Rovinj (Italian: Rovigno) is a city in Istria. The city is officially bilingual (Croatian and Italian).
Rovinj is served by Pula airport approximately 30 km south. The easiest way to reach Rovinj from the airport is to drive - the journey takes approximately 40 minutes. Although cars are not permitted in the old town, Rovinj is sufficiently small so that parking is available close to most of the city. Prices are around 2 HRK per hour (the park-o-meters accept only coins).
There are also buses from Central Pula.
The old town and the surrounding area are small, and are easily accessible on foot. Bicycle hire is quite inexpensive in Rovinj and there are very good cycle tracks up and down the coast.
There is a daily ferry to Venice from the harbour in Rovinj. The ferry takes about 2 hours and takes you to almost the centre of Venice. There are also taxi boats and excursions to St Katherine's Island, in the harbour.
The old town is best explored on foot. Worth seeing are the original entrance into the city, the Balbi Arch; the market at Valdibora; the cathedral of Sv. Euphemia; the artists' street of Grisia, described as "Rovinj's Montmartre"; and the harbour in the centre of the town.
- Walk around in the old town.
- Climb the campanile of the cathedral of Sv Euphemia in the middle of the old town.
- Shop for truffles, olive oil, seafood or fruit and vegetables in the open air market, between 7am and 4pm.
- Cycle there are miles of cycle tracks to the south through pine forest that follow the coast line. Cycle Hire is relatively cheap for good quality bikes.
- Swim right there, below the church you can clamber over the rocks and take a dive in the Adriatic.
- Rovinj Heritage Museum, Trg marsala Tita 11/52210 Rovinj, ☎ +385 52 816 720. 9am-3pm, 7pm-10pm (late opening, summer only). The Museum is housed in a Baroque palace that in the 17th and18th century belonged to the Califfi counts. It was founded in 1954 by a group of artists from Rovinj with the intention of collecting and exhibiting works of art. Today it serves as a town gallery and as a place where its rich bank of works of art is permanently exhibited. 15.00 HRK.
There is a big climbing area just half an hour by foot from the city centre (follow signs to the Park Hotel, then 10 minutes further down the road).
There are several other climbing areas in the region, but you need a car to get there:
- Limski Canal
The excellent market on Valdibora sells fresh fish straight from the boat; truffles and truffle oil; olive oil; plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Be sure to carry cash, as not all places accept cards, and in those which do, the feature is usually "temporally out of order".
- Calisona, Trg Pignaton 1 (Opposite the museum). Multilingual menu, with pizza, pasta, risotto, as well as speciality meat and fish dishes. Reasonable prices, excellent service. Sit and watch everyone go by, located just away from the crowded seafront squares. 40-120kn.
- Neptun, Joakima Rakovca. 11am - 10pm. Quiet, quirky restaurant specialising in seafood, pizzas and veal cooked in the peka - a slow-cooking method using live coals and a long-handled pan. You need to order two days in advance for this. main course 45-120kn.
- Lampo, Sv. Križa 22, Rovinj. Great restaurant with nice waiters, the food is excellent and the view is stunning. Make some fun with the waiters, they will start to like you and serve you better. main course 45-120kn.
- Basilica, Cesta za Valaltu-Lim 5 (Drive towards camping Valalta, and pay attention to the right side of the road, there will be a big sign that says Basilica). A very good restaurant with excellent staff, the owner is called Dominic, a very friendly guy that only accepts new waiters that have been to a hotel school. So you can expect the waiters to clean everything that's on the table, for example, if you extinguish one cigarette in the ashtray, they will get a new ashtray for you. The food is excellent and comes in good amounts. You should definitely try the steak, because Dominic also owns a steakhouse in New York and he uses the same recipe. main/high course 45-200kn.
- Cocktail Bar Valentino, Rovinj. Fantastic location by the sea with atmospheric under sea lighting and seating on the rocks. Unfortunately heavy sales pressure on arriving female customers to buy champagne, rude service and over priced chemical cocktails that havent seen fresh fruit.
- Villa Baron Gautsch (follow the signs to the Park Hotel located in the same street), ☎ +385-52-814042, fax: +385-52-840537. Nice guesthouse with very friendly personal. Clean, small rooms, single rooms available. Between 20 and 37 € per day and person including breakfast, depending on the season.
Rovinj is well-placed for visiting the Limski Kanal (Lim Canal), where the film The Long Ships was shot. Excursions can also be made to the Brijuni Islands National Park, and to many of the other cities in Istria, such as Pula, Novigrad, Porec, Pazin, and Opatija. A slightly longer journey could take you to Rijeka; Izola or Piran in Slovenia; or Trieste in Italy, all of which fall within the ancient boundaries of Istria.