Piran is a tiny town on Adriatic coast of Slovenia. It is located on the north of Istrian peninsula, only a few kilometers away from the border with Croatia. With its ancient town, pebbled streets, and Venetian Gothic architecture, Piran is a well-known travel destination that attracts travelers from across the globe.The name, most likely, was given after Greek word “piro”, which means fire. For centuries there was a lighthouse on the cape, to show sailors the way home.
Main spots: Tartini square, Piran City walls, St. George church
As many other settlements on the coast of Adriatic, Piran for a very long time was under the rule of Venetian republic. Nowadays you can see a lot of signs of that part of history: San Marko lions on facades, typical venetian windows and balconies, colored houses, bell tower of St.George (Svetogo Jurija) church, which is a replica of San Marko in Venice etc...
Piran Town Walls - A Glimpse into History
The town walls of Piran, dating back to the VII century, are an awe-inspiring attraction that any visitor must experience. Basically there are two walls: inner and outer. Outer one partly survived on the hill and offers beautiful views of the town, seaside, Croatian and Italian costs. Inner wall is located in the old town itself and partly recycled into the houses built later. Sometimes you can notice the old gates of XIII-XIV century, with houses literally built on those in XVI-XVII centuries. Taking a walk along the walls and exploring the various towers and gates will take you back in time and give you a glimpse of Piran's rich history and culture.
Tip from slovenian guide: The outer (upper) wall is a great place to start your tour of Piran, especially if you use a taxi or private driver. This area of Piran is less visited due to hilltop location and, as most part of the visitors come directly to the town (foot of the hill), they usually skip this beautiful location. So, ask the driver to drop you off next to the walls, explore the area and walk down the hill to St. George church and further to the narrow streets of old town. After that ask the driver to pick you up at Tartini square. This way you will see all the beautiful views, without of necessity climbing up the hill.
Tartini Square - The Heart of Piran
Tartini Square is the cultural and geographical center of Piran and a perfect spot to make some nice pictures. Named after the renowned violinist and composer, Giuseppe Tartini, the square is surrounded by vibrant shops, cafes, and buildings of various colors. The highlight of the square is the statue of Tartini, which draws people's attention instantly. Besides, the Tartini House, currently a museum dedicated to the life and work of Giuseppe Tartini, is also worth a visit.
Tip from slovenian guide: you can enjoy local atmosphere in one of the cafes on the seafront of Tartini square. If you are not looking for something fancy, but want to have local fresh seafoods and feel the spirit of old fisherman settlement try to check a restaurant on a boat Podlanica Nothing fancy at all, but very tasty! Make sure you are not in a rush: they cook for you, it takes time.
St. George's Parish Church - A Marvelous Church
St. George's Parish Church, located on a hill, offers an unmatched view of Piran. Built in the 12th century, this church is famous for its exquisite Baroque interiors and breathtaking views of the surrounding area and the Adriatic Sea. The interiors are adorned with beautiful frescoes, paintings, and a stunning altar. The church also features the famous painting of St. George and the Dragon, which is a sight to behold.
Tip from slovenian guide: the view from St.George bell tower is very similar to the one you get on the city walls. Besides the steps inside are quite steep.
Maritime Museum - A Fascinating Journey into Piran's Maritime Past
The Maritime Museum of Piran is a treasure trove of Piran's rich maritime history. The museum, housed in the historic Gabrielli Palace, displays exhibits on shipbuilding, fishing, and navigation. The museum also showcases various artifacts, ship models, and paintings that depict Piran's maritime past.
Minorite Monastery Of St. Francisc in Piran
The first church here was, likely, built in early XIV century. And in early XVIII it was Giuseppe Tartini to studied and lived here. During the times of socialist Jugoslavia the monastery was nationalised, but given back to church after proclaiming of Slovenian independence. The church and monastery are hardly seen from a distance, but are located only 2 min walk from Tartini square up, or from St. George church down.
Tip from slovenian guide: spend 10-15 minutes in a peaceful atmosphere of the church. Take a few minutes to check the painings inside. After you exit the monastery into bright and vibrant town, it's going to feel different.
Piran is definitely a town full of charm, history, and culture. With its iconic Tartini Square, magnificent St. George's Parish Church, imposing town walls, fascinating Maritime Museum, and the serene Fiesa Lake, Piran offers a range of experiences for all types of visitors. Whether you're interested in history, culture, or nature, Piran is a destination that should not be missed.