ROVINJ,once an island,but connected to the mainland since 1763,is known as the Jewel of The Adriatic.
From The Main Square,Trg.MarsalaTita ,and between Hotel Adriatic(the oldest established hotel in the City,) and a building containing one of Rovinj's Supermarket's,lies the Baroque Balbi arch(christened for the nobile family whose coat of arms features in the pecking order beneath a growling Lion of St.Mark emblem of the Venetian Republic,)leading into the old quarter of Rovinj,where,during one evening in the summer season,plays host to the local winegrowers,in the surrounding area.
By purchasing a commemorative wine glass,you'll be able to sample,what is on offer,especially the Teran(red)and Malvazia(white)wines!
Beyond here,the grey flat stoned narrow lanes ,which,when wet,can become a hazard.The local hospital is known for it's good "Plaster of Paris Art Work",on unsuspecting visitors!(All major Operations are carried out in Pula,some 40km away.)
The lanes spiral up past Austro-Hungarian tenements,some of which, the ground floors have been converted into Art Galleries,Restaurants and small shops, and nearing the top, stone built houses.
On The Highest Point stands the Baroque Cathedral, which is dedicated to Saint Euphemia,a fourth-century martyr from Constantinople,whose sarcophagus was washed onto the shores of the Island.Today, the sarcophagus can be visited, inside the Cathedral,surrounded by frescoes of the saint's legend,behind the right altar. The bell tower,modeled on St.Mark's in Venice,is the tallest in Istria at 61 Meters(200 feet.)The weather-vane in blue-green bronze of St.Euphemia,can be seen by fishermen far at sea.Within three days,the weather will change,if she turns her back to sea or land!
You can climb the tower(and it is claimed on a clear day,you can see Venice,-but even if you cannot,due to sea mist,the view is stunning,)by paying a small fee and entering from within the Cathedral.
Rovinj has a open-air market,selling fresh fruit and vegetables ,local cheeses,(which come un-smoked,semi,and fully smoked,)local home-made grappa's(spirits,)which you may usually try before buying.Local honey,(which is also used in one of the local grappa's,)and local lace, and wood carvings.The Market,can be found open seven days a week,and where you will always find someone selling something,even on Christmas and New Year's Day!
Rovinj, has a Habsburg-era tobacco factory.When walking the streets,you are likely to smell the sweet fig-like smell of drying tobacco,when the Sirocco (wind )is blowing.However,a new factory is currently being constructed outside of the City,where newly built Motorways linking throughout Croatia and beyond,can be found.
What you are very likely not to smell,is the Fish Processing Factory,situated on the out-skirts of the City.The only one of its type,I'm told,in Croatia.
Close to it, on the road, Vijenac brace Lorenzetto,you'll find one of the many "Discount" stores.Beware the entrance,as it does not pass two cars easily,and it is on a hill, close to a "blind"bend in the road.Outside the store you will find re-cycling bins.In Croatia they are "very hot",in re-cycling waste products.On P.E.T.(Plastic,)bottles,a discount is given on your shopping,when such products are returned for recycling!
From the long Pier in Rovinj's harbour,(Luka Rovinj,)during the summer season,you can take the fast-ferry to Venice.The ferry usually calls twice a week,and is good for a day trip,if you wish to visit another Country,whilst on holiday,especially as Rovinj has, in its history,been part of the Venetian Republic.Venezialines catamarans zip to Venice mid-May-mid-September.
From the short Pier,opposite Hotel Adriatic,you can catch the local ferries.A time-table can be found at the end of the Pier.One ferry goes to Svete.Katarina (St.Katherine )where ,you will find Hotel Katarina,whilst the other travels further to Crveni Otok(Red Island,-it's name comes from the red soil,and it is also called, St.Andrea.)Here lies amongst landscaped gardens ,the newly refurbished ,Hotel Istria.And for those requiring a "Full Tan",the Island joining Crveni Otok,by a causeway,is for nudists!
Nudism,is not new in Croatia,as when the Country was part of the former Yugoslavia,the first nudist beaches,in the World, were created in the 1970's!
Also, from this pier,you will be able to take a Panoramic Sea Tour of Rovinj and its off-shore Islands,sailing at 11.30hours and returning at approx.,13.30hours,or a longer trip (leaving at approx., 14.30hours,returning approx.,18.30hours,)along the coast to the Limski Kanal,a fjord,600 meters(1,969 feet,)wide and 11Km(7 miles,)long which cuts a deep channel inland between Rovinj and Porec.
