Rovinj, Croatia – Best Things To See And Do

Rovinj Croatia

Rovinj, the picturesque Croatian seaside city situated on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula just 40km to the northwest of Pula.  Easily accessible by ferry from either Pula or Venice, Rovinj is the second most visited town in Croatia behind Dubrovnik. Although a favorite of European travelers, unfortunately, Rovinj is not that well known to British and American travelers.

Upon arriving in Rovinj (pronounced Ro-Veen), one of the first things you will notice is the Italian charm. After all, from the end of World War I until 1947, Rovinj was a part of Italy. Following the end of World War II, it became a part of Croatia.

Rovinj, Croatia
Rovinj, Croatia

Rovinj’s Partisan Memorial

Located on La Grisia, the main street leading to Rovinj’s Old Town, is the Partisan Memorial.  Erected in 1956, it commemorates the victims of fascism during World War II.  Designed by sculptor Ivan Sabolić, the Memorial was unveiled in 1956.

Partisan Memorial In Rovinj, Croatia
Partisan Memorial

Rovinj’s Trg Valdibora

Just past the Memorial, you will find the seafront Rovinj Trg Valdibora. Although appearing to be a farmer’s market, it mostly targets tourists with vendors aggressively hawking produce or overpriced souvenir trinkets.

Rovinj Market, Croatia
Rovinj Open Air Market. Photo Credit & Copyright: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography.

Stroll Through Rovinj’s Old Town

Continue along the narrow, cobbled street of La Grisa and you will discover picturesque alleyways tucked discreetly between old stone buildings. The Venetian influence on Rovinj’s architecture is prominent, leading Rovinj to be referred to as the “Little Venice”.

Rovinj, Croatia
La Grisa Street Rovinj. Photo Credit & Copyright: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

Insider’s Tip:  Look carefully and you will find a picturesque narrow stairway leading down to the Adriatic Sea. A perfect photo opportunity!

Rovinj, Croatia
Steps Leading To Adriatic Sea In Rovinj. Photo Credit & Copyright: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

As well as beautiful architectural detailing!

Rovinj, Croatia

Enjoy Rovinj’s Marshal Tito Square

Marshal Tito Square is the main square of Rovinj and connects the old town with the newer town. The Clock Tower was originally constructed in the 12th century and features the Lion Of Saint Mark, a symbol of the Rovinj’s connection to Venice.

Marshal Tito Square in Rovinj, Croatia
Marshal Tito Square. Photo Credit & Copyright: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

Built in the 17th century, Marshal Tito Square was initially called Piazza della Riva and later Square Vitorio Emanuele III. In 1980, it was renamed after the death of Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito.

Support The Rovinj’s Local Shops

Take a leisurely stroll around the side streets lining Marshal Tito Square.  It is here you will find the perfect souvenir or gift (many locally made) while supporting Rovinj’s shopkeepers.

Rovinj, Croatia
Rovinj Shopping District. Photo Credit & Copyright: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

Insider’s Tip: Be sure to check out: Nothing To Sea offering unique art & creative handcrafted gifts by local artists (located at Ul. Vladimira Švalbe 2); Lungomare Plaza located in the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is comprised of small boutiques offering upscale fashion, niche perfumes and accessories; Raku Ceramics offers handmade ceramics by local artists.

Rovinj’s Balbi Arch

To the right of the Square is the Balbi Arch, an ancient Venetian arch that leads back to Rovinj’s Old Town. Built in 1679, it was named for Daniel Balbi, a former mayor of the town.

Balbi Arch in Rovinj, Croatia
The Balbi Arch Rovinj. Photo Credit & Copyright: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

Prague, Czech Republic

Visit Rovinj’s Basilica of Saint Euphemia & Bell Tower

Entering through the Arch, climb the steep hill to the Basilica of Saint Euphemia with its 60m high Bell Tower. Construction was completed in1736 on the site of the original 4th century church. The Bell Tower is actually older than the church itself with construction starting in 1654.

Basilica of St. Euphemia In Rovinj, Croatia
Basilica of St. Euphemia. Photo Credit & Copyright: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

Atop the Bell Tower is a copper statue of Saint Euphemia, standing watch over the town and bay. According to the design of Simone Battistella, a local Rovinj architect, the Statue was placed on a shaft allowing it to rotate with the wind .

Rovinj, Croatia
Basilica of St. Euphemia Bell Tower. Photo Credit & Copyright: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

For a small fee, climb the 192 small steps to the top of the Tower for an amazing panoramic view of Rovinj and the Adriatic Sea below.

Step Inside The Basilica

Decorated in an opulent Baroque style with high ceilings, statues, frescoes, as well as several treasured 16th century paintings, the interior of the Basilica is simple yet elegant.

Rovinj, Croatia
Basilica of St. Euphemia Interior. Photo Credit & Copyright: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

The Basilica also contains a sarcophagus which holds the remains of Saint Euphemia, the patron saint of Rovinj. Born in 290 AD, she died by torture in 304 AD at only 14 years old for refusing to renounce her Christianity.

Rovinj, Croatia
Sarcophagus of Saint Euphemia. Photo Credit & Copyright: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

Don’t forget, some of the best things to see are above you. Be sure to look up at the incredible ceiling fresco and stained glass above the Sarcophagus.

Rovinj, Croatia
Ceiling Fresco Above The Saint Euphemia Sarcophagus. Photo Credit & Copyright: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

Enjoy amazing panoramic vistas of the Old Town and Aegean Sea from the landscaped grounds that surround the Basilica. The parklike setting with its dense trees and foliage affords plenty of much needed shade and photo opportunities.

Rovinj, Croatia
View Of Old Town Rovinj & Adriatic Sea. Photo Credit & Copyright: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

Visit Rovinj’s Old Bunker

Situated on the hill overlooking the Adriatic Sea is the remains of an old German Observation Bunker built during World War II. Although only an empty relic, the view of the Sea below is spectacular.

Rovinj, Croatia
Bunker In Rovinj, Croatia. Photo Credit & Copyright: Csptuing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography
Rovinj, Croatia
The Bunker In Rovinj, Croatia. Photo Credit & Copyright: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

Enjoy A Dip In The Adriatic Sea

The Adriatic is known for its crystal clear turquoise waters and there is no better way to refresh after touring Rovinj than taking a dip. Whether you choose Rovinj’s Balota Beach just a few minutes walk from the Basilica of Saint Euphemia or take a plunge from the rocks surrounding the city, the cool waters of the Adriatic will afford immediate relief from the midday sun. Insider’s Tip: The rocks can be quite slippery, so be sure to pack water shoes as well as sunscreen.

Rovinj, Croatia
Beach In Rovinj, Croatia. Photo Credit & Copyright: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

With its Venetian charm, twisting cobbled streets, and spectacular coastline, it is easy to understand why Rovinj is called “the jewel of the Istrian Peninsula”!

Safe Travels From …

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Published by Capturing The Art Of Living

Capturing The Art Of Living® is both a travel and photographic blog. We are a pair of international filmmakers who love to travel extensively and, just as important, love to share our experiences with the hope of encouraging others to learn more about our world. We invite you to follow with us and enjoy original photography, read about our travel experiences and find recommendations for awesome places to visit, what to see, where to stay and eat.

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