If any of the locals hears someone call Petach Tikva the Mother of all Colonies, they will shake their heads and tell you, for the sake of historical justice, that it is Rosh Pina that should be bearing this title, as it was never abandoned completely and was actually built several weeks before Petach Tikva.
Either way, the magic of Rosh Pina lies in its exact dosage of rural atmosphere combined with touristic development, the magnificent landscape of the Galilee viewed from narrow stone alleys that are filled with stories of the past that come to live as you walk through.
So, what do you do in Rosh Pina?
If you wish to experience the real Rosh Pina, you must climb up to the restoration site and dedicate a couple of hours to explore it. Any time of day will be a good time to do so, as the site is open 24 hours a day, but early evening hours are the best.
Make sure to visit house number 12 as not only does it have a great view of The Baron’s Garden, it also has an interesting story. In 1929 the house was given to the Malaria researcher Professor Gideon Mer and his family, hence it is called “The Mer House”. In one of the rooms there is an exhibition of the Professor’s lab tools: mosquito cages, chemistry scales, a microscope and some test tubes with unidentified materials floating in the preservative fluid.
The professor’s lab was famous all over the world but stories tell that often he did not have enough patients for his research, so he decided to infect himself, his wife and even his donkey with Malaria.
In front of the professor’s house you can find the remains of “Hotel Swartz”, a motel from the end of the 19th century that, in his better days, had four guest rooms, a post office and a small shop.
Down the road you will find the first public building in Rosh Pina, the local 120-year-old synagogue, with a view of the Wadi and a nice rounded ceiling painted with blue skies filled with tens of small clouds. The synagogue is still very much active.
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If you wish to know more about the history of the place, you are more than welcome to the audio-visual show (with pay), to learn about the history of Rosh Pina, hear its tales and get to know its people. It is recommended for kids as well as adults.
To conclude your tour, take a leisure stroll in the “Baron Garden”, one of the most beautiful gardens in the area, established in1887 in honor of the Baron Rothchild’s visit in Israel. It’s design is inspired by the Versailles gardens and it is a truly great ending to your tour.
So, where do you eat in Rosh Pina?
Rosh Pina has lots of great restaurants, but the one we recommend is a fairly secluded lovely pub, sitting high above the colony with a Galilee view, called “Habeer” (“The Well”).
If you are looking for a light lunch or dinner in a relaxed atmosphere, you should search for the “Ga’uni” restaurant.
Rosh Pina is the perfect place for loving couples, families and history lovers.