November in Labin and Rabac
The former early twentieth century luxurious villa has recently been renovated and turned into the first four-star hotel in the town of Labin. The charming boutique hotel owned by the family Peteani is located in the main street leading to the old town. Overlooking the Renaissance church of Our Lady of Health and nearby Verbanac and Bičić art studios, this hotel unites the spirit of Labin antiques, cultural heritage and finest modern design. Eleven double and three single rooms with saunas, a rich wine cellar and restaurant with local specialties, were designed by the prestigious Croatian design studio Fabrika. Custom-made furniture with retro pieces such as wooden horse, a symbol of the hotel, will take you on culinary adventure at Peteani restaurant, starting from gnocchi with prawns in black truffle sauce, marinated anchovies with strawberry and truffle topping, local squids stuffed with shrimps and asparagus to wild rice with cuttlefish and leek and traditional Istrian krafi (traditional local dessert).
The spirit of antiquity and mystique of Labin old town invites you to discover the hidden secrets of the past, walk down the mine shaft and enjoy the view from the highest city tower over the blue beach of Rabac. The tourist - walking trail is named after the namesake saint, patron of Labin whose feast is celebrated on November 2. Today at the site of the former church of St. Justus stands a 17th century 35 m high bell tower with newly restored bells. Old town is dominated by the beautifully preserved buildings from the Venetian period: San Fior town gate, town loggia, the palaces Franković Manzini, Scampicchio, Negri and Battiala - Lazzarini, which houses the National Museum Labin. You will be surprised by a replica of a mine shaft inside, unique in this part of Europe, which takes you back to the mining history of Labin and its surroundings. Passing by the many art studios and galleries the trail takes you to Fortica viewpoint with an old cannon and delightful view of Rabac and Učka. Walk down Aleja velikana (Walk of Fame) through a pine forest (Pineta) until you reach a point where the trail continues to Gondolići village passing near Labin Rabac Tourist Board. Have a rest near the 13th century Romanesque church of St. Gall, or visit the remains of St. Anthony’s church, located on the eponymous hill. Descending towards Rabac, enjoy the magic of green and intoxicating fragrance of Mediterranean plants joining the crystal clear sea.
Trail length: 6.8 km
Duration: 3 hours
The quality of Pićan wines was confirmed by the Austro-Hungarian throne prince Franz Ferdinand when he visited this mediaeval town situated about twenty kilometres from Labin at the beginning of the last century. In November, the month of the baptism of young wine, a festival called Martin off Labels (Leni Martin in the local dialect), an exhibition of Labin area, central and northern Istria young wines is held in Pićan. In the nearby village of Kukurini visit the family winery Baćac which keeps the tradition of viticulture for more than 75 years. Join the guided tasting, snacks and Istrian music, and have a glass of the Goran Baćac’s award-winning wines, Malvasia Calypso Histria and Merlot Calypso Nera. On the feast of St. Catherine, 25 November, young Pićan wine and olive oil tasting is held in the village of Sv.Katarina near Kukurini, where you’ll also find Marial, one of the best Istrian homemade pasta makers.
Baćac Winery, Goran Baćac
16 Kukurini, Pićan
Guided tasting is available by appointment only.
T +385 (0)52 869 090
M +385 (0)91 186 9090
When summer crowds leave Rabac beautiful autumn shades colour the picturesque village of Ripenda which rises up above Rabac. The rural life in Labin was once wisely organized. Stone houses were built according to plans, and the interior and garden areas were practically designed due to lack of fertile land. This is why the land was jointly cultivated, and family and helping each other were the basis of life. Even though this was rural area, back in 1907 in one of the richest families Paliska from Vicani first school was open. Today, Ripenda will seduce you with the spectacular views on the Kvarner bay, picturesque paths, olive groves, vineyards, lots of wild bitter vegetables and herbs, a wide selection of accommodation in beautifully decorated family villas and most of all with the traditional gastronomic offer. Markus restaurant and tavern at Ripenda Breg offers more than hundred year old wine sorts, traditional Istrian prosciutto and sausages dried over wine barrels. Friendly hosts will show you the process of drying and pressing of prosciutto between two stones, and serve you fresh fish caught in rich Rabac waters.
Markus Restaurant and pension
36A Ripenda Breg
T +385 (0)52 856 903
This year’s best family farm award was given to family farm Šahdanović from Čepic Polje near Labin. The family-run mini dairy Zlata and a farm located only a few kilometres away from the sea, on the pastures protected by slopes of Učka and Sisol, produces superb fresh, semi-hard and hard cheese, škripavac (traditional soft and ful-fat cheese), cheese with truffles, cottage cheese, yogurt, cream and grated cheese. The combination of mountain and sea climate creates unique conditions for grazing Montafon cows. Salty delicacies from dairy Zlata are available from farmer’s market in Labin and in summer at gastro events in Rabac and Labin.
Zlata Mini dairy, Family farm Šahdanović, Polje Čepić, Kršan
M +385 (0)98 931 8548, (0)98 931 9516
The people of Labin have always had to fight for their rights, and the town history of full of riots. After the Venetian Republic took over Labin in 1420, it imposed the new legal status of the town and its inhabitants. In addition to numerous charges, people had to give part of their wine to Venetian podestà who would sell it kept the money to him. But on March 8, 1786 Labin people had enough. The mandate of podestà Pasqualigo expired and he went to Venice, but he left his wife Donna Angelica, who was unable to travel due to her high pregnancy, in Labin. Meanwhile, Donna Angelica introduced new changes that led to citizens’ riot. Instead of the previous price of wine from 4 solda, she decided to sell wine for 6 solda, causing riots and armed rebellion. The rebels threatened with arms and yelled at the house of Donna Angelica, while their wives cursed the podestà ’s wife who eventually dropped the price of wine to 5 solda. Venetian Senate Council later conducted an investigation, but the rebels agreed to mutually defend each other, so the riot ended successfully.