Due to the low salt content of the water,and the clay soil of the valley,it makes it ideal for many species of plants and fish,and oyster-farming thrieves here.At the end of the Channel you can take a late lunch, and sample the fish and oysters at two Restaurants,found here.
The Crew of the "Clinker-built",ship,Quo Vadis(a ship,,which I prefer to travel on,due to the experienced and happy crew,)will during your trip serve you with local grappa(excellent if sipped,which helps prevent any sea-sickness,)local white wine or juice.
It has to be said,that from experience of staying in several small hotels,both in Croatia,the United Kingdom,that Hotel Adriatic in Rovinj,a 27 bedroomed,Three Star,establishment,serves the best "Breakfast Fayre,"and Hotels with more bedrooms,and star ratings,cannot match.(True, up to end of 2007.)Even if you donot stay here,you can still come in and purchase Breakfast.And what is better,than sitting outside,on a fine day,and seeing Rovinj's Harbour Views! - Hotel Adriatic. The Hotel,classed at one time as a City Hotel,rarely closes throughout the year.So,if you cannot find the time to visit Rovinj in the Summer Season,and are prepared to risk Winter Storms(rarely does it snow in Rovinj,)then come and stay here for Christmas and New Year!From this hotel you can usually have good views of "The Stage".Danijela Martinovic performed "OAZA", in Rovinj in September 2005.She also was interviewed, by HRTL, in the reception area of this hotel,and stayed here.(I know,as I was staying here at the time,and met her.after her show.) You can see that interview by HRTL, by logging onto her website,and clicking onto the multimedia section,and TV Shows,and then 7.HRTL -Exclusive 3 - Rovinj (Youtube).http://danijelamartinovic.com/
The Hotel Eden,a Four Star rated hotel,which features "show cooking"at Dinner,is usually open for Christmas and New Year's Eve/Day too!.
If flying from the United Kingdom for Christmas and New Year,use CroatiaAirlines,who fly from Heathrow Terminal 2 to Zagreb.You need to book your onward flight to Pula Airport,well inadvance(unless your planning a stop-over in the Capital City Zagreb,)as the Internal Croatian Flights,are served by ART 42-300 modern turbo-prop short range aircraft,which seat a limited number of Economy and Business Class Passengers.(Hopefully,one day in the near future,an all-year flight programme will be available from London-Gatwick,with Croatia Airlines.)
Rovinj,at New Year is a wonderful location.I've stayed the last three, for the New Year's Eve Celebrations.
The Rovinj locals certainly know how to have a fantastic time! Picture,: Outside Hotel Adriatic,a large tent with stage.Live music,from Folk ,via Jazz to Rock Bands,have played the last two years,I've been staying.Starting at around 18.30hours and ending as late as 04.30hours on New Year's Day Morning,stopping only for the ringing of the bells at Midnight,signaling the Birth of the New Year,and local Fireworks!
Beer is available to buy,within the tent,and the local bars are also open,well into the night!
For something special,come to Rovinj and stay for New Year's Eve,and go to one of the restaurants where you will be joined with locals.I have just returned to the U.k. from Rovinj,and spent the New Year's Eve in Veli Joze,feasting on local fare,and joining in the dancing.(see photo's of New Year's Eve 2006/7.)
Last year,whilst walking back with my Croatian friends ,we joined for a time in The tent,to listern and dance to the music,and songs,sung in Croatian,German,Italian and English.
Much later,we visited a small bar off Matteotti.Filled with smoke,from locally made cigarettes,with the one and only extractor fan,hardly keeping up,I was made to feel as if I'd lived in Rovinj all my life!Cured Meat Sausages,(made in a village,I'm told,close to the Hungarian Border,)home made pickles and fresh bread,were handed freely by the elderly women in the bar, to myself and my friends.As the music played I was encouraged to join in the traditional dancing of the area,of Croatia,which they had once lived.I stayed a while,with several breaks for the fresh nights air.I'd have stayed longer,but for being a reformed smoker!
Currently,Crime in Rovinj is very low.As the local population is approx., 15,000 everyone knows someone,who knows someone else.In other words,if you do something wrong,and your found out,you are very likely to loose your job.You won't find employment locally,so you will have to move away,if you want to survive.(This was told too me by a local.)That's why,if you leave your reading glasses or wallet accidently on your outdoor Restaurant /Cafe table,it is most likely to be still awaiting you,when you return!
