In the footsteps of the Romans; Bustling port and historic centre with a 2nd century AD amphitheatre, colourful market, bars and restaurants.Pula is the main regional town in Istria, with an attractive shopping area, spectacular harbour, lively night live, amazing history, many restaurants and cafes and wonderful beaches. Walk through Pula and experience old town streets and squares some of which were there even in Roman times. The stunning Roman amphitheatre is from the first century AD and ranks as the sixth largest in the world. The amphitheatre or "Arena" is still used for concerts (classical and pop), for gladiatorial re-enactments and for showing Pula's annual film festival. Watching one of these events under the night sky and from the same stone seats that were being used 2000 years ago is a unique experience. The amphitheatre is open to the public daily (pulainfo.hr). Other Roman monuments in Pula include a Triumphal Arch at the entrance to the main shopping street.
The museum is full of artefacts and stonework from Roman times. The Forum, a square surrounded by Roman and renaissance architecture, is a delightful spot to relax over a coffee or a cool drink. Istria is an integral part of Croatia's move into the music festival market. The 19th-century fort of Punta Christo, outside Pula, will echo to the throb of sound systems during the Outlook festival at the end of August each year. Pula is an important port and industrial centre and the shipyard with huge ships under repair and construction right on the harbour front and with its cranes illuminated at night, provides an unusual back drop to this historic town.
There are excellent beaches on the many peninsulas and bays around Pula; notable are Stoja, Veruda , Verudela and Pjesana Uvala. A little further out of town the nature reserve of Rt Karmenjak on the very tip of the Istrian peninsula provides kilometres of unspoilt coastline and many bays or rocky headlands where you can swim in the crystal clear sea.
The nearby Brioni islands are a national park area and formerly the summer residence of Yugoslavia's President Tito. During Tito's era many world leader visited this pretty group of small islands which Tito populated with exotic wild animals to entertain his guests. Today visitors can stay in the hotel on the islands or make boat trips from Pula harbour or from the town of Fazana.
Getting there: Pula airport is just 10 minutes drive from Pula centre. There are direct flights from the UK and most European countries including Scandinavia, Russia and the Ukraine. There is a ferry service from Venice and good motorway links through Slovenia onto the Italian and Austrian motorway networks.