The Windex-blue waters of the Adriatic shimmer like a million polished diamonds. Pastel-colored fishing boats rock and roll in the picture-perfect harbor, animated by a warm breeze that blows from the Sahara. It’s winter in the ancient coastal town of Rovinj on Croatia’s Istrian peninsula, a relaxed three-hour drive south of Venice and the border with Italy.
Right now the tourists have long gone, the beachfront bars are shuttered, handing this magical place back to the locals. Day-to-day life once again resumes at its easy, laid-back pace. This western coast of Croatia with its deserted roads, breathtaking Tuscan-like scenery and sun-on-your-face warmth, is just about the perfect place to try out Bentley’s joyous new 2012 Continental GTC convertible.
Top down, we point the Bentley’s re-sculpted nose south towards Pula on the southern tip of the peninsula, below. This ancient port is famous for its remarkably well-preserved 1st century amphitheater, one of the six largest surviving Roman arenas in the world. Here gladiators used to duke it out in front of 25,000 bloodthirsty locals.
Keeping the sparkling Adriatic on the right side, we power along the serpentine coastal road to Opatija at the foot of Mount Ucka. We stop for lunch at the famed seafood eatery, Restaurant Bevanda right on the water’s edge to devour its trademark Kvarner Bay Scampi and wild asparagus risotto.
This is a truly remarkable car. And, for the fortunate few able to pay the $212,800 asking price, simply and unquestionably, the best convertible in the world.
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