Best of the World 2012 – Istria, Croatia

The romantic town of Rovinj (above), a former Venetian vassal state, rises from the Adriatic like an estranged island of Venice. Pine-shaded Adriatic coves entice with a refreshing plunge. Evenings are capped off with Champagne cocktails at the Valentino Bar, a breezy boîte perched directly on the water and illuminated in vivid cerulean by underwater lights—not a bad spot to nurture your own inner Casanova.

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