Linguistically, apart from Croatian, the population also uses its own unique dialect of the Venetian language, Fiumano, with an estimated 20,000 speakers among the autochthonous Croats and various minorities.
Historically Fiumano served as a lingua franca for the many ethnicities inhabiting the multicultural port-town.
The city's economy largely depends on shipbuilding (shipyards "3.
Maj" and "Viktor Lenac Shipyard") and maritime transport.
Though traces of Neolithic settlements can be found in the region, the earliest modern settlements on the site were Celtic Tharsatica (modern Trsat, now part of Rijeka) on the hill, and the tribe of mariners, the Liburni, in the natural harbour below. Pliny mentioned Tarsatica in his Natural History (iii.140).