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April 26, 2019

Slovenia: Piran

Filed under: Architecture, Dog, Europe, Photography, Slovenia, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 10:28 am

Piran’s small harbor gives boats shelter from the sea.

Slovenia barely escapes being landlocked. The country, sandwiched between Croatia to the south and Italy to the north, includes a modest stretch of land along the Adriatic coast roughly 27 miles in length. Short as it is, the Slovenian coast is attractive. A popular destination on the water is the attractive commune of Piran. Situated at the tip of a peninsula the town has a population of around 3,900.

Piran retains an intact Medieval core which has been largely pedestrianized. Consequentually we needed to park our rental car in a remote garage. In theory there is a bus to the center of the town, which we could take to our hotel. In practice the buses schedule didn’t mesh well with our arrival and waiting for the next bus would cut into our exploration time. So rather than wait we hoofed it the considerable distance into town, luggage, dog, and all. It turns out we could have driven our rental car in, dropped our bags off, and returned the car to the lot. But chances are we wouldn’t have saved much time.

To the room

Piran is appealing. We spent hours exploring town emphasizing the town’s internal web of narrow internal alleyways. The town has several minor sights that are worth seeing. But mostly the visit was a chance to pause and relax in a beautiful village by the sea.

This area of Europe has seen many rulers. The Romans, who were seemingly everywhere, were of course also in Piran. After the demise of the Romans, rule of the region transistioned between the Byzantines, the Franks, the Holy Roman Empire, the Republic of Venice (Venice is not far away as a crow flies), the Austrian Empire, the French under Napoleon, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Italy, Yugoslavia (as the Free Territory of Trieste, Zone B, under Yugoslavian administration), and ultimately as part of the Republic of Slovenia. Each culture has left its mark on the region.

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Not surprisingly the languages have changed. Until the mid-20th century, Italian was the dominant language in Piran. As demographics have shifted Slovene has become the predominat language. Though the preferred language has changed the influence of Italy still looms large in Piran. Indeed, it would be easy to mistake the town as being Italian.

At dinner we learned that Piran is very popular with Italians. The restaurant we chose by chance served a mostly seafood-oriented Italian menu. And a bit surprising to us, most of the diners spoke Italian. It seems odd for Italians to leave Italy to have Italian food just across the border in a neighboring country, but so it was.

The food for us was good in what the Italians call Pirano. And in truth we were happy to have something other than the Central European fare that we had been eating for a month or so; it had become a bit monotonous. It’s always good to eat Italian food in Italy, or as we just learned, near Italy in a bordering country.

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We visited Piran Slovenia in October of 2018.

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