Slovenia calls to the wanderlust in many a traveler. From lively and multicultural Ljubljana to the serene and crystal clear waters of stunning Lake Bled this seemingly sleepy travel destination is fast becoming a favorite for visitors.
Among all the surprising and beautiful treasures that make up Slovenia her coastline along the Adriatic Sea should not be missed. Nestled in this tiny sliver of sand and sea is the town of Piran. Considered the jewel of the Slovenian Riviera, Piran offers amazing views, stunning Venetian architecture, a rich history and the laid back vibe that seems to permeate coastal towns everywhere
A Memorable Walkabout
The best way to experience this lovely little gem of a town is by walking. Not only will you gain access to sites otherwise missed but by strolling among the locals you’ll soak in the ambiance and ineffable nature of Piran.
Tossed around like a coin for centuries Piran, at one time or another, fell under the rule of Austria, France and Italy, before becoming part of Yugoslavia in 1954. This priceless treasure of a town has been part of Slovenia since 1991, however her longest tenure has been under the rule of the Republic of Venice (1283-1797).
Because of the proximity to Italy Piran was significantly influenced, evident in everything from architecture to food. The town’s main square is named for famed Italian composer and violinist Guiseppe Tartini who was born in Piran.
Tartini Square is relatively recent. Surrounded on three sides by medieval architecture, the fourth side opens to the harbor. Until the late 1800s Tartini Square was under water. As part of the original port of Piran the square sat submerged until platforms were constructed in 1894. Buildings were constructed, adding life to the square as it is seen today.
A Church with Spectacular Views
The hill just behind Tartini Square leads to the Church of St. George. This lovely church replicates St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice and offers visitors a unique view of the Adriatic coast. Clear days allow views of the Creation and Italian coastlines.
In front of and separate from the church is the bell tower. Those who take on the climb (146 steps to the top) are rewarded with a view that is unrivaled. The tower is also a wonderful example of the Venetian architecture that has influenced Piran.
A Fortification and More Spectacular Views
In the late 15th century, while part of the Republic of Venice, Piran came under constant threat of attack from Turkey. In order to keep the invading Turks from taking the port town walls were built. It is possible to walk these walls today. In addition to learning more about the history of these fortifications, you will have another opportunity for a simply stunning view of the surrounding area.
Wander Old Town
The Old Town area of Piran is a small and compact labyrinth of colorful little houses and cobblestone streets and pathways. Wend your way through this maze of original Piran and marvel at the sites. It’s impossible to get lost. You will find yourself back in Tartini Square or on the beach after a stroll through Old Town Piran.
Relax by The Sea
As long as you’re taking in the views offered by this charming town, don’t miss an opportunity to meander along the beach in Piran. While Slovenia is a country of grandiose mountains and scenic rolling foothills, there is another side for you to experience. The Piran coastline provides a relaxing backdrop to the medieval architecture and historical sites.
Savor A Taste of Piran
If you wish to have a bite to eat in Piran, you won’t be disappointed. From cafes along the harbor to restaurants in Old Town Piran, you’ll find beautiful settings with outstanding seafood, and local take on some of Italy’s favorite dishes.
A visit to Piran, Slovenia won’t disappoint. This beautiful port has the best of all worlds amid an easygoing pace.
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