"Rovinj, a must visit !" Top 5 Page for this destination Rovinj by JLBG

Rovinj Travel Guide: 351 reviews and 973 photos

Rovinj, 13,647 permanent inhabitants, much more in Summer, always surprises. Though plenty of billboards advertise for the city, when you drive towards the town, nothing in the landscape announces that you are close to it. And suddenly here it is, but you cannot admire the landscape immediately as you have to park before going any further. As could be guessed from the billboards, the old town does not fit for cars (luckily !) and the visit will be by foot only. Once parked, you have plenty of time to wander and admire.

As in many places in Istria, Italian (or/and Istriot) is the native language to a fair amount of natives and the name of the city most of the times appear as Rovinj/Rovigno. Istriot (Istro-Romance), is a Romance language close to Venetian. Since the Venetian times, Istriot was widely spoken all over Istria but is now considered by the UNESCO as an endangered language, spoken by less than 1,000, mainly in Rovinj and Vodnjan. It seems that a good many of former Istriot speakers have now turned to Italian, the mother language of up to 50,000 in Istria, all speaking also Croat [the number of 50,000 must be taken with caution. Official sources give a lower number].

In Croatia, Rovinj is among the places that receive the highest number of tourists. So, at least in Summer, don't expect to be alone ! Though, if you walk into the old city, you will find that there are less visitors than on the quays, which is fine, but brings out one question : what does these guys that visit (?) Rovinj are looking for, if they don't wander in the old town !!

The city was founded around the IVth on an island, inhabited by Slavs in the VIIth and was an ally with Raguse (Dubrovnik) in order to get protection for it's trade. But the pressure of pirates brought her to look for the protection of Venice instead. It was one of the first cities in Istria to fall under Venetian rule. In the XVIIth, Rovinj was the official provider of Venice for building stones, which brought a great wealth to the city and it's inhabitants. At that period, refugees from southern Dalmatia, trying to get away from invading Turcs, settled in Rovinj. Until the middle of the XIXth, it was the wealthier city in Istria. The development of Pula/Pola, of Rijeka/Fiume and of Trst/Trieste put an end to this period. It was not until the development of tourism that Rovinj recovered a part of it's wealth.

The pavement of the old city, now no longer an island but a peninsula, have been polished by so many pedestrians along the century, that they are very smooth and slippery, especially (but not only) when wet. Choose your shoes accordingly !

The church of Sveti Euphemia is on top of the city and can be seen from everywhere. From the summit of the campanile, the view is breathtaking (which can be dangerous as, once you have climbed it, you will be breathless). Around 800, the sarcophagus of Saint Euphemia is supposed to have floated by itself from Greece to the Rovinj shore.

  • Last visit to Rovinj: Aug 2004
  • Intro Updated Aug 20, 2004
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Reviews (58)

Comments (22)

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
    Aug 10, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    My cousin just came back from a trip to Rovinj so I decided to check it out on VT... What a beautiful place! Your pictures are so nice, especially the ones from the campanile!

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Dec 20, 2009 at 8:55 AM

    This will be one place we hope to get to plan in the area for our spring trip. Your pictures and comments entice us to make sure it is not missed. Great work and presentation

  • May 29, 2008 at 5:56 AM

    Great page!

  • tere1's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2008 at 2:02 AM

    I never thought Croatia had so many interesting things to see and do!! I know I must visit it soon:). Excellent pages and tips!!!

  • Myndo's Profile Photo
    Apr 24, 2006 at 12:08 PM

    I was here somewhen in the 80s. as far as I remember and can see from your pages, not so much seems to have changed. You have quite the eye for details! Nice page. Corinne

  • Callavetta's Profile Photo
    Jan 3, 2006 at 7:15 AM

    Jean-Louis, this is a wonderful representation of Rovinj. I agree, why do the tourists not explore the tiny "streets" of the old town? There are so many wonders to uncover.

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Nov 2, 2005 at 11:44 PM

    What a lovely town and the view from the campanile I wouldn't like to miss if I visited the town. Great page!

  • catalysta's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2005 at 10:08 AM

    You have a knack for combining historical information with a wonderful feel for the area. Rovinj just a little reminds me of St. Malo, charming...cat

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Apr 25, 2005 at 12:38 PM

    Great page on very charming old town. Well, I skipped the tower :-((( and markets but I loved to stroll down the narrow streets in Rovinj... next time I will add more thanks to your page.

  • Paul2001's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2005 at 9:24 PM

    You make Rovinj look very enticing. This is a superbly written page.


“I believe that tourists are very valuable to the modern world. It is very difficult to hate people you know. (Steinbeck)”

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