Rovinj Sightseeing & Shopping Guide: The Beauty of the Old Town
The most important Rovinj sightseeing places are concentrated on its small picturesque peninsula.
This charming little Istria town with narrow cobblestone streets, typical Mediterranean houses with brightly painted shutters, balconies decorated with vibrantly colored flowers and clean laundry hanging out to dry from window to window, the view of the Adriatic sea, fishermen harbors, are the landmarks of Rovinj.
There is no better way to see Rovinj but walking or it is better to say wander around the peninsula. This is an amazing walk and gives you a flavor of all the most interesting and picturesque aspects of the town.
If you watch the Rovinj map you will find out that any starting point you chose you will find yourself again at the same place.
Rovinj Sightseeing Walking Tour
As I already said, the best way to explore Rovinj is walking on your own as all wonders of this old town are packed up inside the old town.
If I were you I would start from Marshal Tito Square, the main square of Rovinj. This is a rather small square on the sea shore with a small pier where daily small boats come and go carrying tourists from two the largest islands of Rovinj – St. Catherine and St.. Andrew (Red island).
The square is surrounded by several building in typical Venetian style where stand out, town clock from the mid-nineteenth century with the Venetian lion, beautiful baroque building from the late seventeenth century, once property of the family Califfi.
This bright red color palace from the 17th-18th century is the home to the Native Museum of the Town of Rovinj. In the middle of the square there is a small fountain, relatively new, built in 1959 with a statue of a young boy holding a fish; as a testimony that fishery has been always one of the major activities in Rovinj.
Wandering around Rovinj streets
The best part of Rovinj sightseeing is strolling old town streets. You can start from any point in the town. Once on Marshal Tito’s square you can proceed your walking tour from there and heading to a small street called Iza Casarne (Italian name Via Dietro Caserma) with Balbi Arch, town’s gate.
Balbi Arch was built around 1680 on the site of an original town gate. The arch is decorated with various coats of arms and on top has a relief of a lion very similar to the one on the nearby clock tower.
From here Rovinj sightseeing, takes you into the old center of Rovinj and the whole place is so picturesque that it’s impossible to decide where to aim your camera.
Grisia is the name of the most popular and frequently used street in the Old Town. This picturesque ‘as-a-picture street’ is the one famous Rovinj sightseeing places.
It’s known for its artists and galleries and the one where for a whole day every summer, it becomes a giant open-air art gallery. It’s a place where you cannot not to fall in love at first sight.
For art lovers it will be the street you’ll spend the most of your time and perhaps you’ll buy a picture to remember forever this romantic place.
Vladimir Svalba street
Vladimira Svalbe is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled streets in the old town and there are so many interesting details to visit.
Many say that Rovinj has a similarity with Venice and they aren’t wrong about that. Old balconies, ancient wooden doors and most spectacularly, the tiny stepped alleys that run between the houses right into the sea.
In the evening this street becomes very romantic and charming. If you need more info how to reach this street, this google map will help you!
While strolling this street, give a glance at Angelo d’Oro hotel (once making a part of the Relais et Chateaux collection) that is located on the left side of the street and enter the inside garden of this lovely and charming hotel.
If you like historic settings, and want to be in the heart of the old town, and can afford it, this would be a good location. If not you can find cheaper accommodation in this street like Casa Svalba or Holiday Home Svalba .
Few meters after Angelo D’Oro hotel, on the same side of the street, you will note a small church of Our Lady of Health. This church was built in 1779 by the family Biondi. The church is identical to a church in Venice projected by the architect Simon Battistella.
The chapel contains valuable paintings on canvass and the altar painting is a copy of the painting from the Church of the Lady of Health in Venice.
From there you can continue your Rovinj sightseeing tour, climbing the steep road, among Venetian styled palaces, towards the Church of St. Euphemia.
I suggest before getting there to go for a coffee at the XXL cafe bar, hidden below St. Euphemia in the old churchyard overlooking the sea.
Once you arrive in front of St. Euphemia you will be rewarded with fabulous views of the sea and the islands of St. Catherine and the Red Island. Do not miss climbing for 10 Kuna on church belfry.
Rovinj shopping streets
Rovinj is specialized in galleries and art items and visiting some of them on your Rovinj sightseeing tour is ‘must do’. Among them stand out Atelier Devescovi, where artist Dean Devescovi sells paintings with jazzy influences.
Atelier Sottomuro is a super little gallery where UK-raised Jan Ejsymontt sells her acrylic paintings and jewellery. Atelier Galerija Brek is great for accessories including earrings and brooches made by Zagreb designer Đuveđ from recycled electronica.
Carera Street is the most famous shopping street in the town. Here you can find shops selling clothes, footwear, food, medicine, office supplies, souvenirs, leather ware, and filigree jewellery as well as other kinds of jewellery.
More Rovinj sightseeing points
During your stay in Rovinj there are some more interesting places to visit. I’ve already mentioned the city museum on Marshal Tito square, worth visiting.
Not far from there you can visit Batana Eco-museum, an unique museum on the Adriatic and Mediterranean! It is dedicated to the traditional wooden boat known as the batana and to the community which has chosen it as its symbol!
As a part of this museum project, you should inevitably visit, Spacio Matika, a localized version of a tavern or wine cellar, owned by Roman Matika in V. Svalba Street, N° 35.
This tavern became an integral part of the Eco-museum in 2006 and since then there have been many musical, culinary and other fun events organized inside by members of the Eco-museum.
As a part of Rovinj fishing and maritime tradition, Rovinj has a nice Aquarium, almost 100 years old. You can find it here !
This aquarium is small but great to get to know the names of some of the local marine wildlife that live in this part of Adriatic sea. It was opened in 1891 as an annex to Berlin’s Aquarium.
If you are traveling with kids this small museum can be a nice place to entertain them.