Top 10 things to do in Rovinj
CHURCH OF ST. EUPHEMIA
The greatest Venetian monument in the city is the baroque church St. Euphemia, built in the first half of the 18th century on the foundations of the old church from the 10th century. The bell tower is reminiscent of the bell tower of the church of St. Mark’s in Venice and its construction lasted 26 years. If you are in good shape, you can climb stairs to the top of the bell tower.
THE LEGEND OF ST. EUFHEMIA
Euphemia is the patron of Rovinj, the church and bell tower dominate the town. The legend says that she was born in Constantinople in the end 1st century and was tortured because of Christianity. Her coffin was in Constantinople, but was mysteriously floated to Rovinj. Such heavy sarcophagus was pulled out of the sea by the boy with a pair of little cows and dragged up the hill. The sarcophagus is opened once a year on the day of the city.
LIGHTHOUSE SV. IVAN NA PUČINI
This unique lighthouse is located on the same island, near Rovinj. It was built in 1853, is automated and has a permanent crew. As part of the lighthouse are 2 apartments that can be rented in the summer season. This islet is actually a rock the size of 70×50 m, shallow coastline, ideal for Robinson holidays.
BARON GAUTSCH – DIVERS’ ATTRACTION
Baron Gautsch was 85 meters long and nearly 12 meters wide passenger ship. At that time it was the largest, fastest and most advanced ship of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and sailed on the line Trieste – Kotor. Unfortunately, sank in 1914 with 240 passengers near Rovinj because of underwater mines. The shipwreck lies in sand at a depth of 40 m, well-preserved and is one of the most visited dive sites in the Adriatic.
ROVINJ ISLANDS – ST. ANDREW ISLAND AND ST. CATHERINE’S ISLAND
An ideal opportunity to escape from the city noise include the small islands of St. Andrew (Crveni otok) and of St. Catherine. Both islands have a fascinating history. At the beginning of the 20th century the islands were bought by the nobles who built their residences there. The nobels were in a kind of rivalry and built castles on the islands, reforested it and changed the horticulture. Today, on these islands there are hotels and that can be reached by a 15-minute boat ride from Rovinj. Ideal for swimming and enjoying the sun!
Visit the amazing green part of the town! Back in 1908, a successful entrepreneur Georg Hütterott had an ambitious plan of developing the area Zlatni Rt where he wanted to build hotels, villas and beaches. At that time numerous plant species such as pine, cedar and fir were planted. This is an ideal location for bird watching!
Grisia is the most famous street in Rovinj. You must pass it either to climb or descend to the Church of St. Euphemia. This is a typical antique coastal street with really special atmosphere, and the facades of houses are in vivid color. This is an open studio space with a various artist’s exhibition.
Be a tourist and find out why exactly Rovinj is known for its fancy and unique design hotels with exceptional quality! Hotels Lone and Monte Mulini are rewarded for its quality service, design and equipment.
This small town is proud of its economic history. Back in 1872, tobacco factory was opened and produced cigars for the Austro-Hungarian army officers. The factory is operated under the Austro-Hungarian ownership, and later under Italian. In 1878 a wax factory was built and in 1882 a glass and sardine factory were erected. End of 19th century was very important and in that time Rovinj had a hospital, Sea biology institute and a theatre.
BATANAS AND BITANIDAS
Batana is a traditional Rovinj wooden boat with a flat bottom, sized between 4 and 8.5 meters. The art of building the Rovinj batana is a protected intangible cultural heritage of the Croatian cultural heritage. The “House of Batana” museum is situated in Rovinj and throughout you can hear Rovinj fishermen singing traditional songs known as the bitanda.
Top 5 experiences in Rovinj
MOTOVUN, MOTOVUN FOREST AND TRUFFLES
Discover the hidden inland beauties of Croatia’s largest peninsula – Istria! The scenic landscape is not far from the seaside and you don’t need to travel long. It is especially attractive in spring and autumn, when the hill villages appear to hover the early morning mists. Motovun is a medieval town in central Istria with 500 inhabitants settled on the site of ancient town called Kastelijer. It is located on a hill 270 m above the sea level with houses scattered all over the hill. The town has its own city gates, towers and fortifications. A great influence of Venetian time is visible in the town like The Lion of Venice. The town is linked with the tale of Veli Jože (Big Joe) written by Vladimir Nazor, one of the most important Croatian writers in 20th century. Today the town hosts the international Motovun Film Festival for independent and avant-garde movies from the USA and Europe and it usually takes place a week in late July or early August. The longest Istrian River Mirna (Mirna means peaceful) flows below the Motovun and there is a famous Motovun forest, which 280 hectares are specially protected because of its wild life, moist soil and rich with prized black and white truffles, which grows successfully there. Taste the truffles in combination with traditional Istrian pasta. What a feeling!
