Old sailing routes ran down the length of the coast, and goods were transported only during the day. At night and during storms they would hide in the ports and harbours. That’s how it was in Katoro.
The area between the Cape of Katoro and the Cape of Sipar did not only have villas belonging to wealthy people, since there were also rural houses with farmsteads, whose inhabitants engaged in agriculture, crafts, fishing and trade. They would sell their products to merchants, which would then be transported by boat to other places. A large port was needed for this purpose. This is how the settlement Sepomaia came into existence, which stretched between the Cape of Katoro and the Cape of Sipar.
The arrival of settlers in this area reaches far back into history, since there were settlers here even before the Romans. The settlement first had a name with Celtic roots – Sepomaia. The Romans later renamed the settlement Siparis.
Due to the many dangers that threatened them, the people of Siparis had to frequently leave their homes: there were repeated attacks by pirates, attacks by a variety of different enemies, earthquakes, and constant robberies by barbarians. However, when these dangers passed they would always return and reconstruct the town and its walls.
This happened all the way up to 876 A.D. until the time when pirates from Neretva under the leadership of Duke Domagoj raided the town. Siparis started to decline more and more, and its inhabitants moved to an island – today’s Umag. Whilst other towns on the west coast of Istria slowly recovered, Siparis never did.
History continues to live in many of these settlements, although they are still shrouded in great secrecy....
A great surprise awaits you at the beginning of August – travel back in time to the era of the ancient Romans. During the Sepomaia viva festival, the entire old part of the city of Umag transforms into an ancient Roman town: costumes, cooking, dancing...the ancient Romans come alive again.