Istria’s Mons Rubineus

362 Istria's Mons Rubineus 0Rovinj in Croatian and Rovigno in Italian is a Croatian city situated on the northern Adriatic coast and in the western parts of the Istrian Peninsula. Probably you’re asking yourselves why I am mentioning both names of the city. It’s simple.

The city is a bilingual and both Croatian and Italian are officially spoken and are equal languages. As to its population, it is a little more than 14 000 residents. Nowadays the city is a popular tourist destination and a very active fishing port.  

R   O   V   I   N   J      (R   O   V   I   G   N   O)

The city was initially a settlement which was called Arupinium (or Mons Rubineus) by the Romans and later it was renamed to Ruginium and Ruvinium. Actually, it was built on a nearby island which was connected the mainland by filling in the channel much later, in 1763.

362 Istria's Mons Rubineus 10Having changed several rulers and empires, Rovigno became one of the most important Istrian places governed by the Venetian Republic. The Venetians ruled the city from 1283 to 1797 and under their rule the fortification of the city flourished. It was fortified with two big rows of defensive city walls which are a very interesting tourist site.  One of the gates of the old tow (or Balbil’s Arch) which dates back to 1680 is situated on the pier while the late-Renaissance clock tower gives more diversity to the historic epochs that are “live together” in Rovinj.

362 Istria's Mons Rubineus 11Rovigno is a Croatian destination much loved in summer period because of its nice beaches and crystal clear and pristine sea which it overlooks. However, there are many other attractions which are hidden nella città vecchia (the Old Town) of this Adriatic centre. Great part of the local historic and cultural heritage is concentrated namely here, i.e. nel centro storico (historic centre) of Rovinj.

The Old Town rises on one peninsula that overlooks the Adriatic Sea and it has still got the signs of past times as well as masterpieces made by locals through the centuries.  What astonishes at first sight is the small dimension of the buildings, tiny squares and winding streets of the historic centre that fit the small surface of Rovigno precisely. Consequently, the construction of the edifices in the Old Town is in full harmony with the natural peculiarities of the region. What do I mean? I mean that all buildings erected by locals through the years are like marvelous masterpieces placed by men into the “natural frame” of the surroundings of Rovinj.

362 Istria's Mons Rubineus 12It’s worth visiting Rovigno and its Old Town, firstly, because it is one of the most picturesque places and towns of this part of the Adriatic coast. Secondly, it is one of the most antique centres of Istria which keeps significant testimonials of the local history.

The Old Town has conserved its initial medieval outlook, town structure and system of tiny cobbled streets.


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