THE GALLERY ATELIER SOTTOMURO

Loosely translated it means 'Workshop/Studio under the wall'.....and it is. The wall it is under, however, is nearly 600 years old.

The medieval Porta di Sottomuro is one of the seven original gateways into the ancient citadel of Rovinj and was restored in 1590 when Rovinj was under Venetian control. Time and the elements have reduced this gateway to an open archway with a crumbling stone wall above.

In the wall is a heavily lintelled window opening looking out to the Adriatic. Romantic, yes. Charming, there is no doubt. Picture this, you are walking along the cafe lined quayside, the Adriatic sun on your face. You pass the fishing boats gently bobbing on the crystal clear water, the pigeons are taking their daily bath in the city fountain, Max the famous black cat ambles by.

You glance casually up a small alleyway, the ancient stones, worn smooth from hundreds of years of footfalls, gleam in the sunlight. You notice that the walls of the alleyway are lined with magnificent modern paintings that sit so beautifully against the ancient stone.

Sauntering up the alley you look more closely at the paintings until you come to a wide doorway - you enter. Inside it is cool, the meter thick walls keeping the heat of the Croatian summer at bay. You have just discovered 'Atelier Sottomuro' an Aladdin’s cave of wonderful and unique pieces of art.

This bright ancient space is where Jan Ejsymontt works and displays all she creates.

Jan launched her gallery in 2004 and is open from May to October, so stop by and say hello if you are in Rovinj.

To find out more about Rovinj www.rovinj.info