The turbulent history of Umag, a small town on the far north western coast of Istria, is still visible today in the architecture of the town’s old part. In addition, the archaeological sites along the coast and the surrounding areas conceal many interesting historical tales.
Archaeological sites by the sea
Luxurious villas or “villae rusticae” were once found in the area that is now the site of the Sol Polynesia and Sol Stella Maris Resorts, as well as the hotels’ Sol Aurora and Melia Coral. It is a known fact that Antique Roman noble families discovered this area and built their summer residences here. Evidence of this has been found in the remains of numerous Roman villas that were situated right along the sea’s edge.
Archaeological digs, especially on the coast, have unearthed tombs and a whole series of Antique objects such as coins, the remains of tools, amphora’s, statues, monuments...
The remnants of the villa on Katoro peninsula bear witness to the area’s wealth
The floors of these villas were covered in coloured mosaics and according to some remnants and legends, the roofs were covered in copper sheets or red tiles. At sunset, these roofs would shine in a way that made them look like they had been gilded, and it is precisely because of this reason that the entire area is called Katoro (ca’do’oro = golden house).
The ruins of a Roman villa from between the 1st and 4th century on Katoro peninsula are the farming part of the villa, while the residential part stretches towards Tiola point. The wealth and size of the villa itself are evidenced by the remnants of mosaics, monumental tombs, and the hypocaust, as well as by the existence of a harbour and a fish farm, the presence of which has been confirmed by both research on land and underwater archaeological research.