October in Labin and Rabac
The 2nd Industrial Art Biennial is held at Labin Museum, Culture centre Lamparna and Labin public library, closing on October 28. The biennial, entitled 'On the Shoulders of Fallen Giants' has been running since July in Labin, Raša, Vodnjan and Rijeka, jointly organized by Labin Art Express XXI, MMSU Rijeka and the Archaeological museum of Istria as part of the project Rijeka 2020 European Capital of Culture. Various locations in Labin offer art works made by twenty-seven Croatian and foreign artists and art groups.
Labin-based industrial art biennial was inaugurated in 2016 by the art group L.A.E. XXI within the desire to revitalize former mines in Labin area and its surroundings. Istrian mining industry initiated the expansion of capital, colonial and war conquests, supported the fascist war industry, participated in construction works during the Socialist regime, now becoming industrial cultural heritage.
Once again, enjoy the white sails competition at Rabac bay, organized by Kvarner sailing club from Rabac. Sea lovers enjoy the wind and the waves all year round, and this is your opportunity to watch the exciting race from the first row, and rent an excursion boat from the local agencies and explore the stunning bays of south-east Istria. Save the date for the 2019 Labin Republic regatta in May and Rabac regatta in September.
October marks the beginning of olive harvesting in Istria, a region which was declared the best olive oil region in the world by the influential guide Flos Olei 2018, for the third time in a row. Labin area olive oil producers flank the top of their list, with a selection of their oil available from restaurants around Labin area. Extra virgin Oleum Viride Belić oil are available from the family-run oleoteca in Rabac, with a spectacular view over the Rabac bay. Along with expert-guided tasting, you'll find out how mono-blend and multi-blend oil Belić Selection match various ingredients and meals. A special atmosphere of olive oil tasting is offered at Negri Art&gastro gallery at Palazzo Negri in Labin Old town. Cultural heritage and art combined with top-quality oil and wines Negri are complemented with home-made honey brandy (medica), sparkling wines, Istrian cheese and prosciutto. If you're interested in olive oil production process, head to Perinić olive mill located in Perinići village near Pićan, which offers Oil Perin Perinić. In Rabac, gold-medal award winning Oleas by Štucin family farm is available from Pingo pastry shop.
St. Florentius Day is traditionally celebrated on October 27. St Florentius is the saint patron of the Romanesque church of the same name, located in Kranjci village near Labin. Therefore, October is the ideal time to walk along the toursit trail called St. Florentius’ trail, that will lead you through the autumn colours of local vineyards, olive groves, gardens and the shrubbery. While on trail, you’ll learn about the legend of the buried Byzantine gold. According to the local legend, the church was built by the Greeks during the Byzantine times. They were extremely wealthy, but a seven-year draught followed and because of hunger they had to move. They packed their small chariot with gold. Since the gold was too heavy, they buried a part of it in a cauldron around St. Florentius’ church with a secret vow. They’ve never returned for the gold, and the vow remains a secret.
The church was erected in the mid-6th century and is listed as cultural heritage of the Republic of Croatia. A valuable 6th century altar with altar panels decorated with braided ornamentation is preserved inside.
Distance: 3 km from Labin, on the road from the Old Town to St. John’s cemetery and Koromačno.
Trail length: 20 minutes from the village of Kranjci.
Duration: 1 hour
During October visit restaurants in Labin and Rabac and enjoy delicacies with mushrooms and the white truffle, which is hunted during autumn until the beginning of winter. Local forests and pastures have always been plentiful with a variety of mushrooms, including the most popular boletus, mushroom of San Martino, Cesar's mushroom, and the king of Istrian woods – the white truffle. Have a taste of fritaja (scrambled eggs) with white truffle, home-made cheese with truffles, pljukanci or fuži (hand-made pasta) with boletus and smoked pork loin, beefsteak with truffles, fuži and pomegranate, or mushrooms and truffles with tomato sauce, mozzarella and olives, from Forest Goddess pizza.
Some of the favourite photo spots in Labin Old town include the Torjon tower, in front of San Fior town gate and Fortica belvedere overlooking Rabac, both decorated with iron cannons. Kids and adults strike a pose on these beauties, and the iron giants have an interesting story to share. Namely, today's cannons were set up only in 1995 at Fortica and Torjon, which was built as a defence tower after the Uskoks invaded Labin in 1599. The first two small cannons at Torjon were set up by the Italians after the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. After the end of World War II, Yugoslav authorities had both of them removed, as they were considered symbols of the fascist state, and they were thrown into garbage. But, they were eventually replaced with the current ones, from the Austro-Hungarian period.