Municipality of Vrsar
Vrsar is located almost at the mouth of the Lim Bay, on a hill 54 meters high. The original settlement was only at the top of the hill but it later spread down its slopes. The new, tourist Vrsar, develops by the sea and is surrounded by numerous romantic islets and rocks.
2.162 inhabitants, 24 km2
Municipality of Vrsar, according to 2011 Census has 2.162 inhabitants, on the area of 24 km2
Vrsar has a continuity of settlement since the pre-historic times, but the real history of Vrsar begins during the Roman rule in Istria. In the Vrsar area, some rich Roman aristocrats had their properties – villae rusticate. In Roman times, Vrsar was more than just a village; it represented an important marketplace for agricultural and cattle products. In 4th century A.D. it became an important Old Christian center. When the Croats came, they took over and destroyed Vrsar and also dispelled the old Roman population. The exact time when Vrsar came under the rule of Poreč Diocese is unknown, but it remained there constantly from 983 to 1778, despite the fact that both Venetians and the Patriarch of Aquileia tried to take it away from the bishops in Poreč. From 10th to 18th century, Vrsar was the administrative center of the County of Poreč Diocese. Even though Venice conquered the west coast of Istria in the 13th century, Vrsar remained under the rule of the bishops. Under that rule, Vrsar lived a life of a village commune that had its own Statute. The administration over Vrsar was given by the bishops to their Governor, and the land was given to various vassals. The Diocese lands in and around Vrsar were the most important source of income. In 1778, Venetian Senate abolished the church county in Vrsar and it was placed directly under the rule of the Venetian Doge. For the properties seized, Venetian authorities paid compensation in money to the Poreč Diocese. Administratively, Vrsar was joined with the municipality of Sveti Lovreč. In the 19th century Vrsar was a small village in Poreč district. During the same century, the town expanded outside of the town walls: a dock was built in the bay. On the slopes of the hill between the old Vrsar and the sea, new houses were built. In the early 20th century a new school was also built (1900), this peaceful and ancient town has become a well-known and developed tourist center.
In the 18th century, on two occasions (1743 and 1744), Italian adventurist and litterateur Giacomo Casanova stayed in Vrsar, which he mentioned in his famous memoirs. In his honor, for the last seven years, Casanovafest – a festival of love and eroticism is organized. It was designed by Slobodan Vugrinec and Boris T. Matić as an event that celebrates the historical connection of the famous seducer Casanova and Vrsar. Casanovafest is inspired by the natural beauty of Vrsar and it archipelago as well as the fact that Koversada, the first and then largest naturist camp in Europe, was founded back in 1961.