About 90 minutes drive from Ljubljana is Piran, a Venetian seaside town in southwestern Slovenia, which was part of Italy until the end of WWII. The locals here remain bilingual even until today. The town is heavily influenced by Venetian art and architecture since it was part of the Republic of Venice for 500 years from 1283 to 1797. It was also part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until after WWI when it was ceded to Italy. In 1954, Piran was annexed to Yugoslavia until 1975 and since 1991, it became a part of Slovenia. Piran, with its narrow alleyways and Venetian style houses, is said to be one of the best preserved historical towns in the Mediterranean. It has a significantly different feel than other places in Slovenia. There is a defensive wall that surrounds the compact town originally built to protect from Ottoman attacks. Many parts of this wall remain today and is a great place to get a birds’ eye view of Piran and the Adriatic Sea. This is where we parked ourselves for the sunset blue hour shots. If you plan to do this, you will have to first notify the caretaker so that you don’t get locked in when the gates to these walls close in the early evening. In the center of Piran is the Tartini Square named after Italian violinist Giuseppe Tartini who was born here. The square is surrounded by beautiful medieval buildings among them a pink building called the Venetian House which supposedly was built by a rich Italian merchant for his lover. There is an inscription between the two upper windows that reads “Lassa pur dir” which means “Let them talk”. On the small hill overlooking Piran is the Church of St George which is modeled after St Mark’s Cathedral in Venice. If you don’t head up to the city walls, you can still enjoy magnificent views of Piran from the bell-tower here or even just at the foot of the cathedral.
This concludes my short stay in Slovenia. Next post will be on Sarajevo in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Stay tuned!
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