Šišan (Italian Sissano), a historic settlement on the eastern part of southern Pula area, 858 inhabitants (2011). It is situated in the middle of a fertile agricultural area surrounded by woods (Magran – Cuf).

The inhabitants are mostly dedicated to the traditional cultivation of grapevine, olives, wheat production and cattle farming. With industrialisation, in the second half of the 20th  century, a large part of the population worked in a shipyard in Pula as well as in other manufacturing sectors. However, despite the inadequate infrastructure, nowadays, some families have turned to tourism.

The ruins of prehistoric archeological sites, hillforts or castles ( Muntići) as well as a substantial presence of antique architecture ( St.Stephen), indicate the existence of settlements in the prehistoric and ancient times. In the Middle Ages Šišan was one of the wealthiest places of the Pula area. The first written document dates back to  990 and the name of the place originates from a  personal name of Roman origin ( Sisianum< Sisius).

This area was in the hands of various lords such as bishops from Pula, aristocratic families Morosini and Sergi, Castropola. In the 15th and 16th century the area was wiped out by plague so that the Venetian rulers gave some estates to Dalmatian and Greek refugees.

The parish of Saint Felix and Fortunata was built in 1528 at the place of a smaller sacred building and preserves a precious inventory: a gothic Holy Virgin with a child ( 15th century), a baroque marble altar, a wooden golden tabernacle, the Holy Virgin with a child ( 1480), which was originally preserved in the churh of Blessed Virgin Mary on the hill of Monte Madonna, a late gothic Crucifix ( 16th century) and St.Lorencin relics. In the vicinity there is a single-nave church, Saint Trinity (1450) with the incorporated apse  preserving the cross with the glagolitic inscription. The historic centre of Šišan  is enriched with architectural elements from 14th to 16 th century, and close to the cape St.Stephen there are ruins of important villae rusticae, the undiscovered ancient and medieval settlement, as well as traces of antique port equipment.

The inhabitatnts of Šišan, along with some other spots on the southern Istria and Rovinj, cultivate the Istriotic language. The important institution for promoting the Šišan ( Italian) identity, language and culture is the Italian Community. At the beginning of the 20th century, Mgr Valeriano Monti published a book  Cenni storici di Sissano, in which he described some of his impressions and history of these places.

(source: http://liznjan.hr, written by Antonio Giudici)

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