We so much enjoyed our five days in Pula, all the more because of its amazing Roman artifacts. There are only a few complete Roman amphitheaters still in existence, the Coliseum in Rome being one, of course, and a magnificent one here in Pula that would hold 26,000 spectators.
We arrived by bus. Our apartment, Apartment na Forumu, was located right at the Roman Forum, somewhat distant from the Arena. We walked right past the Arena and got a good look as we entered the heart of the Old Town. To reach our hostess and get our key, we needed wifi connection. This we found at an agreeable nearby pizzeria where we had lunch while waiting for our hostess to arrive.
We can look out the front window and see the Forum plaza, the center of activity and nightlife.
From the balcony facing the back, we can look down onto Roman foundations.
We walk across the Forum to the Temple of Rome and Augustus. How magnificent.
Beside the temple is the Communal Palace, former temple in Roman times and presently city hall since about 900 AD. Over the years it has undergone numerous reconstructions.
Our first evening we watch a theatrical group enacting some Roman skills and battle on the square.
Next morning we explore our tiny street and the fresh market.
Our street ends with a Roman gate. On steps to the side we are treated to lovely music for flute and cello.
Of course, we are now ready for lunch and Suzi knows a cafeteria next to the market that will please our budget.
Late one afternoon we explore streets off the plaza toward the Arena.
Hermann D. Noordung (alias) was an unsung technical genius who in 1928 published a small book about the problems of space travel and the establishment of a space station. He was born in Pula to Slovenian parents, but Pula gets the credit.
A small nearby park gives recognition to some famous people. Tesla was a Croatian/Serbian scientist known for electrical work in the U.S.
During the years that Pula was under the administration of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Pula was the Adriatic seaport for Austria. Rijeka, around the other side of the Istrian peninsula was the agreed upon Hungarian Adriatic seaport. Shipbuilding is still a large industry in Pula.
Oh yes, it’s dinnertime again. We find a friendly outdoor place that has a special on Wienerschnitzel. I must give it a try.
Pula has seen many wars. To protect its citizens it has built a vast network of underground tunnels, enough to protect its entire population of 50,000 people. As we walk around the city we come upon a number of entrances, all sealed off. The network is known as Zerostrasse.
One day we explore a small park near the marina named Tito Park. It’s in front of the huge Arena. Here in the States Tito has a bad and ruthless reputation as a dictator, but he held the wildly disparate Balkan states together as Yugoslavia until his death. He has a more likable memory by the local populace.
Behind our apartment are stairs and paths leading up to the castle that overlooks the city. We think that would be a good place to watch a sunset. We take a pizza along with us for dinner.
Now we must make our way down as darkness surrounds us.