Weekend of Top Events in Istria: Bumbarska, Grisia, Cioche, Svetica, Lisac

Total Croatia News

Photo: TZ Rovinj

This weekend marks the peak of the touristic season all along the Croatian coast and some of Istria’s most traditional celebrations and other events take place during the prolonged weekend (Assumption of Mary on Monday, August 15) and there will also be many concerts from today, Friday, August 12, 2016 on. This time, we’ll let the concert organisers worry about promoting their respective shows and focus on a handful of the most characteristic traditional annual celebrations.

If you are in Istria over the weekend, don’t miss the Grisia exhibition and celebration in Rovinj, when the streets of the old town of are going to be turned into outdoor galleries and the town will be even more colourful, romantic and vivid, as renowned and aspiring artists present their works on the stone stairs, walls and windows. Also use the opportunity to buy something to remind you of Istria and Rovinj until your next visit. Grisia has been taking place since 1967 and has become one of the most popular events of the city. Grisia 2016 takes place on Sunday, August 14.

Don’t make any reservations at restaurants for Monday, August 15. Head to Galižana-Gallesano, near Vodnjan-Dignano, for some fabulous snail-polenta at the Festa delle Cioche (Snail-Fest) and check “eat snails” off your bucket list. Most of the served snails come from local vineyards and meadows. Arrive early, as August is the month when many many Italians visit the Istrian peninsula. The Festa delle Cioche has been taking place since Italians discovered that snails were slower than rabbits.


Fortunately, the Bumbarska Fešta in Vodnjan is not about eating Bumbars (Bumblebees), but you can taste many specialties made and served by Bumbars, as locals from Vodnjan-Dignano are called (for reasons unknown to the author). Enjoy a walk through the medieval streets of the old town at one of the olive oil capitals of the peninsula. A few olive oil tasting rooms will also be open so have some €100 ready, and don’t think twice about spending them, for some 3-4 bottles of the liquid gold. Concerts on three stages, fireworks at midnight and a host of other events take place in Vodnjan from the morning as part of the Bumbarska Fešta on Saturday, August 13.

The phrase “see Valtura and die” won’t probably ever make it to mainstream, but the small village near the Airport Pula is one of the hotspots on the peninsula when it comes to celebrating Assumption of Mary with their traditional Svetica festivity. Come and see some good Istrian Catholics enjoying a Slavonian tamburica band (Mejaši) and rinse down the Galižana snails with some wine on Monday, August 15.

Other interesting traditional festivities will be taking place in Brtonigla, Fažana, Rabac and many other places throughout Istria. The best concert of the weekend is set to take place on Sunday, August 14 at the Kaštel in Pula when Croatian-Pop-Diva Josipa Lisac is set to rock the castle from 9:30pm.


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