Rovinj is a classic model of a town of the Mediterranean form. It was fortified by walls in two rows as early as the Middle Ages, with town gates later incorporated into new layout. In late 18th century, the islet where Rovinj was originally built, was connected with the mainland. At that time, the rest of the town started to develop too. Rovinj is one of the most developed seaside resorts in Croatia, offering a whole range of visitor opportunities in a picturesque ambience of the ancient town, surrounded by dense pine forests.
The Rovinj coastal area is very well articulated with numerous bays, creeks, and capes. There are places of great natural and ecological value: forest park Punta Corente-Muntrav, St. Andrea's archipelago, the Palud marsh, the Limski kanal Fjord, and Monfiorenzo cave. Along the coast, with a markedly Mediterranean flora and fauna, a sup-Mediterranean climate with a moderate humidity level prevails. The presence of man reaches back to prehistoric time. The antique city nucleus, built on foundations of an insular fortification which was a prehistoric settlement (Bronze Age - Iron Age), dates from the 2nd-4th century, and also presents a unique Venetian urban and architectural model, built upon late antiquity and high medieval foundations.
The historic nucleus is piled up on a hill, on a very narrow building area of former island, with houses bunched together up to the door-step of the baroque church of St. Euphemia. The church and its slender bell-tower dominate the city, with the ample Valdibora bay on North side and the pictoresque bay of St. Catherine on Southern side of the city. Rovinj is an important economic centre. The most important companies and enterprises are those connected to hotel-and-tourist sector (hotels, camps, bungalows, private accomodation, etc...), industrial sector (above all tobacco manufacturing and fishing industry), and seamanship and fishing.
Activities and Sights in Rovingo
Diver Sport Centre
Most people hop aboard a boat for serious swimming, snorkelling and sunbathing. A trip to Crveni Otok or Sveti Katarina is easily arranged. Diver Sport Center is the largest operation in Rovinj, offering boat dives from €20 to €35 depending on distance, and equipment rental for €20. The main dive attraction here is the wreck of the Baron Gautsch, an Austrian passenger-steamer sunk in 1914 by an Austrian mine causing 177 fatalities. The wreck lies in 40m of water and offers plenty of marine life.
Cathedral of St Euphemia
The massive Cathedral of St Euphemia completely dominates the town from its hilltop location in the middle of the peninsula. Built in 1736, it's the largest baroque building in Istria, reflecting the period during the 18th century when Rovinj was its most populous town, an important fishing centre and the bulwark of the Venetian fleet.Next to the side door of the church is a 14th-century marble relief of St Euphemia. Inside the cathedral, don't miss the tomb of St Euphemia behind the right-hand altar.
The Regional Museum contains a collection of 15th to 19th century paintings and works by contemporary artists in Rovinj, as well as several Etruscan pieces. Unfortunately, the small size of the museum means that only a small percentage of its collection is on display at any given time. Its opening hours are irregular in the low season.
There are 80 rock-climbing routes in a former Venetian stone quarry in Zlatni Rat, many suitable for beginners. Pro Montana at the entrance to Zlatni Rat will provide a guide and equipment for 180KN. It also offers a climbing excursion to Vranjska Draga on the western slopes of the Učka range for 600KN.
The baroque Franciscan monastery was built at the beginning of the 18th century and contains a valuable library as well as a small museum of 18th- and 19th-century paintings and sculptures. Neither the library nor the museum are currently open to the public.
Though somewhat more expensive than Cantinon, this is a good place to try Istrian dishes, either in an interior crammed with knick-knacks or on outdoor tables. Try the bakalar (cod) in a white sauce, or baked lamb with potatoes.
The best show in town is watching the sunset from this place. Cocktails are pricey but sitting on the rocks next to the sea with a view of Sveti Katarina is definitely worth the splurge.
Established in 1891, the best museum is the Rovinj Aquarium. It exhibits a good collection of local marine life, from poisonous scorpion fish to colourful anemones.
The Town of St Euphemia has recently realised three million visitor stays for the second time, thereby becoming once again the most visited tourist destination in the Adriatic.