Rovinj (pronounced ro-VEEN) is an absolute gem.
German tourists, helped by geographic proximity, have already figured this out. Flocks of them drive to Croatia every summer to bask in the sun, explore cobbled alleyways, and drink fantastic wine.
Few Americans have discovered Croatia at all, much less this quaint little fishing town on the Adriatic.
That’s totally fine, Americans. Really. Don’t ever go to Rovinj. It’s not for you.
Don’t believe me? Okay. First of all, let’s talk about the cobbled alleyways.
They’re tiny! And only locals are allowed to drive their cars into Old Town. Which means there’s essentially zero car traffic, and everyone walks around on foot.
Now listen, I already know how y’all feel about unnecessary exercise. Plus, there’s no way for you to listen to your weekly podcasts or make those hands free conference calls without hours of daily traffic.
(Because we both know you’re still going to do plenty of work on your so-called “vacation.”)
And another thing. There’s laundry hanging out of windows everywhere you look.
Like literally, everywhere. Either you will be offended that people have the audacity to hang their undies out in public, or your eyes will melt from all the cuteness. In any case, it’s best to just stay away.
Next up, is the food.
Y’all, the fish is so fresh, it’s like it just came out of the sea. (Hint: it did.) I’m convinced that most Americans wouldn’t know good seafood if it slapped them across the face with a dorsal fin. So it’s not like this is a big selling point for the Yanks back home.
Plus, there are SO MANY restaurants right along the water.
Um hello Rovinj, have you heard of a guardrail?? What if a curious toddler plopped into the water while his parents were busy checking their Facebook feeds?
Plus, a picturesque harbor with boats bobbing on the water is SO cliché. How about 10 different sports games on 10 different flatscreen TVs instead? I mean, how else will you know if you can brag to your coworkers that the men in tight spandex from your hometown beat the men in tight spandex from their hometown?
Additionally, the wine of Istria is unique, and rarely exported.
Ick, who wants to try new things?? Better to just call the wine total garbage and move on. (On a completely unrelated note, if you know where I can buy Istrian malvazija in Texas, I NEED THIS INFORMATION, STAT.)
And look at this. Once again, they’re going to serve you alcohol right next to the sea. Tsk tsk.
This bar has cushions along the water, with fish swimming right up to you, and candelabras littering the rocky outcrop.
Geeeeez. So many safety violations. Where’s OSHA when you need them?
Let’s be clear on one thing though. The gelato in Rovinj is divine. I need you to know this.
But there’s no way it’s as good as the gelato you had last summer in Milan or Florence or along the Amalfi Coast. (We’ll just completely ignore the fact that Rovinj used to be a part of Italy, and the gelato here is the same damn thing.)
And another thing. You’ll never hear the latest Top 40 pop songs, which is a real shame. For some reason, they’re all about local music in Rovinj.
You’ll hear it floating up through the curtains of your bedroom.
You’ll hear it onstage, along the harborfront.
And you’ll even hear people playing weird instruments you can’t name.
UGH, having to appreciate other cultures and their arts, amirite? I mean, come on. How hard is it to buy an acoustic guitar and play an unsolicited cover of Wonderwall?
On the other hand, I will admit that Rovinj has some of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen.
And since the town is perched on a hill at the edge of a peninsula, the sun sets right over the water, and lights up the whole sky.
But nobody needs nature stepping in to remind them that it’s more gorgeous than everything else.
And the colors are so vivid, you don’t even need an Instagram filter. (How are you going to show your friends how artsy and creative you are? I mean maybe you could still Snapchat it with a cheesy quote overlaying the scene. I don’t know.)
Lastly, the beaches. I’m still kind of confused by them. They’re some sort of weird blueish, greenish color…
I don’t know what’s going on with that.
I’m from Texas, so I know the water along the coast is supposed to be a murky brown, with clumps of seaweed that wrap around your ankles and threaten to submerge you with each step.
You can actually see rocks at the bottom of this water. (It’s a phenomenon I can’t explain, but I strongly suspect witchcraft.)
I know that I’m an American, and clearly I didn’t stay away from Rovinj. But I was just taking one for the team, so that I could report back to you guys.
(And do you see the things I had to put up with?!)
The streets are narrow, meals are slow, and the closest thing to a tourist attraction is the Church of St. Euphemia, proudly overlooking the town since 1754. With the Adriatic Sea as its backyard, Rovinj is full of old-world charm and whimsy.
And I don’t need y’all ruining it.
So come on, Americans. Just stick with Italy, or France. Maybe Greece if you wanna get adventurous.
Rovinj is not for you.