© Vanda Vucicevic/Time Out

Rovinj overview

Introducing Istria's postcard-shot town Rovinj

Written by
Justin McDonnell

Rovinj‘s meticulously cared-for old quarter and stunning natural setting, combined with shaded, rocky beaches, have been bringing in groups of tourists since 1845, when a steamship line from Trieste stopped here. And yet tourism has not overwhelmed Rovinj or closed the local fishing trade, which still brings fresh catches to its excellent restaurants. Traditions are celebrated – hence the recently opened multi-media museum dedicated to the local batana fishing boat, Batana House.

Rather than overdevelop, Rovinj has sought to retain its old charm – a charm for which tourists pay a premium. This is one of Croatia’s nicer, and pricier, resort towns.

Before World War II, this was an Italian resort, and the large Italian community, which includes many restaurateurs, encourage an emphasis on fine dining and good living.

Rovinj has been settled since at least the seventh century, when it was an island centred around a low, cone-shaped hill sticking out of the sea. The populace overflowed to the mainland, and the construction of a causeway in 1763 turned the island into a peninsula. The hill still defines the shape of the mostly car-free Old Town, and an easy stroll up the spiralling road to the top affords views of surreal beauty.

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