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Located on the coast of Adriatic Sea in Croatia is the beautiful town of Rovinj, a sparkling gem in the crown of Istrian peninsula that borders Croatia, Italy, and Slovenia. The moment you step in Rovinj you’d get a feel that you have been transported into another era, into a fairy tale.
Geographically, Rovinj is a tiny islet separated by a channel, which was created somewhere in 18th century. The Mediterranean town of Rovinj is somewhat similar to a sleepy Italian fishing village, perhaps it is because of the influence of the Venetian rule remnants of which can still be seen. As you walk around town you would also see the streets are marked in Croatian as well as Italian.
How to reach Rovinj
There is a regular ferry service from Venice to Croatia which takes about three hours to travel from one coast to another.
Getting around Rovinj
The best way to see the town is to walk around; motor vehicles are not allowed in the old town. Other popular option is to rent a bike and go on explore the several trails along the coast.
Top Attractions of Rovinj
Rovinj Old Town
Rovinj Old Town is a mesh of narrow streets paved with cobblestones, and offers numerous cafes, small shops and restaurants to keep you busy all day long. Ulica Grisia (Ulica is Italian for street) is the main thoroughfare but I recommend you to explore the back alleys, which is where the real fun is!
Check out the remains of the old crumbling walls which circumferences the town. The wall was built to protect the town from invaders. There is also a Venetian style clock tower on the main square, nothing impressive but a landmark nevertheless. The fountain on square combined with the live music in summer adds to the atmosphere. If you feel tired, hang your boots, grab a gelato and relax.
Balbi arch is a gate which stands at the entrance of the Old town. Built in 17th century it feels rather small for a main arch; highlights are the Venetian Lion head and a Turkish head adjacent to each other.
Punta Corrente (forest park Golden cape)
Punta Corrente is a cool (quite literally!), relaxing park located on the southern end of Rovinj. The huge park has good walking paths and is also an ideal place to bike around. Begin by grabbing a free map from the tourist department, the map also has a bike route. Venture out a little and bike along the beautiful coastline. There are several secluded spots where you can sit for hours undisturbed. For more adventurous ones, there are rocks you can climb on or you can go snorkeling to explore underwater life. There are several eateries in the park, and toilet facility is satisfactory. The bike would cost you about €8 for a day’s rental.
Saint Euphemia Cathedral
The baroque style cathedral is dedicated to saint Euphemia, a Christian devote from 4th century. The patron saint Euphemia was quite a young girl (around 15) who sacrificed her life in devotion to the idles of the Christ. Her remains are buried in the church which is now a major pilgrimage site. For the same reason cathedral is a popular pilgrimage among the local devout of the region.
Built in 18th century the cathedral is perched on the highest hill of the city. One can visit the church simply for the stunning views.
The harbor area is perhaps the most busiest place in Rovinj even more than the central square in the old town. It is because Rovinj is still a fishing community with fishermen going by their day to day work. The harbor is lined up with colorful fishing boats floating on turquoise water.
Take a stroll along the coastline and look back for great views of town with Basilica of St. Euphemia towering in the backdrop. The constant sound of seagulls adds a melancholic affect to the atmosphere.
In the small shops you can browse through truffles and olive oil. There are several restaurants which serve fresh seafood. Classical Italian cuisines such as pasta and pizza are also popularly served. There are also boat trips available if you are interested to go around.
If you are staying longer in Rovinj, you can also take a day trip to Pula
Happy Traveling! Hope you have great fun!