Despite the name (veli means “big”, mali “little”), VELI LOŠINJ is actually a smaller, quieter version of Mali Lošinj, the island’s charming capital and port, a forty-minute walk along a scenic shoreline path via Valeškura Bay. Its warren of pastel-coloured houses is strung tightly around a tiny natural harbour.

You can’t miss the hangar-like Baroque St Anthony’s Church (Crkva svetog Antuna), which contains a fine tempera-on-wood Madonna with Saints (above a side door on the left as you enter) painted by Bartolomeo Vivarini in 1475. Originally commissioned by the Venetian senate, the painting was paraded around Venice every year on the anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto to celebrate the famous naval victory over the Ottomans, until being bought by a Lošinj family shortly after the fall of the Venetian Republic.

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