June 30, 2017 Rovinj

This was a quiet day with breakfast at the hotel in the morning followed by a lecture from 11:00am to 1:00pm. We had a local stone mason who spoke about the local stone quarries and how more than 80% of the stone used in Venice was from Istria. He now has a small shop in the old town of Rovinj where he sells all things made of stone. He uses the winter in his studio to craft the items he will sell in the summer months to tourists in town. He makes candle holders, hot plates, small candy dishes, votive holders, picture frames and items like that.

Next Erla spoke about modern day Istria after the wars and how property rights are still being disputed in the courts. Italians who were forced from the country after WWII are seeking compensation for land lost.

Both Mario, the stone mason and Dario, the hotel owner grew up during Tito’s rule and felt that they had a good life and that they were taken care of by the government. They both feel that there was less animosity between the religious and geographical sectors of society. Everyone used to be treated the same and no one knew any differently about who was Bosnian, Italian, Croatian, etc. They feel that today there is a lot more tension than there used to be.

The weather was very stormy in the afternoon with rain and wind so it was not very good to be outside. We spent the afternoon inside.

At 6:00pm we had another wine tasting class where we tasted a sparkling wine, a rose and two excellent red wines. They served some bruschetta with creamy cheeses, apricots, miniature pears and prosciutto. Helena, the wine shop owner, is very personable and she works with her sister Mandy and a young waiter named Matteh. They were very kind to us all during our stay in Rovinj.

Kent and Christine, the program managers arranged for a doctor to make a house call and check Kent’s cold out before we headed to our next destination. The doctor prescribed some antibiotics to be taken for a week or ten days to clear the fluid in his lungs. The cost of a 30-minute house call and a few days of antibiotics not quite the same as in the US. The total cost was 500 Croatian Kuna, 65 Euro or about $77 US. The drugs were 52 Croatian Kuna at the local pharmacy.