The good spirit of the city of Rovinj
Rich is not the one who has a lot, but the one who gives a lot.
Domenico Pergolis left the city of Rovinj in debt with his charity. In addition to being a respected local doctor, he distributed his wealth to the poor.
He completed primary and secondary school in his native Rovinj, and then continued his education in Koper. He studied medicine in Padua, and in 1855 specialized in surgery. The very next year, he graduated in obstetrics. Returning to Rovinj, he was a doctor for many years. Most of the people of Rovinj born in the second half of the 19th century came into the world thanks to Pergolis.
In the second half of the 1880s, he was a city councilor and an official in the city administration. He used his political influence on several occasions to pay significant sums of money for the care of the sick and poor. In the 1990s, he was a member of the municipal commission for health. He worked as a doctor until 1897. He was especially sensitive to the poor, and in the last years of his ministry he treated patients at his own expense.
At the end of the 19th century, Rovinj almshouses fell into difficult financial circumstances. Pergolis then selflessly donated 70,000 Austrian crowns for the construction of a home for the elderly and infirm (Casa di Ricovero), which was opened in Rovinj in 1900 and which today bears his name. At the opening of the new institution, he donated another 1,000 crowns to poor patients. Pergolis continued to donate funds for the support of beneficiaries until his death. He left 4,000 crowns to the poor. He always insisted that his donations remain anonymous, and word got out about them only after his death.
This doctor was an exceptional philanthropist, and his legacy in the form of a home for the elderly and infirm continues to help Istrian patients more than a hundred years after his death.