Dates: May 2013, May 2018
Route: Flight from London to Trieste, Italy and drove to Rovinj.
Of all the cities we have seen in the world, Rovinj lands at the top of the list. It is the best of everything old Europe has to offer combined with sweeping views of the Adriatic and some of the nicest people we have met. Located in the northern province of Istria, this active fishing village is built on a peninsula that juts out into the sea. The beautiful old town is built with pale limestone in traditional Venetian architecture as it was occupied by the Venetians from 1283ad-1797ad. The fact that the old town is located on a peninsula is what makes Rovinj so stunning to behold. There are amazing photo spots from both sides of the town and the sunsets are one in a million. There are lovely old bars and restaurants on the water and you can spend an entire evening with a bottle of wine and the sea mostly to yourself. We went to the excellent La Puntulina which is an old wine bar and restaurant with tranquil views of the sea. We sat on the rocks just below the bar with a bottle of wine and a cheese plate and drifted off into another reality.
The medieval old town is a tangle of narrow cobblestone streets that pass under arches with side passages that lead down to the water. Walking down a street will transport you to times long past as the pastel-colored houses pass you by. The smell of dishes being prepared with garlic or onions will ensure a hearty appetite when you are ready to eat. The main harbor on the southern side of the peninsula has many great restaurants and bars and is very lively at night. The two best photo spots of the peninsula are off the Ul. Braće Brajković street in the north and from the Setaliste Vijeca Europe road in the south. The latter was near the excellent Hotel Lone where we stayed. To get the best sunset pictures, just walk down the hill to the small docks that stick out into the water. One final place to visit is the St. Euphemia Cathedral which dominates the old town and, as it was built by the Venetians, resembles St. Mark’s in Venice. The climb up is steep, but the views are stunning once you get there.
(Click on gallery images below for details)