Istria is a considerable peninsula located in the Adriatic Sea. Croatia, Italia, and Slovenia share it. However, Croatia’s Istria Country comprises most of it. Istria is becoming famous among travelers because of its gorgeous coastline views, medieval towns, exquisite and cheap food, and ancient buildings.
I visited the Istrian Peninsula and fell in love with it. Since it is not a place everyone knows about, one does not encounter an overpopulation of tourists like one finds in popular cities like London or Paris. It was a pleasant and tranquil experience, so here I recommend the three cities I enjoyed the most in Istria, Croatia.
Located at the southern point of the Istrian Peninsula, Pula is the largest city in Istria, Croatia. This lovely and sunny city is the home to several ancient buildings with Roman, Byzantine, and Renaissance architecture. Dating back to the first century AD, the Temple of Augustus, the Gate of Hercules, and the Arch of Sergii are some of the important Roman structures in the city. Other ancient buildings are the Pula Cathedral, the Chapel of Saint Mary Formosa, and Porta Gemina, known as the Twin Gates.
The Pula Arena, known by the locals as The Arena, however, is the most striking building in Pula. It is a huge and well-preserved Roman amphitheater that dates back to the first century AD. Its excellent condition is impressive. About 200 Roman amphitheaters remain in the world, and the Pula Arena is the sixth-largest. Amazingly, it is still in use as a concert venue.
Poreč is a 2,000-year-old town located on the west coast of Istria. As a summer resort town, it is one of the most popular touristic destinations in Croatia. Tourists love its historic charm, cobbled streets, and numerous shops and restaurants. Some of its best attractions are the Old Town, Trg Marafor, the Round Tower, and the Temple of Neptune.
The Euphrasian Basilica, though, is its most significant landmark. Its intact Bizantine art and gorgeous 6th-century mosaics make the basilica one of a kind in the world. It was built during the 6th century on top of religious buildings that Christians constructed during the 4th century to hold their ceremonies. At the time, Christianity was still not recognized as the official religion of the Roman Empire. So, I am talking about a place where Christians started to come together. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Euphrasian Basilica houses the Bishop’s palace, a church, a baptistery, and an atrium.
A fishing harbor and summer resort city located on the west coast of the Istrian Peninsula, photogenic Rovinj is popular among tourists for its beauty, romantic atmosphere, and outdoor attractions. Its Old Town is picturesque and full of souvenir shops, art galleries, bars, restaurants, and Venetian-styled homes.
Rovinj’s main landmark is St. Euphemia Cathedral, which is located on the top of the highest hill in the city. Built during the 17th century by the Venetians, this baroque-styled church has the tallest tower in Istria. Its bell tower is a smaller but exact replica of St. Marco’s in Venice. La Grisia cobbled street, located in the Old Town, leads up to the cathedral.