Dominated by its outsize church and campanile, Rovinj is one of the most attractive places in Croatia, with the steep cobbled streets of the walled old town giving way to sunny Venetian quayside cafés and restaurants.

Rovinj, Croatia, Croatian National Tourist Board© Croatian National Tourist Board

Rovinj’s (Rovigno’s) main attraction is itself – the charming narrow cobbled streets running up through the warren of the old town, the paved car-free quays, the Venetian palazzi and medieval houses, and the 30-odd churches within the old town walls, some so small you ‘d never know they are there.  Serious tourist development is encroaching on this photogenic, once-upon-a-time island city, but it still manages to accommodate increasing numbers of visitors with ease – mostly away from the old town, along the coast or on one of the nearby islands.

It’s also the most Italian place in Croatia, with the people, street signs and menus all being bilingual. A centuries-old fishing tradition is alive and well, though on the wide quaysides you’re as likely to witness spontaneous concerts or vibrant café life as fishermen bringing in the catch or mending their nets.

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