Pula, the capital of Istria is a city rich with places and history three thousand years old . Different impact such as – Roman, Venetian, Austro-Hungarian – have left the city center full of architectural and cultural evidence: today, walking through the streets and squares of Pula, you almost have the impression of traveling through an open-air museum. Those who love multicultural atmospheres will certainly not be bored here.
Pula, among the rich history, also has crystal clear sea, bautiful coastline with beaches, forests full of pines and places where olive trees grow.
Le origini romane
Pula is built on 7 hills and we can easiliy compare it with Rome because its famous amphitheater and many monuments.
- The Arena is one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres and the sixth largest amphitheater in the world. Built during the 1st century it is among the most visited places in Croatia. In Roman times it was the theater for gladiator performances and it was able to host more than 20,000 visitors. Today during the warm summer evenings the Arena turns into a magical outdoor stage for music concerts and many important and well known events, including the Pula Film Festival, one of the most spectacular film festivals in Europe.
- Monument Slavoluk Sergijevaca which was built in 27 BC, at that time delimited the city walls. It served as an inspiration for many important artists, including Michelangelo.
- Forum, the main square is a meeting point for citizens and tourists. At Forum you can find Tourist Agency and many cafés and restaurants, from the most typical and traditional ones to those with a more international offer. Onother important monument is the Temple of Augustus – almost completely destroyed in 44 but now renovated as a section of the Archaeological Museum of Istria.
- The city Cathedral, was built in the 15th centurie and the bell tower was added in 1600, made entirely with blocks of Istrian stone taken from the Arena.
In the city center there are many beautiful buildings that proove the Austro-Hungarian presence in Istria: the Military Navy Casino, the Hydrographic Institute, the “Juraj Dobrila” University,the Military Hospital and many other public buildings built in the middle 1800s.
- One of the places interesting to visit is the Marina Casino known today as “The House of the Croatian Defenders” built in 1872 by the Viennese architect Baumann, one of the most famous and popular at the time. Its halls were the meeting point of the city’s elite and were frequented by officers, composers and personalities such as Franz Lehar or the emperor Franz Joseph. Today it hosts events of cultural and artistic appeal such as the Arena International music festival and the International Book Fair.
- The city market was built in 1902. The structure was quite unusual for that period: for the first time c were used modern building materials like metal and glass. Today it is the center of the life of all Polesans, every morning they can buy good quality meat and fish, fresh fruit and vegetables from local producers, or just have a chat and drink coffee. The atmosphere is very Mediterranean: going around the market, watching people and colorful desks is an interesting experience.
- The identity of Pula is linked to the great Uljanik , the shipyard which took it’s name from the “bay of Olives” on which it was built in 1856. The shipyard has become a symbol of the city over the years.
Other places to visit in Istria
It is possible to take day trips from Pula to many places in Istria. By car, by bus or even with bikes.
From Pula to Promontore
10 km long path in the middle of nature. Promontore is the last village of the Istrian peninsula and is the gateway to the Kamenjak.It is also known as Italian Capo Promontore, famous for it’s rock beaches and it’s vegetation: 30 kilometers of coastline visited every year by tourists from all over the world.
From Pula to Fažana and Brijuni
Only 5 minutes away from the peninsula. You arrive by ferry to the Brioni archipelago, consisted of 14 islands. The most important one is called Veli Brijun, in Italian Brioni Maggiore. Here, in the time of the former Yugoslavia, Marshal Tito had his summer residence, Brijuni were visited every year by political figures. The island is a natural park you can visit with a guide.
From Pula to Rovinj
40 minutes are neccesary to reach one of the most beautiful towns of Istria. Tourists call it the Pearl of Istria, and it is one of the most visited places in the whole region: blue sea, white Istrian stone, red and ocher on the walls of the houses, make Rovinj a small paradise with an Mediterranean atmosphere. Along the sea, through the narrow streets of the old town , we arrive at the baroque church of Sant’Eufeumia, the highest point of the city.
From Pula to Porec
60 km away we find the city of Poreč, also called the city of mosaics!. But the main attraction of Poreč is it’s 6th century Euphrasian Basilica, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It survived earthquakes and fires, today is one of the most beautiful examples of Byzantine art that have survived intact. His mother-of-pearl mosaics remind us of Ravennati basilicas.
From Pula to Motovun
A bit more distant,about seventy kilometers, but it’s worth it. Moving towards the central part of Istria you get to Motovun, a small village of 500 inhabitants at 300 meters above sea level. The view from the viewpoint of Montona is spectacular: it is no coincidence that every year we organize seminars and festivals dedicated to photography and film, introducing young people and professionals of all nationalities.
The perfect destination all year round
Pula can be the ideal destination for those who do not like low temperatures in winter or too hot in summer. Thanks to these climatic characteristics , Pola is a destination whwrw you can stay all year round, every season can offer a lot to it’s visitors: history, culture, nature, sea, food and wine.
Pula is a city to discover. It has large squares and tiny intersecting streets, Istrian stone steps leading to the 7 hills; different beaches for all , from Punta Verudela to Stoja, to Valkane; typical restaurants in the most hidden corners where you can taste meat and fish dishes together with a good glass of Malvasia, all at affordable prices.
And speaking of gastronomic tours , in Pula and Istria you can find extra-virgin olive oil that have received awards for it’s quality. Wine production is also becoming an important branch of this magnificent place.