Rovignesi – An Indigenous Mediterranean Character of People

“Get to know the locals!”
– is something we hear every time when we travel someplace new and unknown. We did some research and found two interesting stories on the character of Rovinj people!
Somewhat defiant, proud, we dare to say, roaring, true Rovignesi  have kept and guarded their city with the same force as their patron saint of Sveta Fuma. Yet we notice they come off as strong, humorous, and simply – different. We hope you ‘get it’ through these 2 anecdotes!
Rovinj Chimneys
Photo courtesy of Pixabay


Rovinj chimneys are considered an architectural phenomenon in Istria.  During centuries, Rovinj was a desirable destination to plant family roots, so at times Old Town inevitably experienced overpopulation. Newcomers had to claim their civil rights, and so they did – by building chimneys. Building a chimney was a legal basis for obtaining civil rights in Rovinj. Afterall, it was a pretty desirable place to live. So, newcomers were welcome, but Rovinj natives didn’t make it easy.  Obtaining a fireplace in a home was a symbol for family, life and social status. Furthermore, due to narrow streets and density of houses, chimneys were built outside the house. Next time you walk through Old Town, take a good look at wonderful picturesque Rovinj chimneys!



At the end of 19th century, opening a tobacco factory in Rovinj was an industrial bloom for the area. 

Surprisingly, more than 700 women applied to work in the factory. At a certain period there was a total number of 780 women employed. 

Consequently, any woman who worked at the factory was called a ‘tabacchina’. Tabacchinas had simple tasks: to roll perfect cigarettes, and to make sure the production ran smoothly.  But in the eyes of young Rovinj men, they were not mere just workers.

For them, a tabacchina was a self-confident, hardworking woman (with regular income).

Having that in mind, sailors fishermen and farmers saw opportunities for settling down, because tabacchinas were considered a good catch. They wanted to marry them for their financial independence and so tabbachinas quickly became the most desirable bachelorettes in town.

Author: Annamaria Gržetić
Founded in 2015, our focus is on contributing to sustainable tourism development in the region of Istria, Croatia, through the work we do. Therefore we are keen on building a travel community to connect travelers with locals of Istria. Off The Beaten Path is a movement that embraces tourism development in a respectful manner while encouraging locals and travelers to involve themselves in a much meaningful way. 
Want to work with us, be featured in our interview or simply have a story to tell? Reach us:
A. Coane 6, 52210 Rovinj
+385 91 600 4278

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