Cultural sights

Bettica Palace

The Palace, built in the 14th century became the property of the Bettica family in the 16th century. The Bettica family that supposedly came to Italy from Spain in the 12th century under a false name grew into an influential and wealthy family. If this is so, the family name probably derives from Boetica, today's Andalusia. Because of similarities, the Beticca family put the Betonicae herba in their coat of arms.

In the 16th century in Verona, the family was conferred the title of nobility. Besides this, they were granted a large property in Istria in the area of present-day Betiga near Barbariga. First records of the family appear in registers of Vodnjan in 1559. Before settling in Bettica Palace, they resided in other palaces of Vodnjan, renovating some that even nowadays bear their family coat of arms. It is only later that they became owners of the Gothic palace.

In the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, this nice building changed its owner and underwent many adaptations, partitioning and transformations on the ground floor. Along with Alberto Bettica from Torino, a descendant of the Bettica family, came the first breath of hope for the Palace under the Italian administration (1931). Alberto arrived in Vodnjan for the 600th anniversary of the Venetian administration. The following year he managed to purchase part of the building that pursuant to the agreement became a protected cultural monument.

After years-long work, the restoration and adaptation of Bettica Palace in Vodnjan was completed. The desire of the Vodnjan inhabitants to present their material memory finally came true. The inauguration ceremony of Bettica Palace took place on November 29, 2008. In the course of the Palace restoration, fragments of a Renaissance fresco were discovered on the second floor. Restoration rendered all the preserved parts visible and remains of historic stucco were equally treated.

The ground floor holds archaeological finds from medieval churches in the surroundings of Guran - Church of St. Simeon and the large three-aisled basilica, as well as remains from the same period discovered in the surroundings of Guran, in the churches of St. Cecilia and St. Severin.

The first floor displays a valuable collection of paintings gathered in Venice by painter Gaetano Gresler bequeathed to the town of Vodnjan in 1818. The collection comprises 19 paintings of mostly profane themes (still life, portraits and battles) from the 17th and 18th centuries.

The second floor is dedicated to the Palace itself (history, reconstruction), the future Museum of the Town of Vodnjan and the townspeople who have donated valuable objects.

» Bettica Palace Museum



Grimani-Morosini Castle


Stone Collection of the Lapidarium Museum


Castle of Pietrapelosa


House of frescos

Central Istria