Feel the strong Italian influence as soon as you step into this city, known as Croatia’s 'Little Venice'. A gorgeous artwork of a port, you can revel in seafront promenade strolls, waterside drinks, and the tangled beauty of an immensely atmospheric old town. Nearby, islands sparkle and beaches call out, while working fishing boats add authentic everyday charm. With both Croatian and Italian languages spoken, there's more than a hint of Venice in the crisscrossing streets and soaring bell towers of this breathlessly romantic place.
An alluring highlight of the Istrian Peninsula, walk the cobbled streets of Rovinj's old town, between sun-parched houses that rear up directly against the sea's lapping water. Tiny streets and squares are lined with little souvenir shops, bars, gelato stalls and restaurants serving up delicious dishes laced with Istria's elusive white truffles. Take the climb up above via the elegant Church of St Eufemia's Venetian bell tower. The tower's ascent is perhaps best viewed from the glinting waters, however, as you look back to see the church rising above the town's pretty clutch of colourful buildings.
Explore the olive groves and vineyards of the sunny peninsular, on your way to villages where truffles are sniffed out by specially trained dogs, or head out to rocky coves to swim in refreshing, transparent seas. Pula is also close by - a city scattered with Roman ruins, including the magnificently preserved, in-tact amphitheatre - which continues to be a centre of entertainment, hosting atmospheric festivals and concerts to this day.