Our tenth visit to Rovinj and it continues to surprise us. The beautiful Istrian town has a very long history dating back to pre-Roman times and from the 13th to 18th Century it was governed by the Venetians, their influence obvious in the fabulous architecture of the city. The Balbi Arch built in 1680 and the Renaissance Clock Tower in the main square are remnants of that era. Until 1763 it was an island but the causeway was built and eventually it was linked to the mainland.
Today this small city of 14000 people attracts over three million visitors. Great food, great places to swim, enchanting islands and just a wonderful ambiance, it is easy to see why. Here the novice can expect to take wonderful photos. Wondering aimlessly through the streets presents innumerable opportunities.
We realised when we checked the car rental agreement that returning the car to the ‘downtown office’ was not really downtown at all and while 1.6 kilometres may not be far to walk it is when the temperature is 38 degrees Celsius and you are carrying almost 30kg of luggage. The other issue was carrying the luggage into the old town. While the labyrinthine streets, paved with ancient marble cobble-stones may be exquisitely beautiful in the early morning light or when glazed with rain they are a nightmare when it comes to rolling luggage. Added to that there is very limited car access to the town- taxis, locals and specifically designed electric commercial vehicles only. A taxi was the solution. We were taken to within a few hundred metres of the Villa Ivona which of course was in the centre and almost at the top of the hill.