Click on above photo to view it in large format: Town of Rovinj, Croatia, located on the Istrian Adriatic coast, was part of Italy until after World War II, thus both Croatian and Italian are official languages. Once a walled island, the channel separating it from the mainland was filled in in 1763, making it a peninsula.
The captain wielded his long white oars like hot knives through butter, each dip barely dimpling the glassy sea. His muscled arms moved fluidly, tiny adjustments keeping us on our course around the old city of Rovinj. We rounded the ancient pier and hugged the coast, where sun-splashed houses of many colors balanced precariously on rock outcroppings. Every so often, he abandoned the oars to smile and wave at a passing boat or residents who hung out of their windows, watching our little parade. “Ciao! Come va?” He seemed to know everyone.
Banich Zerro Giordano is one of a vanishing breed of fishermen who have for centuries plied this part of the Adriatic in flat-bottom wooden boats known as batanas. Like the 27 other owners of the remaining batanas of Rovinj, he rows out to sea each day, employing a unique collection of nets and hooks to catch fish. But on this day, rather that sinking lines or pulling up nets, our five tiny boats (one carrying musicians who serenaded us with traditional folk ballads known as Bitinadas), were bound for a seafood feast at a local taverna. Read More