June 26, Day 8: Our last day in Rovinj was perfect: a savored sunrise over the sea, an amazing run, a lazy wine lunch, and a sunset walk on the shore together. Perfect.
Rovinj (“Roe-VEEN”) lies perched on the rocky shore, where the Istrian Peninsula meets the Adriatic Sea. Only 72 miles from Venice by sea, it has been occupied over the centuries by Romans, Byzantines, Franks, Venetians, Austrians, French, Italians, Yugoslavs, and now Croatians (the locals who endured all of those “visitors”). After spending a few days here, I understand why they all wanted it!
Friday night late, after our wearying Učka hike, we decided to enjoy the sunset on the rocks of Old Town, overlooking the harbor. The buzz of tourists settled to a murmur as we climbed down to the seaside rocks. As we settled into our spot, a dozen feet away, a young man kneeled and proposed to a girl in bright yellow pants. She shrieked, cried, and said yes. Romance lives in Rovinj as the sun goes down.
We rose early Saturday so we could have the sunrise and old town to ourselves. By 5:30 am, we were looking out over the sea. Gentle waves, a few boats, and gliding gulls were the only movement. As it brightened, we ventured up the hill and into Old Town to explore in the cool of the morning.
We meandered back to Rooms Barbieri. Jean settled in with coffee to write, and I set off to run the Rovinj Harbor, opposite old town. It is one of the most beautiful runs I’ve ever done. Check it the Running Rovinj post for more pics.
Lazy Wine Lunch
After showering twice to cool off, we decided on Giannino’s for lunch. Goran, our excellent truffle and wine tour guide from Eat Istria, had highly recommended it. We found it quiet up an alley near the cathedral, with a shady awning, good breeze, and quietly friendly waiter. It was a two-hour lunch, ordered one course at a time: Benvenuti Malvasia wine (we’d been there on our wine tour Thursday), spicy shrimp, boškarin beef with noodles, and grilled sea bream with truffles. It sounds fancy, but it was simple food, done very, very well.
Then, we shuffled down the hill to home and a nap!
Coffee with a View
Late afternoon, we enjoyed coffee and caught up on writing and pictures at Katarina’s Café, overlooking the harbor. We were there for hours, and coffee gave way to a beer before we finished. As the sun set, I ran the laptops back to our room so Jean could enjoy taking pictures.
As The sun set and the temperatures dropped, we retraced part of my morning run. It was as lovely in the evening as the morning; twice so as I shared it with Jean. And then, finally, back to hit the sack for an early departure to Plitvice Lakes.
We both agreed, it was a perfect day.