Pula holds pleasant surprises for us travelers. From the historic center to the outskirts of the town, here are all the tips for a truly special stay and to fully enjoy what this interesting place has to offer.
Pula - in Istria - today it is a crowded and lively seaside town, an active merchant port and a tourist center certainly worth a visit. A multifaceted city. Easily accessible from the Italian border, it is in fact only 120 km from Trieste and is a good starting point for exploring the most interesting sites in Istria.
What to see in Pula
The ancient Polesium, as it was called under Roman rule, was a culturally vibrant city. The historic center is still today embellished by the remains of important archaeological evidence which constitute the main cultural and tourist attraction of the place.
In the foreground it is definitely the XNUMXst century Amphitheater wonderfully preserved and locally named Sand.
The Pula Amphitheater
The imposing mass in local limestone indicates the entrance to the city for those coming from the north and overlooking the old city and the harbor. The external structures are completely preserved up to the level of the velarium: the system of curtains that protected the spectators who came to take part in venationes and gladiator shows.
Even today the space is an active cultural center where concerts and historical re-enactments held by the Spectacula Antiqua project: the show takes place weekly in high season, i.e. during the summer, with a reduced cost for children.
Do not miss to go down into the underground space, which can be accessed from the staircase next to the ticket office: here a small museum with a gravel floor has been set up, with exhibitions on the production of olive oil in Roman times and on life in Roman Istria, but this is above all a rare opportunity to visit the spaces organized in antiquity under the arena, used as a stop for gladiators and wild beasts waiting for the show in the field.
Walk in the pedestrian zone
From the Arena car park, the pedestrian area opens up, ideal for a walk interspersed with short cultural visits and an outdoor café. In the linear path that crosses the historic center, one cannot fail to admire the Temple of Augustus, in the central square e the Arch of triumph of the Sergi.
Finally, the evening show par excellence: the so-called Bright Giants, or a concert of lights projected from 16000 screens and conceived by designer Dean Skira to embellish the cranes of the nineteenth-century port of Uljanik, still in operation: at the stroke of the hour the lights turn on and continue their games for 15 minutes.
Where to stay in Pula
As in any Croatian town, the best accommodation solution in Pula is, in my opinion, the small studio apartment. There are dozens and dozens of them on every booking platform and for every price and space requirement.
However, many apartments are concentrated in the area of the descent to Verudela, the peninsula of beaches and seaside resorts. The distance from the center is not uncomfortable anyway. In a few minutes by car you can reach the historic center or the highway entrance, around which there are services, shopping centers and supermarkets.
The only precaution: in the high season the center is very crowded, especially in the evening. It can be difficult to find a parking space, but be patient and don't risk a makeshift accommodation! The local police are very active on this front and often issue heavy fines. Better to strictly respect the rules of the host country!
Within a few kilometers Istria offers several interesting centers, for landscapes, beaches and villages. Among these I point out Rovinj, with the port and the climb to the cathedral in the historic center, charming waterfront bars and fragrant bakeries e Premantura, to the south, a small and pronounced peninsula that hosts the Kamenjak Park Nature Reserve, ideal for mountain biking and days at sea in crystal clear waters.