"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.
Down to the sea by the southern side of the peninsula of Rovinj. Between the previous picture and this one, we have... more travel advice
If we go on walking up towards Sveti Euphemia cathedral, the houses are smaller and scattered, the street is more sunny.... more travel advice
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