Piran is located on the coast of Slovenia by the Adriatic Sea. It is one of the three major towns in the southwest coastal region known as Slovene Istria. Once part of the Roman Empire in the 900s, Italian and Slovenian are the official languages for this area. All signs are in both Slovenian and Italian.
We spent four nights here and honestly, it was too long for our liking. Piran is a lovely village but we were able to see most of it in just a couple of hours of walking around. There isn’t much for beaches in the area. Most people lounged on the big boulders that appeared to be placed to protect the town from storm surges and what beach they did have, they were made of rocks and not sand. We made the most of it by visiting a nearby village of Izola one day and taking a hike along through the Strunjan Nature Reserve on another day.
We were here during the first of July and the days were really hot and humid. It wasn’t much fun to wander around until late afternoon. If you sat in the shade and were able to catch a breeze off the water, it was a little more tolerable.
Piran is on the tip of the Slovene Istria. There is a lovely walkway along the waterfront that connects Piran to a larger city, Portoroz in the southeast. Portoroz has the larger resorts and spas. We traveled through it on our way to Piran. I am so glad we chose to stay in Piran. Portoroz was more commercialized than what I prefer. Piran has more charm and personality in my opinion.
Tartini Square the center of town.
There is so much Italian influence in this town. I often felt as though I was wandering through an Italian village. The center of town is Tartini Square. This area was once an inner dock for smaller fishing boats. During the Middle Ages, palaces and other important buildings were built around this dock. However, it is where the sewerage for the village ended up and it would smell would be very disgusting. In 1894, the town officials decided to build a proper town square and filled this area in. New buildings were built around the square including the impressive Town Hall building. The Benečanka building (the Venetian House) is the only building on the square that has its original Gothic facade from the 15th century.
From 1909 to 1953, there were trolleybuses and trams passing through the square to provide transportation to the other villages along the coast. When the last tram was retired in 1953, the square was renovated and white marble replaced the tracks. The statue of Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770) stands proudly over the square named after him. Tartini was a Baroque violinist and composer from Piran.
A Fortified City
There has been a wall to protect the citizens of Piran since the 10th century. The “newest” part of the wall was built from 1470 to 1533 when invasion by the Turks was a real threat.
Today, they are well-preserved and opened to the public for a small fee. Since I had climbed the Bell Tower, I passed on going up on the wall. Walking next to it was very impressive, though.
The Port and Coastal Walkway
Along the ocean is a walkway that is lined with restaurants. From early morning to late evening, people can be seen swimming in the ocean. Strolling along the walkway is a lovely way to pass the evening.
St George’s Parish Church, the Bell Tower and Bapistry
The Streets of Piran
Wandering through the narrow streets of Piran, you can see how it once used to be ruled by Venice. I felt as though I was, once again, on the coast of Italy in one of my favorite places in the world….Cinque Terra. The streets are lined with stone, some of the buildings are painted soft colors or have bright colored shutters and there were small chapels “tucked” into the various neighborhoods. Occasionally, we would pass under an arch. Here are some of my favorite “Kodak moments” throughout the town.
Piran at Night
Odds and Ends
As I mentioned earlier, we took an afternoon to visit the nearby city of Izola. It was an easy bus ride of about 30 minutes to reach the town. As we got closer, Izola looked much like Piran. The city was crowded on the peninsula, there was the church with a prominent bell tower and the marina.
I was reading about the history of Izola and was surprised to learn that it used to be an island. It was originally settled by Italians. From 1805 to 1813, it was under Napolean’s rule. During this time, the protective walls were torn down and used to fill in the channel that separated the island from the mainland.
After wandering around for the afternoon, we hopped the bus back to Piran.
I hope you enjoyed the “tour” of the Slovenian coast. We were there in July and it was very hot and humid. I imagine September is an excellent time to visit. The children are back in school, the weather is a little cooler so you can the whole day outside without getting overheated!
Regardless of the time of year, I just hope that you get to visit the lovely and picturesque country of Slovenia.
May you be filled with joy and sparkles! ✨✨✨❤️✨✨✨