Rovinj is a giant tourist centre. During its history, they have destroyed, rebuilt and completed its main buildings several times. Today, this versatility makes the town very attractive. Go on a marvellous walk from the local port through the cosy streets to see the breathtaking view.
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The building represents the characteristics of the Renaissance, but they have restructured it several times during the centuries. When the Venetians were ruling, they placed the famous lion of Saint Mark on it, which is the symbol of Venice. The tower used to function as the southern bastion of the town. There was also a cell for one prisoner in the basement. Today, it graces the main square, surrounded by cosy cafés, confectionaries, and restaurants.
The gate leads right to the old city from the main square. It got its name from Daniel Balbi, who used to be the mayor of the town. They built it in the 17th century, during the era of the Venetian Republic, so the lion with wings is, of course, present on it. It is also decorated with a Turkish head with a turban from the outside and a bearded figure carved from Venetian stone from the inside.
Continuing our journey from Balbi’s Arch we get to the most famous street in town. This is a buzzing artistic spot in Rovinj. There are pebbled streets adorned with colourful houses. We can also find dozens of workshops, galleries, and souvenir shops. They exhibit the local artists’ works during an open-air festival in August.
Rovinj is mainly attractive because of the old city. The old architecture representing the Venetian style as well as the maze-like street network are very popular among tourists. There is something magical in walking on the pebbled streets among the tiny but tall houses, with the air filled with the scent of freshly-washed clothes. The small Italian houses provide perfect shade even during the hottest hours. We can spend the whole morning walking on the narrow streets.
Church of St. Euphemia
We can spot the famous Church of St. Euphemia from a great distance. The bell tower provides a perfect view of the city and the sea with its 62 metres height on the middle of the cliff. We can even see the Alps in nice weather from up here. Beside the building itself, its story is very interesting, too. They say it got its name from a local teenage girl who refused to abandon her faith in Christianity. She was tortured and thrown into the fire, but she never broke. Finally, she was killed by lions, but her body was preserved – this is a heartbreaking story of dedication.
Rovinj and its neighbourhood is full of local wine and olive oil producers. We can taste the prize-winner products in the downtown wine cellars and vineyards in the outer districts. The Stancija Collis vineyard is always very welcoming with tourists. During our visit, we can learn about all the details of wine-making directly from the producers. While tasting, we can admire the breathtaking view of the vineyards from the patio.
Golden Cape forest park
There are several tiny bays at this small island to be explored. Behind the cosy beaches, which are not very crowded, there are pines, making the place ideal for relaxation even on the warmest days. We can also go hiking, cycling or scuba-diving. It is perfect both for families with children and dog owners.
Scuba-diving at the Baron Gautsch – Visit the Titanic of the Adriatic Sea!
The Baron Gautch or the Titanic of the Adriatic Sea served in the Austro-Hungarian navy during World War I. It is an 85-meter-long passenger ship. At the beginning of the war, they protected the most important ports with minefields. Unfortunately, the Baron Gautsch was not able to avoid the trap. The ship sank around 28 metres in 10 minutes. Several people could be saved, but more than 170 of them died in the accident. The shipwreck was discovered in 1958. Today, it is one of the most popular diving spots. Beside the passenger ship, you can also observe several species of fish and plants.
Lim Fjord can be found in the app. 13 kilometres from Rovinj. You can even dock here for a while and go on a nice walk in the beautiful nature. Towards the centre of the channel along the beach, you will find the Jama Piratov bar. You can dive deep into the beauty of the unspoiled nature: there are beautiful forests, mountains and hills to be admired during the trip.
Island of St. Catherine
The Island of St. Catherine can be found directly in front of Rovinj. It is accessible in 5 minutes on a boat. There are many beautiful gardens and parks here. From its beach, there is a perfect view of the marvellous old city of Rovinj and the bell tower of the Church of Saint Euphemia. It used to be the private holiday resort of the counts and dukes of Habsburg for a long period. Its only hotel is located in an old castle, surrounded by tennis courts and swimming pools. The beautiful verdant streets are completely car-free, so you can take a deep breath and enjoy the quiet.
Archaeological park: Monkodonja
It provides a great opportunity to get to know what life was like on the island in the old times. This is among the best-preserved towns from the Bronze Age on Istria – a beautiful archaeological site, which is very well-maintained and completely free to visit. The town is located 5 kilometres to the east from Rovinj where more than a thousand people used to live in the past. There is a wonderful view of the ocean and the surrounding areas from the hilltop. It is worth exploring this land on a cloudy day.
In this article, we presented the most popular things to do in Rovinj, which is a Croatian town characterised by Italian architecture. If you visit the Istrian peninsula, you must definitely see this place as well. Read more if you plan Rovinj sailing or rent a boat in Rovinj.