Around the Istrian Peninsula, most towns have a Slovenian name (Piran), and Italian name( Pirano). This area is part of Slovene Istria and is extremely Mediterranean even though the tip of the peninsula juts out into the Adriatic Sea. The climate is mild, and land fertile which accounts for the vineyards, olive groves and fruits grown here. (The groves and vineyards were the first thing to catch my eye driving toward Piran.)
On a clear day, you can see: the Italian and Austrian Alps as well as Trieste in the North; Croatia across the bay to the South; and on an extremely clear day, Venice, across the sea.
Driving into Piran, it looked like a movie set in the distance. These little towns are drop-dead beautiful…the sea…medieval buildings…clear blue sky…against a backdrop of rolling hills. And when we walked into the Piazza Tartini, I could have sworn we were in Venice. I want a villa in Tuscany, one in Mallorca and another in this area! Come on Illinois Lottery…
We stayed at the Hotel Piran, www.hoteli-piran.si, right on the sea, just footsteps away from the main square. Of course, Piran is so small (population of about 3,000) that almost everything is just a few footsteps away. You do not want to stay here unless they assure you of a sea-view room. The street-side rooms are extremely noisy because it is on a busy street. A young Irish traveler we met said that the Hostel in Piran was unusually nice and well-located. Keep it in mind.
Giuseppe Tartini (born in 1692) is the favorite son of Piran. A leading personality in the European musical world, he was a famous violinist and composter. A statue of Tartini (placed in 1896) is in the middle of the square named for him, and there is a museum with his violin and archives. View image
Another important site is the Cloister of the Minorites Monastery of the Franciscan Church, built from 1301-1318…
Cloister of the Minorites Monastery of the Franciscan Church, Piran, Slovenia
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W”ll have to visit the rest of Piran tomorrow…