Rovinj is located on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula and it is a very popular tourist resort, especially during summer months. Due to its geographical position, the official languages spoken there are Croatian and Italian. The old town is built on the island, which was only connected to the mainland in the 18th century. Rovinj’s old town will enchant you with its houses tightly crowded down to the seafront.
Known as one of the most picturesque and romantic towns on Mediterranean, Rovinj manages to fuse, in a very attractive way, its rich history with the modern times. As it is also an active fishing port, you can experience the atmosphere of a small fishing village, especially during the popular fishermen’s events or at one of the traditional taverns called Spacio.
What to visit
Rovinj’s Old Town is definitely the most appealing part of the city for its visitors. It is a protected historical area, declared a cultural monument back in 1983, bursting with the testaments of some far-away times. Full of ancient buildings, churches, monuments, old doors, arches and the remains of the walls that used to protect the city’s inhabitants from conquerors and looters. The old town is built on the island, which was only connected to the mainland in 1763 by filling the channel. The first walls were built in the 7th century and were enforced several centuries later. From 1283 to 1797 Rovigno was one of the most influential towns in Istria governed by the Republic of Venice. During this period three town gates were constructed and Rovinj was fortified by two rows of defensive walls, remains of which can still be seen today.
The castle on the island of Sveti Andrija (St. Andrew) was originally a Benedictine Monastery established in the 6th century AD. The castle has now been transformed into a hotel.
The Aquarium is a part of the Sea Research Centre of the Institute “Ruder Boškovic”. It has been operating more than 100 years and it is one of the oldest aquariums in the world.
Balbi’s Arch is the old town’s gate constructed a faced with stone back in 1678. It is located nearby the Rovinj’s pear and a late Renaissance clock tower.
Tower of St. Euphemia’s Church
The Church of St. Euphemia is the largest monument in the city, built in a Venetian Baroque style between the years 1725 and 1736. Alessandro Monopola, a Milanese architect, designed its tower as a replica of the Church of St. Mark in Venice. The top of the tower offers a magnificent view to its visitors and hosts the large statue of S. Euphemia originally made of wood, but later substituted with one in copper after the first was destroyed by thunder in 1758.
The County Museum of the Town of Rovinj was founded in 1954 and it holds precious examples of art and it also houses the scientific library with more than 30.000 books.
Red Island and the island of Maskin
Red Island and the island of Maskin are two artificially connected islands popular both among tourists and locals. They are easily approachable by taxi boat that departs from the town’s center every hour. There is a large number of stunning beaches on the islands, those on the south side, near the hotel and the annex, being the most crowded. However, you can surely find many other peaceful spots at some other parts of the island, as well as numerous services, such as a restaurant, a pool, miniature golf courses, diving center and others.
Sport and recreation
As the most cities on the coast, Rovinj offers many sailing cruises, fishing experiences and organized scuba diving. If you prefer to remain on the ground, you can always go for a romantic evening run at the sunset along the beach or apply to amazing organized Bike Tours that, with help of the professional guides, will show you the city from some other perspective. The trails are custom and adapted to user’s wishes, interests and body condition.
With a large array of beautiful, autochthonic restaurants in Rovinj, you don’t have to worry about staying hungry or unsatisfied with food options. Most of the restaurants offer traditional meals as well as great Istrian wines such as Malvazija, Chardonnay, White and Grey Pinot or Teran. Other than restaurants, there are also many pizzerias and taverns. Take a pick and enjoy the creativity of local chefs! Istrian cuisine is a true reflection of historical, geographical and climate characteristics of the area, mix of different culinary traditions with dishes based on seafood, wild plants, aromatic herbs, seasonal vegetables and olive oil. Must try dishes are: pršut (dried ham), olives and cheese, truffles (Istrian specialty), Fuži – traditional Istrian homemade pasta, Scampi alla buzzara and grilled fish with seasonal vegetables.
Rovinj is renowned for its beauty, history, and art. No wonder that many visitors want to bring home a memory of this enchanting city. Rovinjski Pelinkovac, herbal liquor, well-known for its quality, special, bitter taste and a strong smell of wormwood. Rovinj’s batana boat, a model ship which is the most widespread traditional vessel in Rovinj, exhibiting the continuity of the local tangible and intangible maritime and fishing heritage. Model ship of Rovinj’s batane is a handmade wooden souvenir. Recipe book of the Batana House – recipes that have been passed down through the generations and prepared both at home and in the special atmosphere of Rovinj’s tavern – spacio.
Once in Rovinj and if having some extra time to spare, take the boat trip to Lim Fjord and enjoy its breath-taking nature. If you happen to be up for some adrenalin rush, try out free climbing at one of its rocks. Other enchanting places to visit nearby are Funtana beaches, Poreč, Pula, Umag and Brijuni National Park.