We found a similar history in Istria as the rest of Croatia, a mixture of outside rule from Roman to Hun to Bysantine to Frankish to Venetian to Austrian to Napoleonic to Austrian again to Italian to German to Yugoslavic. We can only assume this new time of self governance for Croatia must be an exciting time in their existence.
The face of their cities show varying amounts of influence from these ruling countries. In Pula, Austro- Hungarian buildings stand next to Venetian ones. They can be spotted by their taller stories; the window spacing is different due to the ceiling height of each floor. The Austrians also used sand from the ocean for their plaster, not realizing how much more it would need to be washed than the sand from their rivers at home. The remaining salt made them more susceptible to the grinding of time, missing areas of plaster reveal brinks and stone.
In Rovinj, (We would say Rovinya, nj is much like the Spanish ñ we Americans are generally much more familiar with) the narrow streets twist and turn much more than in the straight grids of Dubrovnik and Korčula, yet less than the tortured alleys of Venice, designed to befuddle enemies and having the same result on tourists. The girls rolled their eyes as I led them uphill to another church to look at more old buildings. But, the promise to stop at some souvenir stands so Marlie could buy a hedgehog made of shells and vising shops selling Italian clothing kept them going. Compromise always helps.
For our world tour, we’ve left Croatia, carrying memories of places we loved and those we did not, as well as a much better understanding of the history and people and the place.