Tax currently in Croatia, is 22% on everything purchased,-even Toilet Paper!Wages are fairly low.A hotel Receptionist might expect to take home approx 4,000Kuna a month( after working a six day week)(£400,if worked at 10 kuna to the Sterling Pound.)Therefore,as a Tourist, PLEASE consider giving a tip to Waiters in Restaurants and Cafe Bars(who earn far less,)for Service given ,of between 10-15 percent(%),that's 10-15 pence per Sterling Pound spent.It will be much appreciated!
Currently,Maistra Hotels,are building 2 new hotels.Both on sites' of previous hotels.Both they hope too be open in 2008.One will be rated as a 4 Star,with Conference Facilities,and the other will be Rovinj's first 5 Star,which will have 24 hour room service,and just 150 beds!(Update:-The 4 star will open 2010. The 5 star was opened in late 2008.And local gosip is a 6 star hotel planned for the old Tobacco Factory Site,to preserve the Austrian-Hungrian Building.)
Music,plays an important part of Croatian life.The local Batana Group,can be seen at most festivals in Rovinj.For those who like taking home music what better than the CD of local Rovinj Singer/Songwriter,DAVOR TERZIC,called "PUT POVRATKA",and features a music video of his song from the Album,S.Tobom U Tebi,as you'll see,and remember ROVINJ.(CD is available from Croatia Records, number 5655763.)shop.crorec.hr/crorec.hr/ws_start.php?uwe_lang=en (If Davor records his next CD in English,I'm sure he will become an International Success overnight!!) LATEST NEWS: Davor informs me,whilst we sit outside Hotel Adriatic(22-5-08)that he is working on a new CD,in Croatian,which may have a music video attached in English, for release,later this year.So far,he tells me,he has composed and written 7 of the songs,for it! (Update- Davor & his wife Vesna -October 2008,visit Rome with a group of Rovinj's Children's Church Choir,A C.D./DVD may be released soon,.)-20/12/2008:-Davor has new single cut, called "Mili grade".(Thanks for the personal copy Davor & Vesna!)
Davor's song from 2006, Zoves me, can be viewed on You Tube.As can his other songs!
Davor & Vesna Terzic's son Kristian,is a successful Jazz musician. He also has music you can download, and with his band,can be seen in Concerts both in Rovinj and on Croatian T.V.
EXCURSIONS":QUO VADIS", ROVINJ,ISTRA,CROATIA.TEL:Mobile ++385(0)98 224 311. This ship is usually moored infront of Hotel Adriatic.(On a personal note ,I have known,and travelled with this crew since my early years in Rovinj.)
Transport: The bus station is at Trg na Lokvi bb,Telephone 052-811453.There are 12 buses daily to Pula(1 hour.)
Taxi: There are several taxis available at the bus station,or you can telephone MARIO :Mobile: (00385)098211729.He speaks /understands English.(Drop the "0" on the mobile number if calling from outside Croatia.) IF GOING BY TAXI LONG DISTANCE,(for example from hotel to the Airport,) AGREE THE PRICE,BEFORE YOU TRAVEL !
Car Hire:VETURA d.d. Information & Reservations www.vetura-rentacar.hr email:email@example.com Nazorova b.b. Tel.052 815 209,Fax:816 012 Mobile.091 730 44 08. Rates include: 1 day rental,unlimited mileage,Insurance car collision,Personal Insurance, the daily deduction waiver charge(A,C),Tourist Map,Local tax 22%.NOT INCLUDED:Fuel.
(PLEASE NOTE: UNDER CROATIAN LAW,YOU ARE ALLOWED 2 SMALL GLASSES OF WINE -MAXIMUM!)
APARTMENTS TO RENT
Apartments:Hermes Apartments,Arsenale 2, 52210,Rovinj,Croatia e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org www.hermes-apartments.com
Apartment:-It is small flat,separate enterance,independent,approx.,30 sq.meter.Enterance,small kitchen directly on enterance,W.C. Livingroom with DoubleBed. T.V. Air Conditioned(Heating or Cooling.)PRICE: Approx: 50Euro Day Hire. Min Stay 2 Nights to be charged.Supplement for 1 Night, 50%.
.CONTACT:(00385)52815184.Mobile:-(00385)(0)912513713.Email. email@example.com DORJAN POROPAT.
APARTMENTS: Contact :Marya Obsivac - www.villamarija.com
Those wishing to stay in a Croatian village,Rovinjsko Selo,is approx.,8km from the City of Rovinj.Book inadvance at The Country-Club, which is run by Dorothy Munro(a Scottish Lady, whom I have known since September 1997,)and Jagoda Jereb(a Croatian Lady,who also runs a travel agency in Rovinj.)The best time for Senior Citizens to visit,Dorothy informs me,is the Magnificent months of May and June,when everything is at it's best,and the heat is not so intense!(I usually take a holiday at this time of year myself,to this area of Croatia.)The Country-club also features a swimming pool in its grounds,for guests to use!