Venetian rule of the Croatian Adriatic coast lasted nearly 700 years and many of the coastal and island towns still show a marked Venetian influence. Did you know that Venice is standing on Croatian wood pilings? Large number of alder trees were gathered in Croatian mountains and transported by water to Venice and used in construction works. Istria is an ideal place from which to visit Venice and you can take a speed boat line from major Istrian cities (Poreč, Rovinj, Pula, Umag…) and enjoy a private guided tour of Venice. Enjoy seeing some of the most beautiful buildings of the world with history and culture that date back many hundreds of years. See the Bridge of Sighs, Palladian Churches, Customs House, Grand Canal, St Mark’s Basilica and the ornate Doge’s Palace. Free time is an opportunity to visit some galleries or relax at a café on St. Mark’s Square. Consider a boat trip to Venice Islands like Murano or Burano. Venice is the most romantic city in Europe, and we dare say in the world, the canals, architecture and there is a unique chance for a Gondola ride with music and glass of Prosecco. Enjoy!
PULA AND ANCIENT AMFITHEATRE
Did you know that the best preserved ancient monument in Croatia is the Roman amphitheatre in Pula? So this is your chance to visit this coastal city, and witness this cultural treasure. The construction of the amphitheatre began in the first century, and it is speculated that it was built by Emperor Vespasian. A folk legend says that the Arena was built by fairies who carried the stone from the nearby mountains all night. Among Roman amphitheatres, The Pula Amphitheatre occupies sixth place in the world after the Coliseum in Rome, the Verona Arena and the amphitheatre in Pompeii, Nimes, Arles and El Jam. It was used for gladiatorial combat, and today it plays host to film festivals and music concerts of domestic and foreign stars.
If you want to see other ancient monuments in Croatia, then this is the ideal opportunity to visit Pula and Mali Lošinj where the Apoxyomenos has just opened (the best preserved example of a Roman athlete from the 1st century BC in the world) and Split with Diocletian’s Palace and Salona in today’s Solin. These attractions can be seen in a short period of time by a sea plane that connects the Croatian islands and the mainland.
BRIJUNI NATIONAL PARK
Brijuni (Croatian National Park) are a group of fourteen small islands in Istria, near the city of Fažana and Pula. The largest island is Veli Brijun connected with smaller Mali Brijun and there are famous for its scenic landscapes, ancient Roman settlements, rich Flora and Fauna and former president Tito, who made the Brijuni his personal State Summer Residence. Almost 100 foreign heads along with film stars including Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren visited Tito on his islands. The islands have a rich history, from dinosaur footprints which have been discovered here and you can see them at Brijuni Cretaceous Park to the ancient Roman settlements. Austrians are very important for the development of Brijuni which happened in 19th century. They built hotels, restaurants, marina and the Brijuni islands became popular as a destination for the Viennese upper class and were visited by members of the Imperial family and other wealthy European bourgeois and aristocrats. On the island there is also a Safari Park with elephant, zebras… The plant world is very rich and you can see the 1700-year old Olive tree. Amazing! P.S. Surely visit the small romantic church and several exhibitions on the Veli Brijun. Playing golf? With its golf course being established in Europe 1922 it is a Nature Reserve where you step back in time. You would enjoy playing at the golf place at the hearth of Adriatic and at the heart of the nature. During the game, you will be visited by many animals… that’s for sure!
ISTRIAN WINES AND OLIVE OIL
Istria is rich in vineyards and olive groves. The finest Croatian extra virgin olive oil is produced in Istria. The tradition of olive growing is more than 2,000 years old, and the olive tree as a symbol of peace in this region. It has been growing since ancient times because of the region’s excellent climate, the composition of the soil, geographical location, experience and technology. Be sure to visit the Istrian wine roads and discover why Istria is a popular gastronomic destination. Also, make sure you taste some of the famous and high quality wines such as Malvazia, Teran, and Muškat. Round up the gastronomic experience with Istrian prosciutto and dish specialties with white or black truffle. Bon appetite!