At the forefront of Rovinj's historic harbour stands Villa Tuttorotto, metaphorically named to invoke the courageous and meticulous restoration of this 16th century Venetian "palace of the poor". While looking over the picturesque fishermen’s port on one side, the main entrance, privately situated on the other side of the villa, is just a few steps away from the bustling Piasa Grande. Before the Venetian rulers decided in 1763 to fill up the tiny sea canal that was separating Rovinj, then an island, from the mainland, this beautiful baroque piazza was the centre of village life.
Each of the five floors of the villa is styled with a selection of marble and furnishings. During its painstaking restoration, the owners succeeded in introducing the highest modern technology into the villa, while preserving all of its historical, cultural and religious relics and attributes, and maintaining the wealth of period features.
The waterfront walls of Villa Tuttorotto, approximately three foot thick, were once part of the fortress walls that surrounded the town and kept it safe from invaders. The basement crypts with their perfectly carved stone walls were used for olive oil production, as well as stowaways where the impoverished inhabitants hid their scarce supplies of food in the hope that they would not be ransacked by invading pirates who plagued these waters in medieval times. The walls of this charming villa are covered with objects and symbols from the Istrian history creating a journey through the past.
Villa Tuttorotto has only a handful of rooms: 4 doubles (these rooms can be made into twin rooms upon request), 2 singles and a superior suite. The rooms can be rented in a variety of combinations - including reserving an entire floor, with a balcony, fabulous terrace and a lounge with a period fireplace. Each room has a beautiful view of the port and of the pine woods that cover the nearby island of St. Catherine and the peninsula of Punta Corrente. The individually designed rooms are centrally air conditioned and each room is equipped with a minibar, safe, flat screen satellite TV, wireless internet access and, above all… a breathtaking view!
Villa Tuttorotto's luxurious touches are abundant: whether one looks at the teak floors of the rooms, lavish Italian furnishings, bathrooms lined with antique marble, cast iron lamps, hand-made rugs, artisan-carved interiors, museum quality antiques, or the indigenous paintings adorning the walls, every detail has been carefully and beautifully designed.
Nearby, the Villetta Garibaldi & Villetta Istriana offers accommodation for four to six persons.
Villetta Garibaldi - Situated in the heart of the 16th century old town of Rovinj Villetta Garibaldi is a beautiful example of Mediterranean architecture. It has been fully renovated in accordance with all the rules and regulations that apply to historical monuments. Istrian tradition is immediately recognizable in the natural materials that have been used, such as stone, wood and forged iron.
It is situated only 100 metres from the sea, and three minutes walk from Villa Tuttorotto and is easily reachable by car. It sleeps four to six persons and is fully furnished and equipped. Although somewhat modest compared to Villa Tuttorotto, Villetta Garibaldi is charmingly authentic and is ideal for an intimate family vacation or gathering. The use of the fully equipped kitchen, satellite TV and wi-fi is included in the price. Breakfast is available at the Villa Tuttorotto (bookable at the hotel reception). Guests can also use the seafront terrace and lounge of the Villa Tuttorotto.
Villetta Istriana - this newly built, private and secluded villa is just ten minutes walk away from the medieval city of Rovinj, and is a hidden gem! This 100 sqm. apartment has direct access to a private garden which has a children's swimming pool. This accommodation comfortably sleeps six persons, with a possibility of extra beds for children. It would suit two families with grown up children or even three couples with smaller children. The custom made modern open plan kitchen and huge dining table offer the opportunity for long relaxing summer evenings. There is also an outdoor BBQ area.
Private secured parking, as well as satellite TV, wifi, washing machine, bicycles, BBQ and extra beds for children are at guests’ disposal.
Breakfast is either served in the characterful dining room, or on the balcony. Adjacent to the dining room guests are welcome to relax in the lounge, while making plans for the day by consulting the extensive family library or the hosts themselves.
As an extension to the Tuttorotto's decor, rich in art and antique objects, you will discover the hotel shop, Antiquariato Masato, situated next to the villa itself. There you can browse or buy authentic pieces of furniture and art dating from the past three centuries of Istrian history. As you enjoy the unhurried atmosphere of the boutique hotel’s gallery, you will not be able to resist an aperitif around the beautiful stone table situated in the quiet courtyard by its entrance.
K Harris, UK, August 2022