Perast was at its peak in the 18th century under the Republic of Venice, when it had as many as four active shipyards, a fleet of around one hundred ships, and 1,643 residents. At that time the most beautiful buildings arose in this fortified town. Many ornate baroque palaces and magnificent dwelling-houses decorated the town of Perast (Perasto), full of typical venetian architecture. The population has since decreased to 430 in 1910 and around 360 today. The fleet was extinguished by the rise of the steam engine. At the fall of the “Serenissima” (1797) Perasto was the last city of the Republic to lower the Venetian flag. On 12 May 1797, the Republic of Venice ended, but a few places in the Albania Veneta for several months still continued to remain loyal to the Venetian Repubblic: Perasto was the last place of the Repubblic to surrender. On 22 August 1797 the Count Giuseppe Viscovich, Captain of Perasto lowered the Venetian flag of the Lion of Saint Mark pronouncing the farewell words in front of the crying people of the city and buried the “Gonfalon of Venice” under the altar of the main church of Perasto.
From 1941 to 1943 during WWII, when Mussolini annexed the territories around Cattaro to the Kingdom of Italy, Perasto returned under the influence of Venice. The area was part of the italian Governatorato di Dalmazia and was called Provincia di Cattaro. After 1945 Perast was annexed to Yugoslavia and now is part of the newly independent Montenegro.