, we promise that you will be given a smile by the eighteenth century Madonna and her child that will make you come again and again…

vrh stranice