We made our way from Rovinj to Pula sadly for our last Croatian Airbnb stay. We have really enjoyed the sample bag of town and nature filled experiences we have experienced on our stay here in Croatia. Our Airbnb apartment was very impressive in what we would call a bohemian mansion. Why – because the manor sat on a large gated well established garden filled with figs and grape vines. We sampled both!! The external facade was lavish and indicated that it had stood the test of time. The foyer was grand with a stone pillared veranda entrance, which was very welcoming. The stair wells were decedent with marble stairs. There was a vast amount of space making it lavish and airy and the timber elegant doors were huge. Wow, and we hadn’t even made it to our top floor apartment. It was self check in so we were left wondering how old this beauty really was, but one thing we do know there were many more architectural beauties in the neighbourhood. One stunning beauty was in a neighbouring garden. A sunflower that stood at least 6 foot tall!!!
Once inside we were again taken back by the high ceilings, tiles and how beautifully renovated and decorated our apartment was.
After a good night’s sleep we were both eager to explore this historical town. First it was the historical market place that drew us in. The building is an impressive collection of metal and glass. Two stories high with a beautiful mural and statues. The outdoor green market was just as impressive and we enjoyed eating a traditional biscuit filled the sweet ricotta cheese. Bees flew buzzingly!!!, (I know this isn’t a word) around the sweets on sale. You can see them sitting on these biscuits. We were in our element surrounded by great seasonal produce. We purchased a bunch over large seedless grapes, mushrooms which we first searched for the best price. Huge tomatoes, fresh large free range eggs and sharp strong vintage cheese. Rob’s back pack over flowing we set off to see the sites.
Triumph Arch built in 31 BC the main gateway into the historical centre.
We found the treasured mosaic tiled floor dating back to the third century next to a residential building. All still intact, we don’t think conservationist were involved in the planning of this residential block. Imagine what other treasures are probably buried now forever under the a joining building!!!
Into the Roman forum to see the Temple of Augustus with it towering pillars of grandeur and power.
Then we had coffee in a beautiful cafe in the forum called Cvajner. It had a real retro feel.
Then to the main draw card the reason we decided to come to Pula. The historical gem. The 2000 year old Roman Amphitheater completely with finishing touches in 81AD!!! It is the sixth largest amphitheater in the world. It stands three tiers high!! More intact than the Rome Colosseum. We stood where gladiators once fought blooded burial battles for spectators’ pleasure. I am not sure how many females attended as I could trying to hike my legs up the huge thunderous steps – brutal work. Gladiatorial games were forbidden after the fifth century and thus fell into ruins. But Paula’s amphitheater is in such good standing condition it is today the venue for many concerts.
Under the amphitheater we viewed the display that explained the long held traditional wine and olive making here in Istria. We admired the stone clay vessels they were stored in. Our visit to such a historical gem cost all of 7 euros each!!!
Then we walked to the top of the hilltop to stand in, on and gaze our eyes on the Venetian Fortress!! On our way up the hill we passed the Roman Twin Gates and we also spotted many cats. One eating from the garbage and another cat lazying dreamily on someone’s car rooftop!!
Here are some of the beautiful flowers, houses and fences we trekked past on our way back to our Airbnb. I think we stayed in an area which has been nick named Austrian villa’s street.
If you love history Pula is definitely a treasure to visit!!