Contact: Jagoda Jereb,CountryClub,Tel:++38552848549,Fax:++38552848383
To get to Rovinj and Istrian Croatia,I fly,from the U.K., with CroatiaAirlines,from London Gatwick to Pula.They also fly from Manchester,London Heathrow-Terminal 2,and other U.K. Airports.(Nottingham to Split-direct.)Their website is at:www.croatiaairlines.com/?langid=en
PULA AIRPORT: http://www.airport-pula.com/
For those wishing to take home locally produced alcoholic products as gifts, DARNA,Carducci 7,52210 Rovinj.Tel/Fax:++385 52 813228.email:firstname.lastname@example.org www.gastronaut.hr/darna The factory was founded at the begining of the last Century by a "rovignese",Giorgio Benussi.
(The Chocolate Liker is especially good when poured over crushed ice,and drunk with a coffee after dinner,-I think!)
I'll be enjoying some again during my next trip to Rovinj,when I'm there for the New Year's Eve Festival,flying,as usual, Croatia Airlines to Pula.
WINE BARS: BACCUS. Carera . Owner speaks good english.Best place to taste and enjoy the wines of Croatia,in Rovinj.You can sit indoors,or outside. Wine BAR /DELI :PIASSA GRANDA.Veli Trg 1. Large indoor area, small outdoor. Sells Deli items,as well as wine.Measures of wine here are less than those offered you at BACCUS!
Caffe Bar:Monte Carlo.vl.Andia Medak. Sv.Kriza 21.Rovinj.(Close to the little chapel which overlooks the sea,and St.Catherine's Island)Cosy Bar-5 Bar Stools and small bench seat.Plus T.V..WC-upstairs.)
To View/Purchase ART:
IVAN TUTEKcan be found at,, Garibaldi 12,Rovinj.Tel,052/816024.
(In Winter he is at his atelje:8 juzna obala 2,ZAGREB,Tel.01/6550386.)
ART ATELIER: Melanie Okmaca. Svalba 53,Rovinj.Tel.Mobile:091-3000 324.
B&S ATELIER,Luciana Blinic-Spindler,can be found at,Andronelia 3,Rovinj,
Those with boats:ACI Marinas,ACI Rovinj,email@example.com www.aci-club.hr CAT 111 386 Sea Berths,40 Dry Berths.
Do make a visit whilst in Rovinj,to "THE HOUSE OF THE BATANA".The house of the Batana is the first eco-museum located in the Adriatic and the Mediterranean regions dedicated to just one type of sailing vessel.The Batana of Rovinj is a charactistic local fishing boat with a flat bottom.Almost every family in Rovinj owned one and over time it has become one of the main symbols of Rovinj.The House of Batana,Obala/Riva P.Budicin 2. Open:June,July,August and September from 09.00-13.00 and 19.00-22.00.During all other months,daily from 10.00-13.00 and 15.00-17.00,but closed on Mondays.The Museum is closed in January and February,but visits are possible by appointment.Info Telephone:(00385 52)805-266.
Tourist Association of ROVINJ. www.tzgrovinj.hr/eng/home.asp
WANT TO GO HORSE RIDING?Contact:Jutta Haber,via her daughter Mirjam, @
For those requiring more info on Croatia,visit the Croatian National Tourist Board @:
PLAN A VISIT TO VODNJAN.Take a short trip here on your way to Rovinj from Pula(or vice versa,)and visit the Church of St.Blaise's.Lying inside,are real mummies-the bandage wrapped variety.It is said,that if you touch/kiss the mummies any illness you may have,will leave your body,for ever!!
And Whilst there,in Vodnjan, make a visit to the family owned Restaurant ",Vodnjanka"Tel:(0)52-511 435 where you can enjoy good food(even if the portions are on the smaller size,compared to normal Croatian standards,)of local Mushrooms,and meat dishes,freshly prepared.(Note:No Fish served here.)
If you need a dentist :Dr.Zeljko Habijanec, has 25 years experience,and a modern studio,in Rovinj,with the most innovative instruments,and offers lower prices than you are acustomed to.Appointments only:KRESINSKIH ZRTAVA 26,ROVINJ.Tel:(++385)(0)52 816 701.
Visiting the rest of Istra? Go to www.Istra.hr The Tourist Board of Istra(Istria.)