This is our third time travelling across Europe by car and let me tell you – we do the organization pretty well and we are getting better in covering long distances without stopping to rest (1200 km – only two 5 min breaks). We spend approximately two days at one location and the third day we travel do the next destination.
First stop this time is Rovinj in Croatia. Lovely old town – narrow streets, typical old buildings, nice restaurants, and of course the sea – it’s like a postcard! I am not even sure why I chose to visit Rovinj, I just came across a photo of it and I knew it is my place. Trust me- it’s worth it!
Best spot to watch the sunset is at the port – there is something like paved (stone) quay – you need to go to the very end (you’ll see a gate at the end) and here you go – best sunset in town.
Most famous landmark – the Saint Eufemia cathedral – it’s situated on top of the old town and climbing to it is the main goal of all tourists. Also you can find there amazing sea view.
The best thing to do there is just walking around the streets of the old town and enjoy the views. Every corner is a lovely picture background.
Where to eat? There are so many restaurants but to me the main criteria is the sea view. I am sure that the restaurants away from the main streets and the crowded area are better and cheaper than those on the seaside, but I just can’t help myself – I like the sea view! So we chose a place at the port – it wasn’t fancy or something but it had very nice view. Its name was Copacabana – don’t be afraid I know how it sounds, but actually the sea food was great and reasonably priced. Then we had cocktails at a bar named Monte Carlo (wonderful sea view)!
Keep in mind that credit cards are not accepted everywhere or suddenly it turns out that the POS terminal doesn’t work, so be prepared and always carry some Croatian kunas just in case! I know it is a bit annoying because kuna can be used only in Croatia and it is way better to pay by credit card only. Thank god there were late working exchange offices!
We even had time to go to the beach. The beach itself wasn’t anything special – it was fine to spend half a day and dip into the sea. Its name was Vestar beach and we chose it because it was not so far away and there were small pebbles instead of rocks or big stones.
Where to sleep? In this case the main criteria is the free private parking that’s why we chose a guest house a little bit away from the city center but still on a walking distance (15 min). The city is pleasant for walks – the sidewalks are wide and clean. Actually, wherever I’ve been in Croatia it’s like that – very clean and spacious.
Early wake up on the next day and we headed to Italy.
If you travel from Slovenia to Venice there is a very nice outlet village next to the highway called Noventa di Piave. Our navigation stopped working and after one forbidden U-turn we arrived there. I had to call to the house owner in Como to tell him we would be one hour late (I didn’t mention that it was because of the shopping break).
At 5:00 pm we finally arrived in Como- it was very hot. The apartment that we booked was disappointing – very different from the pictures on Booking.com. Anyway I hope you have better luck than us. At least the neighborhood was nice and on a walking distance from the center.
The evening walk around Lago di Como was pleasant – we wanted to visit villa Olmo but unfortunately some kind of event was about to take place and we couldn’t see the gardens. I was curious and I asked one of the workers what event it was going to be and he said – Dolce & Gabbana fashion show. Ok, if it’s Dolce & Gabbana I can forgive them! We continued walking down the alley passing by incredible houses and mansions with beautiful gardens and their own small harbours.
Dinner time – I was looking for restaurants with lake view and Kamen was so hungry and he didn’t care. So I chose the place – fabulous balcony and free table in the corner with the perfect view but angry waiter said to us that this table is for four people and we can’t sit there. I started to convince him that we were on a romantic date and we chose the restaurant because of that table and eventually he let us sit there. The food was very delicious so we are 100% lucky. The name of the place was – Fontana d’oro.
The main goal on the next day was Villa Carlota and Bellagio. We decided to go there by car, not by boat as we first planned, because it turned out that it would be cheaper and faster to take the car. The parking system in Italy is like this – blue zone – paid , yellow zone – for residents only and white zone – free of charge. Also there is a limited traffic zone forbidden for non residents so you need to be careful not to enter such zone otherwise you’ll get fined. Surprisingly we easily found a free and comfortable parking close to Bellagio center.
From Bellagio to villa Carlota we took the boat – it was 15 min ride. Villa Carlota is a must see – it has huge botanical garden and the villa itself is fabulous. I liked it as much as my favorite villa in France – villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. You should spend there at least half a day.
Back to Bellagio it was lunch time and we chose a restaurant with lake view (of course) – Ristorante Splendide – the food was average – the pasta was ok, but the tiramisu wasn’t the best.
Then we went to villa Melzi. You can reach it by foot from Belagio. It is privately owned and you can visit the gardens only.
Just at the end of our tour the weather got bad and we headed to the car in a hurry. When we got back in Como it was raining but still we went out for a dinner. Because of the heavy rain we crashed in the first restaurant available – I don’t remember the name but it was right across the Duomo in the center.
You can read more about the next destinations of our trip in part two – Switzerland, France and back to Italy.