Published: June 6th 2012June 6th 2012
After our disappointment with Pula we headed slightly north to the small Venetian town of Rovinj which is situated on the north Adriatic Sea on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula.. Between 1283 and 1797 Rovinj was part of the Republic of Venice and it showed. Roadsigns were all bi-lingual in both the local dialect and Italian showing the closeness of this part of Croatia to Italy. The food and the architecture smacked of Venice.
We stayed at Camping Porton Biondi a small campsite just outside of the town. It was a hilly wooded site with views across the bay to the town. The description of the distance into Rovinj was over egged. Unless you were a crow and could fly across the bay it took a lot longer than they suggested in their advertisements. It would only take a few minutes if you could fly but walking took a lot longer around 40 minutes.. However it was the best site to use if you wanted to see Rovinj. The plots were awkward and rather thin and mainly terraced which meant a lot of manoevering to get the van onto the plot. We felt for the first time overlooked
by other campers. There was nowhere decent to sit out or to put our chairs due to the thinness of the plot. Perhaps there were better plots further up the site but we didn’t find them. We had to wait a little while to get the van connected up to the electric supply and whilst waiting we noticed that the campsite was rather noisy and there seemed a lot of road noise. There was a restaurant on site but we didn’t use it. Everything worked but the toilets and showers were rather outdated and needed some modernisation. But for 14 euros we couldn’t complain too much.
As we were connecting up the van a bicyclist stopped us and started to try to sell us a boat trip. Perhaps another time it might have been an inviting offer but today we just wanted to do nothing much but see Rovinj We set up the TV and could not pick up English TV due to the trees which surrounded the site. However, we resorted to German tv for the football and thought that better than nothing. Football needs no language and with the sound down we watched the European cup final
Chelsea v Bayern Munich. Of course Chelsea won and whilst we are not Chelsea fans it was nice to see them beat Bayern. We did however wonder if our van would be daubed overnight by the disappointed Germans on site as we were yet again the only Brits. We were safe. Not a mark on the van but a lot of disgruntled German fans.
We walked into Rovinj along the pretty harbourside passing working boat building yards and large pretty pink villas. The town looked charming from the distance with houses huddling right up to the waters edge mostly with steps leading down into the water. The campanile towered 58 metres into the sky. Narrow cobbled alleyways led up to the fort and the campanile. Shops and restaurants lined the streets with again a good assortment of leather bags and scarves. The restaurants were serving mostly fish dishes. The town was busy with a small cruise ship in port. We walked for a while enjoying people watching, looking round the market where I bought a bright pillar box red scarf and we ate mouthwatering Italian ice creams. On closer inspection sadly the houses were in need of a paint job with the paint peeling off. The place felt more shabby than chic although it did still have a sad air of romanticism. Despite the peeling paint we felt that when you are a small version of Venice it cannot be all bad. The campanile needed some TLC too and we did not get chance to visit the church as there was a wedding in full swing. Even at 5pm in the afternoon this Italian lady was going though her very noisy marriage ceremony. A crowd of noisy Italian guests were wishing her well on her new married life. Cars honking very loudly in a way only Italians can do with panache. Next stop the real deal Venice itself.