Dear Americans, Don’t Go To Rovinj

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.

 

Rovinj Is An Absolute Gem: Don't Go There | Croatia | The Travel Medley

 

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.

 

Rovinj Is An Absolute Gem: Don't Go There | Croatia | The Travel Medley

 

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.

 

Rovinj Is An Absolute Gem: Don't Go There | Croatia | The Travel Medley

 

Now listen, I already know how y’all feel about unnecessary exercise. Plus, there’s no way for you to listen to your 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.

 

Rovinj Is An Absolute Gem: Don't Go There | Croatia | The Travel Medley

 

 

Rovinj Is An Absolute Gem: Don't Go There | Croatia | The Travel Medley

 

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.

 

Rovinj Is An Absolute Gem: Don't Go There | Croatia | The Travel Medley

 

Plus, there are SO MANY restaurants right along the water.

 

Rovinj Is An Absolute Gem: Don't Go There | Croatia | The Travel Medley

 

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.

 

Rovinj Is An Absolute Gem: Don't Go There | Croatia | The Travel Medley

 

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.

 

Rovinj Is An Absolute Gem: Don't Go There | Croatia | The Travel Medley

 

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.

 

Rovinj Is An Absolute Gem: Don't Go There | Croatia | The Travel Medley

 

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.)

No. Instead, let’s keep grumbling, Americans.

For example, you’ll never get to 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.

 

 

 

UGHH, 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.

 

Rovinj Is An Absolute Gem: Don't Go There | Croatia | The Travel Medley

 

But nobody needs nature stepping in to remind them that it’s more gorgeous than everything else.

 

Rovinj Is An Absolute Gem: Don't Go There | Croatia | The Travel Medley

 

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…

 

Rovinj Is An Absolute Gem: Don't Go There | Croatia | The Travel Medley

 

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.

 

Rovinj Is An Absolute Gem: Don't Go There | Croatia | The Travel Medley

 

You can actually see rocks at the bottom of this water. (It’s a phenomenon I can’t explain, but I strongly suspect witchcraft.)

Alright y’all.

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.

 

Rovinj Is An Absolute Gem: Don't Go There | Croatia | The Travel Medley

 

(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.

 

Rovinj Is An Absolute Gem: Don't Go There | Croatia | The Travel Medley

 

So come on, Americans. Just stick with Italy, or France. Maybe Greece if you wanna get adventurous.

Rovinj is not for you.

 

Comments

  1. Reply

    This post is making me want to go back to Croatia. I only got to spend 5 days there back in 2012 and mainly in Dubrovnik. There’s so much more to the country that I’d love to see. This looks like the cutest town! Don’t worry, I’m Canadian. 😉

    1. Reply

      Gahhhh it’s SUCH a beautiful country. Even after spending an entire summer there, I still want to go back!!! And since you’re Canadian, I’ll openly give my advice 😉 – Rovinj is adorable, Plitvice Lakes is gorgeous, and Zagreb is underrated. I hope you get a chance to go back soon!

  2. Reply

    Rovinj (pronounced ro-VEEN)
    Not really. it isn’t N at end, it is NJ and NJ is pronounced same as NEW just throw that last U ( insted NJU just NJ)

    1. Reply

      Thanks for the heads up! I tried really hard to learn Croatian last summer, but my thick American tongue gets in the way 😉

  3. Reply

    I was reading jutarnji this morning and saw how the guys in Zadar are after your head, so went on to read the infamous blog post and in that text I saw you mentioned my town as well . Glad you liked it but If I was to write about Rovinj it would probably look more like your Zadar article, but that’s probably because I lived there for 24 years of my life before moving to Canada so don’t look at the whole place through a foreigners eye. Most of my friends from back home think you are being way too kind to us, but thanks anyway!

    And @ Thaimer the town is called Rovinj with a nj (new) cause of the Croatian translation and pronunciation of Rovigno-the Italian name of the Town.It has been a part of Croatia for only about 70 years My nonna never even called it Rovinj.

    1. Reply

      I live and work there so i don’t need instruction how to pronounce Rovinj

    2. Reply

      Hahaha! Just one piece of advice for you… if you value the sanctity of your inbox whatsoever, DON’T write up your version of Rovinj. Internet trolls are feisty! 😉

    3. Reply

      But in all seriousness, I loved my week in Rovinj! I would go back in a heartbeat <3

  4. Reply

    When I came across the title of this article, I was like… “EXCUSE ME?!?!” This is the kind of clickbait that totally works on me! hahaha 😀 We are going to Rovinj in a couple of weeks, I can’t wait! I have daydreamed about Rovinj for years. Great post!

    1. Reply

      Wooooo!!! I’m super excited for you! Rovinj is basically like wandering through Etsy IRL. (And I mean that in the best possible, burlap sack, chalkboard art, adorable mason jar craft sort of way.) Hand lettered signs, penny farthing bicycles, and flowers planted in recycled wine bottles await! Hope y’all have an amazing time! 🙂

  5. Reply

    Rovinj… a little bit of heaven on Earth. In the last 10 years I’ve been there about 12 times. And although I have yet to write about it there’s one thing I know, I’ll be waxing lyrically about it.

    If you ever get the chance, go outside of the summer season as well. There’s something magical about Rovinj when it’s deserted.

    1. Reply

      Ahhh yes, I couldn’t agree more!! I LOVED Rovinj, even during the summer when it was full of tourists. I will definitely have to return one day during off-season when it’s empty – that sounds amazing! <3

  6. Reply

    I am a first generation Croatian American who only traveled to Croatia for the first time a few years ago. T spent nearly two months driving the entire country and visiting islands including the island of my ancestors. I quickly decided Rovinj was “my” spot. I have “my” apartment and “my” cafe. I too was amazed that only the Germans seem to know about this spot…let the Americans stay in Dubrovnik and their cruise ships, I have Rovinj all to myself. Then you go and write this article….aaargh.

    1. Reply

      Your trip sounds amazing! Driving around the country, learning more about your heritage, and visiting the island of your ancestors – that’s super cool!!! And YES. Rovinj is a little slice of heaven on earth! I can totally see how it became your spot. (Honestly, who knows how it managed to stay off the American radar this long?!?!) So… hopefully other people will just read the title of this post and nothing more 😉

  7. Reply

    I’m been to Croatia a few times now from Australia as fell in love with the place after my first visit. It is the most gorgeous country and you could spend months here discovering hidden treasures. Everyone knows Dubrovnik and Plitvice Lakes but please Google image these hidden GEms I’ve discovered. Town if Verona on the island of Murter. Town of Sibenik and the Krka falls, Rastoke the town on water, Varazdin and Trakoscan . Primosten and Rogoznica. And lastly two more gem island locations Mali Losinj and Pucisca town . Thank me later

    1. Reply

      Sorry about the typo(text recognition). It’s actually the town of Betina on the island of Murter…not verona.

    2. Reply

      I’ll go ahead and thank you now!!! I stayed a bit on the beaten path for my first time in Croatia, but I would love to return and explore all of the little nooks and crannies! It’s a gorgeous country, and the Google images for all of those places look AMAZING. I will definitely keep your list in mind for future trips! 🙂

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