Welcome to the track of Lucy with crystal-clear eyes that is going to lead you along the eastern istrian coast, from the city of art galleries, charming churches and baroque palaces, right till hidden places where miraculous eye drops of the woman Saint are coming out, and from where unrepeatable views to the spectacular Kvarner bay are at your complete disposal.
We begin our ride from the old town of Labin, sited at the top of the 230 meters high hill. Although in its city centre you’ll be able to admire mostly buildings that are preserved since Venetian times, like the magnificent town gate San Fior, the city loggia, the palaces Franković Manzini, Scampicchio, Negri e Battiala-Lazzarini (National museum), or even the architecture from the end of the 19th century, there’s a little consideration to be done: Labin is far older town than it could seem at first sight!
Formerly known as the bastion of the Istrian mining, today it is the town of galleries and art studios. During summer Labin turns into a town of art, and on its streets most significant events of the contemporary art scene take place (Labin Art Republic).
So do not hesitate, enter in its old centre and furtively glance in the galleries, in the art studios and visit the churches of Labin like, for example those of St. Stephen and of St. Just or enter into the Parish church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the 14th century. In the meantime you could also visit the Memorial collection of Matthias Flacius Illyricus (1520-1575), collaborator of the famous Martin Luther and one of the most eminent supporters of the Protestant reform, born just in this place. If you follow the street of G. Martinuzzi, you will reach Fortica (belvedere) from which suddenly appears a magnificent view to the sea with Rabac and the island Cres, and also to the Istria’s highest mountain – the mountain Učka. If you are fed up of the Labin sensations, ride further through Salakovci, Viškovići and Brovinj until Skitača, grown on an eastern Istrian seaside plateau.
The place of a peculiar, Walachian origin name, that denotes moving – or nomad people, has been established in the 15th century by part of the immigrated caravan of Istrian – Rumanians which were retreating from the Turks, and which reached its highest development between the two wars when it counted as much as 350 souls. Today, on the contrary, almost completely empty with just 4 inhabitants, Skitača is just a place for excursionists and pilgrims, considering that in the near mountain it hides the famous rock from which the medicinal water wells out. If you are wondering why numerous eyesight weak people are going right in this direction, come and check by yourself! The water in the rock that doesn’t dry, even in times of greatest broiling heats and which, from ancient times, is said by people as the St. Lucy’s tears, presumably is a healing water source which cures the problems on eyes and restores the sight to the eyesight weak people.
If you are one of those who do not believe to such miracles, one think is for sure – Skitača is definitely the place from where your eyes will see special distances, considering that from here you’ll be able to admire an unrepeatable view of the Kvarner bay, and in optimal conditions of visibility you could also catch a glimpse of the features of Venice. Inspired by the views that reach the infinity, continue slowly through Skvaranska, Drenj and St. Marina back until Labin from where your adventure on the ways of Lucy with crystal-clear eyes has just begun.